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Ted was born in Artesia, California, to Garrett and Coba (Van Dam) Terpstra. He is the older brother to Nick, Marilyn Wilson, Nuggie Lubben, and Gary. As a young boy, Ted spent his days riding bikes around the neighborhood, milking cows, and working on his family’s dairy. His family attended Zion Reformed Church and spent their vacations boating and fishing on Lake Elsinore and Clear Lake. During high school, Ted played football and baseball at Bellflower Christian School. He was his senior class treasurer and graduated in 1957.
After graduation, Ted attended a Dairy Council Picnic where he spotted the love of his life, Carol Highstreet. They saw each other often during their churches’ youth group events. As Ted took a liking to Carol, he wanted to impress her and thought a new, cool car would do the trick. He bought a 1958 Chevy Impala and it got her attention. They started dating and their love story began.
Ted and Carol were married on August 12, 1960, and moved into their Artesia home where Valerie was born in 1961. In 1963, they moved to Chino where Judy was born in 1964, and Shelley in 1966. In 1969, Ted and Carol purchased a house with property on Merrill Avenue and welcomed their fourth daughter, Cathy, in 1970.
As a family, they vacationed in campers and travel trailers. Their adventures almost always included fishing. Clear Lake was an annual trip and they also vacationed at the Colorado River, Yellowstone and other national parks. They went skiing in Mammoth, traveled to the Oregon coast, and to South Dakota to visit Carol’s relatives. A few years were spent at vacation homes in Idyllwild and Wrightwood.
The family attended Chino Valley Reformed Church where Ted served as deacon, as well as constructing the Education Building. They became members of Calvary Christian Reformed Church in 1972 where he served as an elder, facilities manager, and took on many maintenance and construction projects. Ted and Carol also served as youth leaders. Calvary CRC became CrossPoint Church where he and Carol are still members.
Ted was always a hard working man and was dedicated to providing for his wife and daughters. He worked many jobs, starting at Fikse Bros. Construction building dairies in Chino and then in the office at Mission Ready Mix where he learned how to run a business. Ted became a licensed contractor in 1975 doing business as Ted Terpstra Construction. He continued building dairies and houses with his dad throughout the Chino Valley as well as a few in the Barstow area. The first dairy Ted built is still standing and we figure he built close to 30 dairies. If you were ever in the dairy business, you knew Ted!
In 1976, as the construction business continued, Ted and his brother Gary, along with their dad, Garrett, went into the dairy business as Triple T Dairy. In 1988, they participated in the government buyout program, but continued in the dairy industry raising calves as Triple T Ranch in Chino. They also had calf depots in Dallas, Oregon; Tipton, California; and Casa Grande, Arizona.
Community projects included repairs and remodeling of many of the Salem Christian Homes houses, ground breaking for Inland Christian Home and 3-Way Thrift Stores, and of course, Ontario Christian School. Ted started building projects at OCS as early as 1969 and never stopped. He dedicated his time to enhancing and maintaining both campuses, especially the athletic fields. The list of building projects that Ted was involved in would be pages long, but would include offices, the pre-school, two libraries, the high school chapel, classrooms, and most recently the Knights Center and Gymnasium completed in 2021. The building and maintenance of the high school baseball field was his passion. Ted’s fingerprints can be found throughout both OC campuses. Ted would be seen driving around campus every day until his passing. Ontario Christian School held a special place in Ted’s heart. His oldest daughter Valerie started there in first grade in 1967 and the rest of his daughters followed, along with his grandchildren, and where his great grandson Wyatt is in the third grade.
Ted and Carol traveled with friends to Western Europe, Israel and Egypt, New Zealand, and The Netherlands. He enjoyed woodworking and built bird aviaries for his birds, picture frames, a toy box, and repaired almost anything for anyone. He made numerous marble games, making them for auctions with the proceeds being donated to the church or school. He and Carol spent time at countless athletic games as all of his children and grandchildren played at least one sport. He loved spending time with friends at the Gospel Fan Festivals where they also played lots of cards and games. Many trips to Sky Valley in Desert Hot Springs with the motorhome were also a favorite.
Ted felt that his gift from God was construction which he applied to his work, spiritual, and personal life. He was an amazing family man, a fun-loving friend and a generous mentor, always building people up. He truly demonstrated what it meant to be a servant-leader with great kindness and wisdom. He had a heart of gold and a smile that just made you happy. The selfless way he did things for others made others want to follow in his footsteps. He was a humble man never wanting accolades for the things he did but so proud of the family he and Carol built. His unwavering trust in Jesus Christ was evident in the way he lived his life and the example he set is instilled in all those who knew him. He loved his family immensely and was loved immensely by them in return. A loss felt by the entire community and his loved ones, he is and will always be missed very much. The beautiful memories and his legacy will live on.
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