Remembering A Beautiful Person: Terri Mullin

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. 

Terri & Gene’s wedding picture
Photo: Elizabeth Nisperos


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.

Beautiful flowers adorned the service Photo: Elizabeth Nisperos


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!”

Terri’s grandsons; Austin, Jonathan, and Colton Fisher Photo: Elizabeth Nisperos


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.


Daughter Jennifer with her husband Dave greet family and friends during the reception.
Photo: Elizabeth Nisperos

Family and friends gathered outside of St Veronica’s
Photo: Elizabeth Nisperos


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.


Beautiful flowers to celebrate a truly beautiful woman. Photo: Elizabeth Nisperos

 Theresa Mullin Obituary CLICK HERE
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Sharon Cervelli
Sharon Cervelli
5 years ago

I wish I could have been there. The Mullin family embodies to me, all that is good in South San Francisco. I was born and raised there. Gene Mullin was my teacher for History in my Senior year and inspired my interest in Politics (remember the “bottle ban” in 1971?).I was a teacher and coach at SSFHS for many years before becoming a police officer (of course in SSF). During those years Gene and Terri were at many events, always supportive of the community. They raised wonderful children in Kevin and Jennifer. Kevin inherited his father’s interest in Politics and is serving our community as his father did. Although I do not live in SSF or San Mateo County any longer, my heart is still there. I look back with great fondness upon South San Francisco and the many friends I made there during my life. They are still the most important to me. Gene and Kevin – your wife and mother was a gentle, wonderful soul. People like her are the building blocks to our community. We can only hope that people like her continue to live and have families in South San Francisco to carry on our values. Thank-you for sharing her with us.