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May-15-2013 01:52printcomments

Dear Friend of Salem-News.com Killed by Motor Vehicle Friday Evening in California

Terry Gray was born in Costa Mesa, Orange County, in Southern California and was so proud to be a native of the sunshine state.

Terry Gray
Personal photos provided by Linda Sturdivent, life companion of Terry Gray for over 17 Years.

(ROHNERT PARK, CA) - Last Friday at approximately 5:23 p.m., a dear friend, Terry Gray, age 54, who was loved as family by this reporter personally, was struck and killed while attempting to cross the Rohnert Park Expressway during rush-hour, trying to get to a nearby store according to police, family and eye witnesses.

Terry Gray

The incident occurred near the movie theatre, where Terry had just left his sister & granddaughter, planning to catch a movie together to begin his "family weekend visit," directly across from the Office Depot, in front of the entrance to Sonoma Valley Bagel, which is located at 350 Rohnert Park Expressway West, in Rohnert, California.

Rohnert Park Expressway surrounding the area where the accident occurred was closed for approximately 4 1/2 hours while law enforcement investigators collected & processed evidence, and interviewed many witnesses at the scene, including the driver who struck and killed him.

"He was not alone" one witness said "I rubbed his back until EMT's and police arrived".

Terry Gray was reportedly trying to cross 5 lanes of traffic northbound on foot. According to witnesses, Terry "suddenly appeared" from the median in the center of the expressway, proceeding to cross into the west bound traffic lanes, which had caused many vehicles to suddenly slam on their brakes as he crossed lanes. Terry reportedly made it across two lanes of traffic on that side before being struck by a woman driving a Ford Escape, traveling in the middle of the 5 lanes at the time of impact with him.

Photo by Alvin Jornada - courtesy of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat

The female driver that struck Terry immediately stopped her vehicle and called 9-1-1 to report the accident as required by state law. It is unclear at this time what speed the vehicle was traveling when it struck Terry, but the impact of him hitting the vehicle as can be seen in the vehicles aftermath proved fatal and emergency personnel pronounced him deceased at the scene.

Rohnert Park Police Sgt. Dale Utecht emphasized that Terry was "nowhere near a crosswalk when the incident happened," which according to California state law, means that the driver will not be held legally accountable for the accident in any way. Police say alcohol was not a factor for either parties involved in the accident.

Terry Gray has been a well liked, loved and respected resident of Point Reyes Station for many a decade, best appreciated for his carpentry skills. He helped to build as well as remodel a great many homes and buildings within the Point Reyes Station communities, even after having retired just a few short years ago due to physical injuries.

Terry had been looking forward to a weekend visit with his granddaughter & sister in the Rohnert Park area, where he'd spent a good deal of his youth.

After entering the theatre, Terry told his sister and granddaughter that he would "be right back" and left them inside the theatre while he ran across the street to a local market. As time passed by, his sister began to wonder and worry as to what was seeming to take him so long... little did she know, he'd been hit and struck dead just outside the theatre.

Photo by Alvin Jornada - courtesy of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat

"Terry died instantly." police told his brother Mike McIsaac, basing the conclusion on the impact and witness accounts. The driver's identity still has not released.

Terry was born in Costa Mesa, Orange County, in Southern California and was so proud to be a native of the sunshine state "born and raised" he'd say with a smile.

His parents divorced when he was about 2 years old, which is when his mother Luella née Nichols brought Terry and his sister Debra Gray to West Marin to begin a new life.

His mother then married Don McIsaac Jr., whom was a Marin County firefighter, and the family lived at the firehouse in Tomales for some time. Terry went to and graduated from Tomales High School during the early 1980's.

Out of Terry's mother's marriage to Don McIsaac Jr., came two younger brothers, Buddy and Mike McIsaac of Inverness Park. All four of the children grew up together and loved one another as full siblings throughout their childhood and adult lives together.

Terry enjoyed hunting with his younger brothers, along with all of the great many things a "big brother" gets to teach and enjoy with his younger siblings. He was quite the role-model and positive example not only for his siblings, but also the children he would come to love and help to raise as his own, and those he would come to know and care about within his community as well.

Terry was well known and adored in west Marin County, where he built many homes while working for several construction companies over the decades to come after high school, especially within the Point Reyes Station community where he and his long time companion Linda Sturdivent decided to lay roots and call Point Reyes their "forever home". Terry & Linda were happily together and in love for more than 17 years and shared a wonderful life filled with loving memories together which will never be forsaken nor forgotten.

Terry and Linda -by Seeva Cherms

Terry devoted his life to loving and caring for the woman "of my dreams" as he'd stated personally to me a number of times throughout the years I'd come to know him, "I want her to get better and come to love her life half as much as I love her," he used to say with a child-like gleam in his eyes.

"He was a giving person. He didn't have a bad bone in his body," said the love of his life Linda Sturdivent, while fighting back tears, still in absolute shock at the news that her man will not be coming home. "I can't leave this house, this place, it is our home and I need him Here".

Linda lost her only daughter tragically as well just under 2 years ago at the age of 43. "How much more can a family lose," she said as she began to break down. "He is my strength and I need him Home with me and his family where he belongs and is so needed to be, how could he leave me and all of us who need him here...this can't be happening, it can't be real!"

Terry Loved baseball above all other sports, though he was athletic by nature. He loved to watch a good game with family and friends, and even pridefully played in an adult baseball league in west Marin County through his forties.

"When the team didn't have money for their uniforms, Terry bought the uniforms for them, even when money was tight after retirement due to physical injury." Linda went on to explain that Terry was lost without having a permanent job, so to occupy his time, he worked, "odd jobs around town, walking dogs, fixing shingles and doing yard work, anything he could do to make a little bit of money to help the family & community" Linda said... "he loved Everybody and was always eager to find an excuse to help all he could when he could, even if he hardly knew someone, he always volunteered to help people - he Loved people... and life and wanted them to live living life too, like he did."

Despite standing 6-feet, 3-inches tall and weighing more than 200 pounds, Terry was never a fighter by nature, in fact, even when most would become provoked into anger and aggression, Terry Gray had among the most gentle and kind-hearted spirit of any man this reporter has ever had the blessing of coming to know and care for. He was no coward by any means, he just had and always strived to maintain a level head about things, and was always known and credited for that throughout his lifetime, even as a child who was ultimately bullied throughout school. Rather than feeling sorry for himself, he in turn felt sorry for the bullies "having to go through life that way when all they really want is attention and to feel accepted." Yes ladies and gentlemen, Terry Gray thought and felt just that compassionate of a way toward human kind.

Terry was a very caring person who only chose to see the best in people, and even was forgiving and loving toward those who were not so deserving of such decency and consideration, which made him among the best friend and role-model a person could ever hope to have in their lives. Terry had two beautiful daughters of his own, which were the pride of his life. From them he had four amazing grandchildren whom he enjoyed spending time with as much as he could.


Additionally, Terry became the father figure to his life love Linda Sturdivent's two children Seeva Marie Cherms & Anthony Owens, and thru them gained even more love, respect and grandchildren!

Pride filled Terry when Linda's grand-daughter Haley gave birth to their First Great Granddaughter in 2011, but too, he mourned severely over the loss of Linda's daughter Seeva Marie earlier that very same year, especially at the thought she herself wouldn't get to experience the love and pride in becoming a grandmother herself for the very first time as he so fortunately had and knew she so wanted and deserved to experience.

Terry was very proud of all of his children, his entire family for that matter (close friends included of course by his standard), but the tragic loss of Seeva really devastated him - he was so proud of her efforts as a cannabis freedom fighting activist and in knowing she had helped so many throughout the world to strive for a better quality of life. "She was my daughter, and I can't believe she's gone so soon... she was so young and had so much going for her and to live for," he'd said on the day of her memorial, sobbing more than the masses in attendance, which all were mourning tearfully.

He and Linda had suffered multiple losses around this time, including long time family pets both before and after the loss of Seeva Marie, which opened their wounds that much farther. But despite it all "He was the Rock of his family" as Linda describes him best, "he got me through it all and would never ever let me give up no matter how much and how bad I wanted to, now what am I gonna do, how am I supposed to make it without him, I'm all alone now."


Terry loved life more than most this reporter knows, never taking anything for granted and only electing to see the good in all, especially during the darkest of clouds. He was among the most soft-spoken yet caring and protective of all; he took under his wing, even if you hurt him, he'd never stop caring and trying to help make your life better - whether you wanted him too or not! Terry tried to make everyone's life around his better, if not the very best it could be, and there's little he wouldn't do to try and help.

Terry enjoyed every moment of his life to the fullest, and savored every second he had to spend with his family & friends. He loved not only people, but all life and nature, which is a rare thing to see in people these days. Terry enjoyed spending his days cuddling close if not walking the beach with the love of his life Linda, traipsing through the woods with brothers & friends, visiting and socializing with his community, and lending a hand where one was needed, even if not so appreciated in the moment. He adored all animals, wild and domestic, and was among the few men who still stopped to admire and smell a rose as he'd walk through the course of his days. This man, with a pure a heart of gold, will be missed and forever loved by so many.

Terry is survived by his life-loved companion "basically my wife" as he'd say it so many times, Linda Sturdivant, his sister Debra Gray of Point Reyes Station, California also, his brother Mike McIsaac of Inverness Park, California, his brother Buddy McIsaac of Santa Rosa,California, his daughter Laura Gray of Reno, Nevada, and his daughter Diana Baltzley of San Jose, California, as well as his grandchildren: Tanisha Coleman of Santa Rosa, California, Isaac and Jayson of Reno, Nevada, Niriah and Kia of San Leandro, California, Breyonna and Peyton of Eureka,California, and Haley and Summer Cherms of Oroville, California which Terry considered his granddaughters as well.

"He will be missed by many" as it's being said, but I believe this to be an under-statement in Terry's case. Bless your heart dear friend and brotha, you will always be loved and respected by the masses, because few more than you deserve eternal bliss and peace... it's just a shame for our sake, it came so soon.

A memorial service will be held for Terry, but it has not yet been scheduled at this time, it is being discussed for the 25th of May, we will keep you posted with details as they are provided.

The accident is still currently under investigation, and anyone with information is asked and encouraged to contact Sgt. Aaron Johnson of the Rohnert Park police department at (707) 588-3580. Reference your call to Case Number: 13-1745.

Special thanks to Alvin Jornada and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat

________________________________________
Joy Maxine Graves, published author, cannabis reporter and photographer is best known for her involvement as a Cannabis Freedom Fighting Activist. Joy has shown herself to be quite the trooper when it comes to fighting for as well as defending Truth, Justice & Honor, for protecting the "weaker guy", and for standing her ground when faced with nothing but hate and diversity. As the #2 most beloved personal "Jack's Girl" to the Emperor of Hemp himself (Jack Herer, RIP) for more than 13 years, which is how Salem-News.com encountered her by the way, we soon-after couldn't help but to noticed her flare for photography as well as her knack with people, and she has become a valuable part of the Salem-News team.


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Ingrid Lawson May 21, 2013 11:26 pm (Pacific time)

We did not know Terry, but are nevertheless deeply affected by his passing. This article is beautifully written and it really comes across that Terry must have been a wonderful soul, soft-hearted and gentle. Linda, thank you for all you have done for us in the past years. We appreciate your friendship and help. We wish you much strength and we are thinking of you in this hard time. Love to you - Ingrid, Kevin, Nicky, Darwin and, of course, Hobbes Winterhausen, Germany


Linda Sturdivant May 19, 2013 10:56 am (Pacific time)

I am Seeva Cherms Mother. Joy, I did not know that you did this. Thank You So very Much. Beautifully written, I am so sad. I Love You. Thank You For All your Kindness and Sincere Compassion for *OUR TRRY* Always, Linda


CJS May 17, 2013 9:21 pm (Pacific time)

Terry, my Brother in Carpentry, Friend in Life...For the short time we shared...Thank you. RIP


cathy davidow May 15, 2013 9:39 am (Pacific time)

I do not know the accident victim Mr. Gray but thought this was an excellent and well written article. We often in a hurried world minimize the tragedies around us and move on. For Linda,Terry Gray's partner the day held little oxygen, for the sister this day will not vanish as she struggles for sleep. We can share in the knowledge that Joy Graves rendition of the tragedy delivers an accurate account for those that knew Terry.

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