Terrie Ratkevich Mershon passed away from a very brief illness on April 9th 2020.
Terrie was born Virginia June Norton on June 30th, 1926, in Longview Washington. She had an older brother Chuck, and her best friend throughout childhood, her twin brother Vince. The family moved to St Helena, California in the 1930’s living on the “Parrots Estate” where her father was a caretaker. At the age of 18, Terrie made the unprecedented decision to be the first in her family to attend college and moved to Santa Rosa. She eventually moved to Berkeley and while working for a physics professor at UC Berkeley met her 1st husband Adam Ratkevich, the professor’s teaching assistant.
Adam and Terrie (her nickname from college) moved to Southern California where their 3 children, Lise, Jyl and Mark were born. In the mid 1960’s, as her children were entering school, Terrie decided to complete her education and attended San Diego State University with a double major in teaching and speech therapy. She made a conscious decision to study in a field that would enable her to work during the school year and be off when her children were home on summer break.
She and her children moved to Redlands in 1968 where she received her master’s degree from the University of Redlands in Speech Pathology. After returning to San Diego, Terrie began her career at Grossmont High School and then Grossmont College. She also began investing in various business’s and real estate at this time, buying her 1st house after borrowing against her car for a down payment.
Terrie met and married her 2nd husband, Paul Mershon, in 1981 in San Diego. They moved to Santa Barbara in 1986, where they were actively involved in Newcomers and the Santa Barbara Symphony. They bought their own estate on School House Road in Montecito and hosted many events for the symphony there. Terrie and Paul traveled extensively during these early years buying furniture from around the world for their home.
In 2007 Terrie met her fiancé John Manson. They enjoyed many activities together, cruises, dancing, reading, Democratic politics, watching tennis, and sharing the healthy lifestyle of a vegetarian diet.
Terrie’s greatest love was her grandchildren, Kyle and Alek from Santa Barbara, and Charli and Vinnie from San Diego. She was an active grandmother, attending sports events and school plays, traveling to exotic places with her family during summer vacations, and hosting incredible birthday parties at her estate.
Terrie will be remembered for her kindness, intelligence, and sophistication. She was extremely well read and well versed in politics and real estate, investing in and remodeling her many homes. She was still living independently at the age of 93 prior to her passing.
She leaves behind her 3 children: Lise Ratkevich, Jyl Aker, and Mark Ratkevich, and her 4 grandchildren: Kyle Aker, Alek Aker, Charli Darling, and Vinnie Ratkevich , along with her fiancé, John Manson.