Teresa (Terry) Lee Walker
Teresa (Terry) Lee Walker died peacefully December 20, 2020 from Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 77 in the care of Vista Del Monte. She was born July 10, 1943, in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Edward and Dorothy Lee. Terry was raised within an observant Catholic family along with an older brother, Edward Lee and a younger sister, Christy Lee Wyatt. One of her fondest memories was going to daily Mass with her father from a very young age and she remained a deeply religious person throughout her life.
Upon graduating from High School Terry entered the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart religious order in Santa Barbara, California. She remained there for seven years, graduating from Immaculate Heart College in 1968. While she left the community primarily because of a longing to marry and have children, she was also in the wave of the exodus of the order from the Catholic Church. The Vatican II reforms had encouraged the sisters to enter the world in greater service, which they heartily did. When these new guidelines were then rescinded, they decided not to go backward and ultimately became a lay community. Terry was profoundly influenced by the integrity, embodied spirituality and devotion to service of this community of women. Those qualities remained a core part of her character for the rest of her life.
Shortly after leaving the order Terry met and married David Walker. They moved to Santa Barbara when Terry was pregnant with her first child, Michele, followed by her second child, Josh. She is survived by her older brother, Edward and younger sister, Christy, her daughter, Michele, son-in-law Chris, and grandsons, Jesse and Sam. She is also survived by her son Josh, daughter-in-law Gretchen and grandchildren Charlie and Maggie. Whatever Terry took on she did 110%; being the best parent and grandparent she knew how to be was a big part of her life and sense of purpose.
Terry had a rich and fulfilling career as both a teacher and a consultant. She loved consulting, especially to the local non-profit community such as La Casa de Maria, the Rape Crises Center, The Adoption Center, to name a few. Teaching was her first passion and a true calling. In her 34-year teaching career she taught elementary, junior high and college level. She taught locally at Marymount School, Vieja Valley Elementary and her last ten years at Main and Aliso Schools in Carpinteria. She took very seriously the idea that it was her job to love, nurture and support the children in her charge to be all they could be. She was cherished by her students as “tough but fair” and remained a child advocate for life.
When Terry retired in 2014, she took up volunteering in the community. She volunteered in the classroom three days a week and mentored young teachers. She ushered at the Granada Theater, and welcomed people off the ships in Santa Barbara Harbor. She was very involved at her church, Trinity Episcopal, serving on the vestry, stewardship committee, prayer ministry, and all-round welcoming.
Terry was a force of nature, deeply passionate about life, learning, family, and friendship. She was gregarious, welcoming, profoundly generous and giving of herself, her time, her expertise, and her resources. She was a life-long athlete and proudly swam 6 days a week, no matter where she was, ocean, pools, lakes, and upon retirement, at the YMCA. She was always in motion and walked everywhere. Those in her orbit felt lucky to know her and be part of her life. She fulfilled a genuine Ministry of Presence.
She showed up . . . always. She was a good and faithful servant and leaves a big space in our hearts. She will be sorely missed.
Saturday, January 30 th 2:00 pm Pacific Time. Trinity Episcopal Church will host an online virtual Zoom gathering: Storytelling and Prayers in honor of Terry Walker.
Visit the Trinity website for the link to join the service: www.trinitysb.org
Current plans are to offer a celebration of life in Terry’s memory after the pandemic restrictions are lifted.