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Terry Lee Little

March 20, 2020

Obituary

Terry Lee Little (1943-2020)

He was born Terry Lee Herbert in Long Beach, California,  on October 14, 1943 to Lyle Junior Herbert and Gladys Anne Brennan.  As it was the middle of World War II, his father was an UDT in the Navy and was stationed at Pearl Harbor on December 7.  He survived the bombing or else Terry wouldn’t have been here now.

Terry lived with his maternal grandparents, Josephine and Joseph Brennan in Riverside, California for the first three years of his life.  There he formed a special bond with his grandmother that lasted through the rest of her life.

He grew up with his mother and his stepfather and 3 half siblings---Susan, Jack and Martha.  His stepfather was a used car salesman and created a love in Terry for fast and exotic cars when, as a young boy he brought home a car from his lot and took him for an exhilarating ride in it.  Besides cars, he had a love for airplanes and drawing.  As a youth, he spent hours drawing in a makeshift studio in the garage of his Whittier home.  He won awards for his drawings of cars in high school.

He started losing his hearing when he was in elementary school and had to wear hearing aids for the rest of his life.  Despite this “handicap” he managed to live a full and productive life in the hearing world.  He enjoyed participating on the gymnastic and swimming teams in high school.

While in high school, he was introduced to his birth father and his family and formed a bond with his stepmother and half siblings: brothers Scott, Lyle Junior, and sister Jetta.  He often said he felt more connected with them than the family he grew up with.  He also used to joke that he was the oldest of 7 children, but an only child. 

After graduating from California High in Whittier in 1961, he attended Fullerton Junior College and while he was studying there he was given an opportunity to use his drawing talents when offered a job with some local building designers. He spent the next 45 years at various architectural companies designing everything from a storage shed to new homes, hospitals and restaurants.  He was proud of the fact that he passed all of the architectural exams and earned his California Architectural license in 1977 without a college education or degree.

Also, while he was at Fullerton Junior College he met his future soulmate, Patricia Kasner, at a Hornet Christian Fellowship party. They were married on November 21,1964 and raised two children, Bruce Christopher and Kathrine Teresa. They were married for 55 years.

They joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1975 and were sealed in the Los Angeles Temple on February 29th 1976. Although he had periods when he did not attend church, he was always a very spiritual person.

He loved dogs and almost always had one in his home.  And dogs loved him!  He looked forward to reuniting with Sam, Max, Quigley, Blue, Cora and Daisy at Rainbow Bridge.  And at some future time, Winnie.

Through all his lifetime, he never lost his passion for cars, owning several classic cars in his later years.  Over the years, he attended numerous classic car shows and events and became a licensed sailplane pilot and owned a number of sailplanes. He enjoyed doing architectural projects for friends and family.

After an involuntary retirement from architecture in 2009, he spent some of his spare time at his drafting board drawing cars and designing dream homes.  He had an extensive collection of car, airplane and design magazines and a library full of the same, which he was very proud of. 

He was also proud of his two children, who both earned the college degree that he was unable to attain. At one point in his life he had an opportunity to attend one class at Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, California, which was a school that he had always dreamed of attending.  Even though he never got a college degree, he had great satisfaction in qualifying for membership and joining MENSA.

He also enjoyed watching and hearing about the achievements of his two grandchildren, Truman and Seven, who were both academically and musically talented.

Although he could be difficult to deal with at times, he was a good person who will be missed by all those who got to know him.

RIEMANN FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, Long Beach, is serving the family.

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