In Remembrance: Founding Member Terry Dolton
By Alexia Swanepoel

Terry DoltonTerry Dolton.
Terry, his wife Kay, and two of their children moved to Huntington Beach in 1974. Throughout Terry’s childhood, Terry remembered Huntington Beach fondly for its beautiful beaches and strawberry fields. At the end of their street was the Bolsa Chica Wetlands, one of the remaining coastal wetlands in California. In 1976, when Terry and Kay realized that there were plans to destroy the wetlands, they joined together with other concerned neighbors to protect the Bolsa Chica by forming the non-profit Amigos de Bolsa Chica. Terry served as President from 1991-1993 and for several years served as the treasurer of the Bolsa Chica Foundation during its lawsuit against Signal. In 2003, Terry received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for his outstanding efforts to protect and preserve the Bolsa Chica Wetlands by U.S. House of Representative Loretta Sanchez. Terry remained active with the Amigos, serving as a member of the Board of Directors and secretary of the organization, up until 2008.

Terry Allen Dolton was born on September 4, 1943 in Denver, Colorado to Leonard John Dolton and Mary Josephine Marqua. Due to his father’s military service during World War II and various work commitments, the family moved a great deal. When the Doltons were living in Northern California, they befriended Carl and Edith Kaiser. At a dinner party, Terry met Karen Elizabeth Sommerville Kaiser for the first time. Terry was nine years old and Karen (Kay) was ten. The two became fast friends and remained in contact throughout their teen years. Terry graduated from San Marino High School in 1961. After high school, Terry moved to Chicago and Karen began attending the Samuel Merritt University College of Nursing. The two friends began corresponding and soon it became clear that romance was in the air. Terry flew to California to take Kay on a proper date and knew on his flight back to Chicago that he would marry her. The two of them married in Oakland on April 18, 1964. Terry enrolled at various universities to complete his bachelor’s degree after a series of moves from Illinois and Oakland. Terry finally graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in Government at California State College Los Angeles in 1969. Terry was offered an opportunity with his employer Southern California Edison to earn his Master’s Degree at USC. He graduated in 1974.

Terry was a member of The United Way. He was also very involved in scouting, especially Boy Scouts. He was also involved in AFS (American Field Service) and Site Council at Marina High School with Kay. Terry was a master Monopoly player and bowler. He loved playing cards, especially Solitaire. He loved collecting coins and trains. History fascinated him and he was excellent with numbers. Terry was a mentor to many people who he believed had potential, even if others didn’t. He was a calm guiding voice, and someone people sought for a ‘big picture’ perspective. He was self-sacrificing, generous, warm, and eminently respected. He was kind. As much as Terry took life seriously, he also loved to have fun. He had an infectious laugh and an incredible sense of humor. He loved the holidays, especially Christmas. Many times, he dressed up as Santa or simply just wore a Santa hat because he knew it would make someone smile. Terry is survived by his daughter Alexia Dolton Swanepoel and her husband Michael and their sons Jared and Aidan as well as his son Jon Dolton and his wife Melissa and their daughters Olivia and Lucy. Terry is preceded in death by his wife Kay and their daughter Cori. In lieu of a service, donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Association.