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Terry Bales

Terry Bales Obituary
Terry Bales, born April 4, 1945, a husband, teacher, mentor, and a friend to some 40,000 students passed away peacefully on December 20, 2019, at his home due to congestive heart failure. Born in Upland, California, Terry lived by a code of ethics of hard work, punctuality, and professionalism starting at a young age. At just 13 years-old, he began sports-writing, covering Little League, Pony League, and the American League for the local Ontario paper; he never stopped. His childhood friend and Cub Scouts buddy, Tom Duncan, can attest to this. Tom remembers when Terry was in his teens, working all hours of the day at his local newspaper, The Daily Report, while also covering American Legion Baseball for the Upland Post (Upland, CA), and sports stories for their high school team, the Upland Highlanders. His high school friend, Webb McKinney recalls, "He always took the time to get know all the athletes he was covering and became friends with many of us." Besides his excitement for sports, Terry was an avid student of history, literature, and pop culture; he loved quoting lines and sharing trivia from television shows, especially shows from the 50s and 60s. Upon graduated from Upland High School in 1963, Terry won a full scholarship to USC from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. In college, he was the sports editor for the Daily Trojan Newspaper, a writer for UPI (United Press International), and covered teams such as the Lakers, Dodgers, Kings, and sometimes the Rams. Terry's rigorous college schedule was aided significantly by the close fellowship of his roommates, Webb McKinney and Bill Johnston. Webb remembers the good times he, Terry, and Bill would have watching Jeopardy! together, playing long hours of competitive tabletop hockey, dining at favorite restaurants like McKeever's and Filipe's, and making late-night study runs to Cooper's Donuts. Terry graduated from USC with a BA in Journalism in 1967 and a Master's in History in 1969. In his journalism career, Terry covered monumental events such as the Watts Riots in 1965 and the first Super Bowl in 1967. While serving as official scorer for the Dodgers from 1984-1997 he scored a perfect game. The game, described by legendary broadcaster Vin Scully as, "An absolute masterpiece," was hurled by Dennis Martinez on July 28th, 1991; it was just the 13th perfect game in Major League history, and Terry's scorecard for that game is currently displayed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Terry's first teaching dates back to his early 20's, when he taught history and journalism at Whittier High School where he also served as the baseball coach, earning the nickname, "The Coach" from his close friends. Terry became known as Professor Bales at Santa Ana College where he began teaching in 1971. There he taught film history, media, journalism, and broadcast news production for over 40 years. In 1984, he helped create the college's legacy show, Around and About Orange County News (AAOC), a student- produced newscast that covered hard and soft news, sports, and entertainment stories across Orange County. The show aired for over 30 years and remains the longest continuous cable news program in the country under his leadership. Professor Bales also helped create AAOC's sister program, Noticiero Latino del Condado de Orange (NLCO), which was the first Spanish- language college newscast in the United States. Here, countless students learned how to write, produce, and edit news packages, as well as direct live-to-tape television. Professor Bales affectionately referred to all of his students as his kids some of his students even referred to him as Papa Bales. He told his students "You're never gonna make it in this industry if you're late," "Hard work pays off," and perhaps most famously, "You're fired!" Professor Bales was proud of the fact that many of his students found full-time employment in news, media, and film-related fields because of Santa Ana College's hands-on training. Terry also hosted annual tribute events to the TV Pioneers at Santa Ana College. They would bring in guest speakers from shows like Leave it to Beaver, Batman and Robin, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Gilligan's Island, Mr. Ed and many more. Terry Bales received several prestigious awards during his lifetime including. Certificate of Appreciation for Guidance, El Don Staff 1971-1979 Certificate Recognition of Outstanding Contribution in Professional achievement, Rancho Santiago Canyon College 1988 Hometown USA Video Festival Winner, Executive Producer for AAOC 1986 Distinguished Broadcast Advisor, CMA (College Media Advisors) 1987 In the words of Jackie Robinson, "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." Terry Bales lived a life of impact. He has left his mark on thousands of students and people who had the pleasure of meeting and knowing him. He has left a legacy truly worth following. In our hearts and in our minds, always remember his words, "You have what it takes to make it." Terry's greatest love, however, was his wife, Debbie. He met her on a blind date, and instantly fell in love. In fact, by the end of their first date, Terry looked at her with a twinkle in his eye and matter-of-factly stated, "You do know I'm going to marry you." Debbie describes Terry as, "Wicked smart, wicked funny, the perfect match for me. They married on December 19th, 1981. Terry is survived by his wife, his aunt, cousins, nieces and nephews. https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/ontario-ca/professor-terry-bales-8971570

Published in Orange County Register on Jan. 9, 2020
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