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Joseph R. Terrazas

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Joseph R. Terrazas Obituary
Joseph R. Terrazas died peacefully at home in Temecula on Dec. 10, 2016 after a brief battle with cancer. He was 91 years young. Joe's entire life was filled with international travel and adventure. It all began in Nogales, Arizona where his father was a career diplomat with the foreign service of Mexico. Joe would follow his family to New York, Detroit, San Diego, Los Angeles and Calexico, where he graduated from high school. He wasn't 18 years old upon graduation, but there was a war going on and he convinced his mother to sign the necessary papers that allowed him to enlist in the Marine Corps. For two and a half years he served as an aerial gunner on a dive bomber plus duty as a platoon sergeant in the South Pacific at such memorable battles of Midway, Guadalcanal, Munda, Bougainville, and Green Island. Shortly after his discharge he started his 37-year career with Bank of America where he repeatedly distinguished himself. Always the student and mentor, Joe quickly availed himself of the special classes provided by the American Institute of Banking where he later became an instructor. His first assignment overseas was Guatemala and he would later open offices for the bank throughout Europe and Central and South America while taking on increasing responsibilities within the bank. When he was V.P. in charge of operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Scandinavian countries, he introduced the use of computers in the overseas offices. He was also instrumental in obtaining loan approval to make the first James Bond movie which originated in the London office. A later promotion put him in charge of western European operations with a staff exceeding 6,500 at that time. It was a whirlwind life that required extensive travel throughout Europe including meeting thousands of people from around the world and making a significant impact in the lives of many. He retired from the bank as Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa to enjoy a slower pace as a life member of the VFW, a 25-year member of the Golden Triangle Amateur Radio Club, and a 5-year volunteer in the Coast Guard Auxiliary San Diego. Joe took pride in his country, his family heritage, his accomplishments with the bank and his many family members and friends. He was preceded in death by his daughter Debbie, and all of his siblings and is survived by the highest loves of his life his wife Becky, son Joe (Betsy), grandchildren Rob (Kelley), Brent, Todd, and great-grandchildren Cameron and Lindy. Services will be private.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Dec. 16 to Dec. 18, 2016
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