Teryl Sue Dirks was born to Clarence and Phyllis Dirks on March 2, 1951 in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. She passed away on February 20, 2020, (her late father’s birthday) at her home in Tacoma.
After completing her elementary and high school education in Bonners Ferry, Teryl graduated from Pacific Lutheran University – Tacoma, in 1969 with a Bachelor’s degree. After college graduation she worked at the KMS Brockerage Agency in Seattle for a number of years, commuting by bus from Tacoma daily. She was later employed by the Pierce County Department of Corrections where she worked as a Community Corrections Officer, a position she filled happily for the remainder of her working life. She thoroughly enjoyed intereactions with her ‘criminal offenders’, as she called them, even sharing her phone number with carefully selected ones, so they could contact her after hours if one of them needed to talk. She had great sympathy for and empathy with these and others who were sometimes considered unacceptable by society in general.
On June 26, 1972, Teryl gave birth to a daughter. The child was adopted by Dr. James and Mrs. Julie Zanner of Puyallup and was named Sara. Teryl had no knowledge of who the adoptive parents were, but always hoped to someday have a relationship with her daughter. In 1990, with urging from Sara’s adoptive parents, she instituted a search and they found each other. From that point on, there was a loving relationship between Teryl and Sara, and also with the Zanner family. This relationship greatly enhanced the quality of Teryl’s life and was treasured by her in the time since.
She worked diligently to encourage improvements in the frequently rough Hilltop neighborhood where, with eyes wide open, she had purchased a home. She worked to encourage a block watch program for the neighborhood, and saw it develop into an effective means for limiting drug activity on adjacent streets. In time, the community, finally recognizing its power, with the help of Tacoma Police, had so harried the drug dealers that most of them took their business elsewhere.
In the early years she often transported local children, many of whose parents didn’t own vehicles, to special events, to parks and to Sunday School at Peace Lutheran Church, her beloved congregation. Sometimes her little VW bug fairly bulged with the overload.
Throughout Teryl’s life, through illnesses and finally physical disablement, her Christian faith was the bedrock of her existence, a commitment from which she never faltered. Her faith motivated her relationship with every person she encountered. With all, she demonstrated an attitude of youthful optimism until the last day of her life.
Teryl was preceded in death by her father Clarence W Dirks, in 1996.
To mourn her passing she leaves her mother, Phyllis Amoth Dirks of Federal Way; her daughter, Sara Zanner Fassett (fiance Jono Anderson) children Jordyn and Taylor; her brother, Keith Dirks (Sandra) children Krystie (Rob) Schueck, their children Branna (Jon) Reinier, Quinn and Ivy of Tenino; Max of Olympia, Sarah and Charlie of Oregon, Kyle of Seattle; Byron Dirks (Tiffany), Abbi adn Kyra of Yelm; Capt. Shannon (Freddie) Hudson, Kamora and Traesyn of Georgia; her brother, Jeffrey Dirks (Karla Thomas) of Bogota, Columbia.
A memorial service will be conducted on March 14, 2020 at 1:00 pm, at Peach Lutheran Church, 2106 Cushman Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405.
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