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Terry Starr

Terry Starr Obituary
Terry Starr July 7, 1936 - November 15, 2019 Redding, CA Terry passed away at home in Redding, CA on November 15, 2019, after a series of progressive health issues.Terry always took positive charge of his life. When he was 19 years old, surgery left him paralyzed from the knees down. He not only learned to live with it, he virtually conquered it. Told he would never walk again, he went on to do everything but run; playing competitive racket ball and leading white-water rafting trips all over the western US, even the Colorado River.Terry was born on July 7, 1936. His father abandoned the family when he was young. Due to financial reasons, he was placed with his brothers into a Catholic orphanage for boys in Denver for four years. His mother, Eileen, raised the family in San Diego where he graduated from La Jolla High School in 1954. He attended San Diego City College before the paralyzing surgery. When he was well enough to get around on crutches and a wheelchair, he enrolled at San Diego State College, graduating in 1960, a psychology major.He went to work for the San Diego County Probation Department in 1961. He rose through the ranks to be the director of various offices and institutions, including Superintendent of Juvenile Hall. He was a committed and charismatic leader.In 1990, Terry was hired by Shasta County as their Chief Probation Officer. In 1995, Contra Costa County decided he should be their Chief Probation Officer. Terry was elected President of the California Probation, Parole and Correctional Association in 1994-95. In 1992, Governor Wilson appointed Terry to what is now known as the Board of State and Community Corrections where he served for six years. He retired from Contra Costa Probation in 2000. After retiring back to Redding, he was the interim Chief Probation Officer in Tehama and Butte Counties and Interim Director of Mental Health in Shasta County. In his retirement years, he focused on family and caring for abused and neglected animals. He was the founding board member of ACAWL in Redding, always having a house full of cats and dogs.In 1967, he married Nancy Stevens in San Diego; divorced 1973. They had four children, Kirk, Michael, Mark and Kathleen. Terry raised the kids in La Jolla. In 1984, he married Gail Gillick in the Gold Country, in Volcano. They had a blended family of six children, including Gail's, Sarah and David-Michael. Terry and Gail's travels included road trips in the US and Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and too many rafting trips to count. White-water rafting became Terry's most cherished activity. He planned and led many trips every year for over 30 years. He took family, friends, work colleagues and his dogs to the best rivers. He invited ever changing mixes of 10-15 people. It was an honor to get an invitation from Terry to join a trip. You might hate sleeping on the ground; but to be with Terry on a riverpriceless.Terry wowed his way through life and everyone wanted to join the journey. For those that knew and loved him, that journey has come to an end. Now it's the memoriesthankfully, lots of them.Terry is survived by his wife, Gail, six children, nine grandchildren; his sister, Mary, and too many friends to count. There will be no funeral services. A Celebration of Terry's Life will be planned for early 2020, in Redding and San Diego.In lieu of flowers, a donation to your favorite animal or child charity is suggested.
Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Dec. 1, 2019
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