• Barbara A. Preston

Theodore Jay Staats, 61

August 7, 1958 - April 8, 2020


Theodore Jay Staats, 61, who grew up in Belle Mead and has many family members in the area, died on April 8 in his home in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Theodore Jay Staats

He was known as Tad to his family, and Ted to people he met after high school. Ted was born in Princeton to Robert and Marie Staats. He grew up in Belle Mead, graduating from Montgomery High School in 1976. He went on to Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) and graduated in 1980.


Ted was driven by a competitive spirit, which along with his talent as a golfer, led him to a career in the world of golf. He began his career working as an assistant golf pro at two of the top private golf clubs in New Jersey: Somerset Hills Country Club in Bernardsville and Mountain Ridge Country Club in Caldwell.


Taking into consideration that the golf season is longer in the south, he moved to Florida. There he worked at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.


Ted then moved to North Carolina, where he became the golf pro at Maggie Valley Club and Resort in Maggie Valley. For several years he hosted an annual golf outing for his family and friends from New Jersey there. During this time, his interest in the science of golf led him to invent a golf aid called the Wonder Stick.


After many years at Maggie Valley, Ted became the general manager at Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ted was employed as the director of golf operations at Signet Golf Associates in Pinehurst, North Carolina. He was a long time member of the PGA.


When not at work, Ted enjoyed spending time with family and friends. He was a fun-loving man who found enjoyment in good food, sports and card games. He was also known to enjoy spending time at the racetrack.


Ted was predeceased by his parents, Robert and Marie Staats; his brother, William A. Staats, Sr.; and sister-in-law, Marilyn Staats. He is survived by his siblings: Robert A. Staats, Jr. (Dorothy) of Skillman; Deborah Strauss (Robert) of Somerset; Charles Staats (Julie) of Belle Mead; Sherry Baldwin (David) of Yardville; Cynthia Daly (Michael) of Edison; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. In addition, he is survived by his former wife, Donna Hughes Southards..


Funeral Services for Ted are to be set at a future date, to be determined.

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