Frederick “Ted” Crane Prior, age 95, died peacefully on December 28, 2020, at his home in Laurel Park, NC, with his wife Arlo, the love of his life, at his side. Ted was born January 5, 1925, to Robert and Freda Crane Prior. Until he was 93, Ted lived in West Palm Beach, FL, where he and Arlo raised their 3 girls, Nancy, Jenny and Freddie.
A life-long member of Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, a place of great importance to his mother, and later his wife and family, Ted sang in its boys’ choir as a child. Teddy loved to sail his sunfish and was an accomplished tennis player. When he was 15, Ted won the Mid-Atlantic Boy’s Tournament; at 16 he won the Southern Junior’s for 18 and under giving him a junior ranking of number 1 in the 12 southern states.
On his 18th birthday Ted joined the United States Marine Corps. After serving in China in WWII, Ted was recalled during the Korean conflict and retired with the rank of Captain USMC. Between military deployments Ted was busy. He graduated from Princeton University and the University of Florida School of Law and at both universities he captained the tennis team and played #1. He became Worthy Master of the ATO Fraternity, a member of Florida Blue Key and Phi Delta Phi scholastic legal fraternity, and best of all, married Arlo Godwin.
Returning to civilian life Ted practiced law and devoted both his time and expertise to the West Palm Beach community. Summers and holidays were often enjoyed at their beloved Retreat Lodge in Hendersonville, NC. Ted had a wonderful voice and loved to teach his 3 girls old college and military songs (and limericks). Long drives between FL and Hendersonville, NC and after-dinner mountain hikes were a favorite time to harmonize the many colorful tunes.
Ted had an extensive group of devoted buddies with whom he spent considerable time – on the golf course, but only on days that end in Y, over a hand of gin (where his photographic memory made him indomitable), and at the 19th hole. Ted was a scratch golfer, West Palm Beach Country Club champion numerous times, and his many memorable sayings and kind words made him a favorite on any course. After his retirement in 1998, Ted had even more leisure hours to devote to golf, where more often than not he scored his age or lower during his 70s to his 90th birthday. Ted loved to network and often used the golf course as a venue to connect friends, political figures, corporate executives, celebrities, sports professionals and municipal officials. His networking skills fostered a large number of invaluable relationships with and between people from all over the country.
In addition to his parents, Ted was predeceased by his brother, Robert “Bobby” Prior who was killed on Iwo Jima. He is survived by an extended family he loved dearly: his wife of 69 years, Arlo; sister, Nancy Prior Erneston; daughters Nancy Prior McKinley (Joe) and Jennifer Prior Brown (Philip), both of Laurel Park, NC, and Frederica Prior Gray (Lawrence)of Richmond, VA; grandchildren Prior McKinley, Ross McKinley, Paige McKinley Edelstein, Lewis Gray, Teddy Gray, Arlo Gray, Bobby Brown and Kendall Brown; and great grand-daughter Lilly McKinley.
The family wishes to thank caregiver Jessica Lowry and the professionals from Four Seasons Hospice for their invaluable service.