Michael Terry. Courtesy: Family of Michael Terry

Michael John Terry, age 76, passed away on Jan. 14. He is survived by his wife, Jan Courtright Simon; brother, Timothy, and sister, Jamie; sons, David, John and James; and grandchildren, Logan, Sabrina, Ethan, Rodrigo, Aaron, Vivienne and Juliette.

Michael received his BS from San Jose State University and worked as a mechanical engineer for Lockheed Martin, Ericsson and other Bay Area electronics companies. During his 40-year career, he traveled to Japan, South Korea, Germany and several U.S. cities to represent these companies. He retired in 2011.

Michael was a partner to Jan for 30 years and they were married for 20 years.

He was born Jan. 23, 1946, in Ohio to John Kelly Terry and Josephine Mounts Terry. He grew up in Lucerne Valley in the high desert of Southern California, where his ashes will be laid to rest alongside his parents.

A watercolor painted by Terry. Courtesy: Family of Michael Terry

Besides being a talented woodworker, Michael was a dedicated poet and artist and a member of a cherished online watercolor community. He also loved photography and could often be seen walking in the neighborhood in his Irish cap taking photos to bring home and transform into paintings. He caught the watercolor bug during a washtober challenge in 2020 when he painted every day. He painted everything and anything.

Michael and Jan enjoyed dining out and visiting wineries in the Bay Area, Napa, and Sonoma Valleys. They often traveled to Mendocino and to Ashland, Oregon, for the Shakespeare Festival. 

He loved visiting his grandchildren in Illinois and Pennsylvania, celebrating holidays and going on road trips with them. He especially enjoyed a 2017 visit to Ireland with his son David and family.

Michael was a longtime student of G.I. Gurdjieff’s ideas and system of self-study. He was a member of the San Francisco Gurdjieff Society.

He died peacefully from complications due to pneumonia. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and loved ones.

Memorial services will be held at noon on Sunday, Feb. 12, at the Chapel of the Chimes, in the Julia Morgan Chapel, 4499 Piedmont Ave. in Oakland. The service can be live streamed here.

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