Friends and family of a longtime Pismo Beach resident and former city councilman remembered him this week as a driven, talkative and social person who fell in love with the city and worked hard to serve it well.
Ted Ehring, 84, died Sept. 3, the day after he and his wife, Patricia, had celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012, she said.
“The day after he died the flags were at half-mast, and they’re going to name a street after him,” Patricia Ehring said. “He’d be embarrassed, of course.”
Ehring had served on the City Council from 2006 until 2012. Pismo Beach Mayor Shelly Higginbotham said developer Gary Grossman, a Shell Beach resident, offered to name a street in one of his projects in town in Ehring’s honor.
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“There’s a big hole in this city without him,” Higginbotham said.
Ehring was born in Whittier and grew up in Burbank. He and Patricia Ehring met in ninth grade.
“I picked him out, and I didn’t do anything until he decided all those other girls weren’t it,” she recalled Tuesday. They had four children; Ehring is survived by numerous grandchildren, nieces and nephews as well.
Ehring joined the U.S. Air Force Reserve and was called to serve in the Korean War; he was stationed in North Africa, she said.
He later graduated from the University of Southern California and worked as geologist, manager and eventually vice president overseeing oil exploration or development for oil and gas companies in California and Texas. He started his own company, P/T and Associates, in 1993.
He and his wife moved to Pismo Beach in 1996; Ehring joined the city’s Planning Commission in 2000 and served six years. He was elected to a two-year term on the City Council in 2006 and reelected in 2008 to a four-year term.
During his last council meeting in December 2012, council members recognized him for his strong support of Dinosaur Caves Park — he was a founding member of the Dinosaur Caves Preservation Society — his dedication to public safety and his role in approving the city’s new sewage treatment plant, which was completed in 2006.
After initially declaring himself “almost speechless,” Ehring spoke at length.
“No one does anything by themselves,” he said at the time. “It takes all the people in this city, all the employees ... all we can do is set a little policy and perhaps a little goal for them to follow.”
Ehring was also named the Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Citizen of the Year.
More than 100 people attended a service for Ehring on Sept. 7 in Pismo Beach. Among the remembrances was one from resident Marc Lebed, which was read by Brian Craig Kreowski.
The three men called themselves “The Three Amigos”; friends who were “constantly searching for adventures and projects to benefit our community.”
Before he died, Ehring was very interested in upcoming research on whether the giant clam could be brought back to Pismo Beach, Kreowski said. The project is a joint effort of Cal Poly, Pismo Beach and the Central Coast Aquarium Society.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Central Coast Aquarium Society, 1435 Shell Beach Road, Pismo Beach, CA 93449, with “Pismo clam project” in the memo.