Theodore Kobrin, CIA officer

Theodore Kobrin, 86, a retired CIA officer who became a travel magazine publisher and woodworking artist, died April 15 at his home in Bethesda. He had leukemia.

The death was confirmed by his companion, Shirley “Lee” Kotz.

Mr. Kobrin, who was known as Ted, served about 30 years in the CIA, including senior positions in Southeast Asia and Africa. One of his last jobs before retiring in 1980 was helping CIA employees make the transition to retirement or other jobs outside the agency.

He then owned and operated a time-share business, the Inter­Service Home Exchange. In the early 1990s, he published a short-lived magazine, the Travel Review, which reprinted travel selections from U.S. magazines and newspapers and English-language publications abroad.

Over the years, he developed an interest in design that led to crafting wood furniture, some of which he exhibited in area galleries.

“When you spend your working life in government, working on papers all the time . . . here you start something from scratch and see it finish right before your own eyes. It makes you feel good,” he told the Washington Times in 1998, “even if no one sees it.”

Theodore Kobrin was born in Waterbury, Conn., and served in the Naval Air Corps during World War II. On the GI bill, he graduated from the University of Michigan in 1949 and was a standout on its baseball team. He played two years in the minor leagues.

His marriage to Araxi Bostanian ended in divorce.

Survivors include his companion of 29 years, Shirley “Lee” Kotz of Bethesda; a daughter from his marriage, Melanie Kobrin of Chevy Chase; three of his companion’s children, Richard Kotz of Potomac, Michael Kotz of Kensington and Ellen Singer of Baltimore; a brother; and two grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein