Cover photo for Terry Lee Stockham's Obituary
Terry Lee Stockham Profile Photo
1934 Terry 2022

Terry Lee Stockham

June 9, 1934 — October 13, 2022

Terry Lee Stockham June 9, 1934 – October 13, 2022

Terry was born in Phoenix, Arizona on June 9 th , 1934, the exact same day as Donald Duck. He
spent his early years in Phoenix/Glendale with his parents, Paul and Amber, and his sister Nita
Jo. His father owned an air conditioning business. In 1941, at the onset of WWII, Paul was no
longer able to obtain materials, so he closed the business and moved the family to Glendale,
California. When the war was over, the business was restarted, and Terry learned the heating
and air conditioning business working for his dad during summer vacations. Terry graduated
Valedictorian from Hoover High School in Glendale, and was awarded an NROTC scholarship
for four years at UCLA. In June of 1956 he graduated with a degree in engineering, and was
commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy. He also celebrated his 22 nd birthday, and three days
later married the love of his life, Christine McCoy.

Terry saw active duty on the USS Uhlman, a destroyer, for three years as Damage Control and
Chief Engineering Officer. Despite requesting he be stationed anywhere but California, he and
Christine never left the State. Terry resigned from the Navy in 1959 and was hired by Convair
as a test engineer, where he was involved in the development of the ATLAS ICBM and space
flight. The focus was on developing a new lightweight fuel using liquid hydrogen, a then-
unknown commodity. Terry performed experiments to observe and photograph the behavior of
LH2 under test conditions. Later he left Convair and went to Rohr in Chula Vista as Project
Engineer on a program to fabricate lightweight jet engine casings for jet-powered fighter aircraft.
Terry developed a titanium honeycomb sandwich to cover the turbine core of the engine. These
cases are still in service on all the Pratt and Whitney engines in the F22 aircraft. While working
at Rohr, Terry earned his Master of Science degree in Engineering from UCLA, and completed
the UCSD Executive Program for Scientists and Engineers. He was a registered engineer in
civil and professional engineering, and admitted as a Fellow in the American Institute of
Aeronautics and Astronautics; He served as chairman of the San Diego Section.
He and Christine welcomed three children, Teresa (Joe DeMers), Kathleen (Tom Dombrowski),
and James (Juana Groll); and the very best and talented grandson, Benjamin.
Terry’s love of travel began in 1965 with the purchase of a 15’ travel trailer and a journey to
Yellowstone Park with their (then) two daughters. Later the trailer was replaced with a
motorhome, and domestic travel continued throughout the U.S. and Canada. The first foreign
travel was a trip to Hospital Vozandes Ecuador, a mission to the people of Quito and
surrounding villages. After Quito, the group took a white-knuckle bus ride down the Rio Negro
to the Amazon River at the edge of the jungle, visiting a mission hospital, and MAF hangers. As
a licensed pilot, Terry was extremely interested in the MAF operations at the border of the
jungle.

In 1979, Terry and Christine purchased a diesel Volkswagen Rabbit, and took delivery in
Frankfurt, Germany. For a month they drove through Western Europe, including Germany,
Holland, Belgium, France, Monaco, Italy, Yugoslavia, Austria, and back to Frankfurt. They left
the car at the airport with appropriate paperwork and the keys and flew home. The car arrived
about 3 weeks later in L.A., whew! Later they drove that little canary yellow car to Guadalajara,
Mexico, which led to an adventure they hadn’t planned on. Americans had been caught
smuggling weapons into Mexico, and the Federales wanted to make sure that Terry and
Christine were not dangerous criminals. (Twice they were held at gunpoint while the military
searched the little car).

Of his extensive travels, if you asked Terry which was the prettiest country he would say
“Switzerland.” If you asked him the most interesting country, he would say, “Turkey.”
He and Christine were members of the Mechanical Music Society International, whose trips and
tours opened doors that they never would have experienced on their own. Over the years they
collected a number of mechanical music devices, both large and small, which still serve as
memories of their many adventures.

Terry loved being a docent on the Midway, and enjoyed photography, puzzles, and mechanical
things. There wasn’t a home project or car repair he couldn’t tackle. He was also an Ordained
Elder in the Presbyterian Church. And oh, yes, he also became an avid collector of all things
Donald Duck.

Terry knew Jesus Christ as his savior from the time he was a young boy. He delighted in the
knowledge that all three of his children came to know the Lord as their savior in their early
years, and continue to walk with Him today. Terry died of heart problems a year and a half after
being told he had days to live. Clearly, God was not done with him yet, and Terry filled that last
year and a half with love and care for his family. RIP Terry Lee Stockham.


In lieu of flowers, we would ask that donations be made to

The Gideon's International

Skyline Church
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Terry Lee Stockham, please visit our flower store.

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