South San Francisco, CA April 26, 2017 by Elizabeth Nisperos
Preface: On April 5, 2017 Terri Mullin passed from this world with her family by her side. Following her services South City resident Elizabeth Nisperos was compelled to share her experience of Terri’s Celebration of Life, and offers the following with permission from the Mullin family.
Behind every successful man, there’s a great woman. It was true for Terri Mullin, wife of Mayor and former Assemblyman Gene Mullin and mother to Mayor and current Assemblyman Kevin Mullin.
Always supportive of her husband Gene, Terri appeared in many SSF events like day in the park, council reorganization, picnics, art shows, though she hardly spoke, she had a quiet calm smile that acknowledged your presence. To me she was a shy person and a gentlewoman –quiet water runs deep.
St Veronica’s Church was full of people including – Anthony Rendon, Speaker of the House for the State of CA. I’d heard someone said, “This service is well-attended.” Majority of those who came were: past and present politicians like the SSF Council members and other San Mateo officials, Superintendents, Directors of different Departments, Commissioners, Policemen, Firemen, teachers who worked with Gene Mullin, SSF City employees, classmates of Jennifer and Kevin, and SSF residents who love the Mullins.
Pleasure is for the body, Happiness for the mind/thoughts, Joy is for the spirit because even in sorrow, one can still find joy. The family comes together, friends you’ve not seen for a long time were there, residents and neighbors greet and hug each other. This is Joy even in a time of grief and sorrow. Beautiful flowers were given in Terri’s memory.
Through Kevin Mullin’s eulogy, I caught a glimpse of the personalized Terri. She was the heart of the Mullin family, who was great in planning and preparing fun activities for the family during their summer vacation in Russian River and Lake Tahoe. She was also a master in puzzles, solving solutions NPR’s puzzles. She loved visiting Hawaii seven times, though she was not into traveling much. Her last word was “IRELAND”; Kevin implied she might have wanted to visit Ireland.
The treasure I’d encountered in the service was a wedding photo(with permission for publication) of Gene and Terri when they were still young. How adorable to see a couple married for 51 years, a testimonial to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Newspapers and media love to expose infidelities, affairs, scandals – well, here at SSF we’ve a politician displaying love and fidelity to the one he loves.
A joy encountered in the service was meeting the handsome, friendly, polite guys–, Terri’s three grandsons- and Jennifer’s sons namely Austin, Jonathan, and Colton Fisher. I told them especially the eldest one, “Your grandpa Gene used to carry you in church. He would say proudly, “This blond kid is my grandson!”
The blond kid is now in college. Time flies fast.
The mass service was led by Pastor, Fr. Charles Puthota who visited Terri in the hospital during her last days. Karen Gugliemoni helped in the church arrangements as well in the hospitality after the mass. Al from Garden Chapel provided the funeral services journey. A long line of condolence wishers greeted Gene and Kevin Mullin after mass at St. Veronica’s auditorium.
For me, Terri is still here in spirit. She just had a change of address because she burst into a fireworks of light into and eternal love space.
Thanks to Stan and Ellise Sisca for inviting me to sit in their table. You meet old friends and make new ones, “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and other is gold.
The author volunteers in the Grief and Bereavement Ministry at St Veronica. The Ministry will honor Terri on November 2, 2017 at All Souls Remembrance Mass.