Terry Vernon Wickstrom

  • Born: June 11, 1934
  • Died: September 12, 2016
  • Location: Boise, Idaho

Cloverdale Funeral Home, Cemetery & Cremation

1200 N Cloverdale Road
Boise, ID 83713

Tel. (208) 375-2212

Tribute & Message From The Family

After a courageous three-year battle with cancer, Terry Wickstrom, (82) passed away at home, peacefully, September 12, 2016, and has begun his new journey in the trusting and loving arms of Christ.
Terry was born during the Great Depression on June 11th, 1934, to Paul and Mayrel Wickstrom of Chicago, Illinois. With only a promise letter of employment and very little money, Paul and Mayrel bundled up their baby boy, loaded the Model-A Ford and set out on the arduous journey to San Diego, California. Having averted roadside robbers along the way, the Wickstroms made the California border with their precious cargo, twenty dollars, and a dream.
Terry grew up in San Diego learning the importance of an education and strong work ethics. He spent a few of his elementary years and summer vacations in Bonita Springs, Florida, helping his grandparents operate the Imperial River Court Hotel. At a young age Terry developed a true passion for the ocean, free diving, and building hot rods. He was a true natural at anything mechanical, with not only the ability to repair it, he often improved it. He graduated from Herbert Hoover High School in 1953, where he earned his Varsity letter in football. Terry was one of the original Co-Founders of the Chiefs Car Club of San Diego, which some of their hot rods showcased in Hot Rod Magazine. He and fellow club members spent many weekends at Paradise Valley Dragstrip. Terry served three years (1952-1955) in the Army National Guard while working as a lineman with Pacific Telephone, eventually joining the Plumbers and Steamfitters, Local 230, in San Diego and was employed at A.O. Reed & Co. for over 20 years. Terry's union membership spanned a total of 57 years. His skill, dedication, and efforts can be seen today along the San Diego skyline, including Lindberg Field, Sea World, West Gate Plaza Hotel, and the US National Bank.
Terry married Dortha, his one true love, on September 5th, 1969. They spent 47 years together raising their seven children, enjoying their cabin in Laguna Mountains, annual summer vacations, and movie nights out with the entire family. The Wickstrom family relocated to Idaho in 1977, where Terry continued to work and contribute his expertise within the piping industry for the next 20 years, working for various contractors and taking on some of the largest projects the valley had to offer, including, Hewlett Packard, Morrison Knudson, Micron, Milner Dam and various water treatment plants. Even after his first retirement, Terry had major influence on the industrial and mechanical piping community and was appointed by Governor Cecil Andrus to the Idaho State Plumbing Board. He and Dortha continued raising their children and over time, transformed their homestead, from a small working farm into a beautiful gathering place, known today as the Wickstrom Ranch near Star, Idaho.
Terry was always building / rebuilding or tinkering with something most of the time it was multiple projects at the same time. From Building Indian jewelry for Dortha to leather Tandy work, from model ship building to collecting butterfly's, from restoring antique clocks to designing and building all his own dive gear and spear guns that the industry uses today. He was an inventor of the Bang stick divers all over world use today. The only problem then was shotgun shells were not available waterproof.
Later in life his passion for 6 cylinder hot rods took him by storm, when he and close friends looking for more horsepower, invented the blower adapter for the inline 6-cylinder engine. Unofficially Breaking the quarter mile record in this class using this new performance invention.
Terry will forever be remembered for his unwavering willingness to share his many years of knowledge, wisdom, and experience. If one was fortunate enough to have met, let alone have known this man, they would undoubtedly remember their attention he captured the moment he began to speak.
Survivors include his wife, Dortha Wickstrom; children, Jim Grable, Cheryl(Brian) Britt, Steve Wickstrom, Dennis(Pam) Wickstrom, Scott(Stacy) Wickstrom, Kevin(Sheila) Wickstrom; 15 grandchildren and their spouses and 3 great grandchildren; sister, Karen(George) Karros and two nephews.
Terry was preceded in death by his parents; Paul(Swede) and Mayrel Wickstrom. Daughters; Teri Jackson and Sandra Grable.
The family would like to request any memorial contributions be made to the St. Alphonsus Hospice Services. A Celebration of Life in honor of Terry will be held at the Wickstrom Ranch at a time and date yet to be determined.