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Cyclist killed was longtime Claremont resident

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

Claremont resident Terri Wolfe Ingalls was riding her bicycle north on Mills Avenue near Rockford Drive just before 9 a.m. Friday as Cheryl Becker, 38, of Claremont was driving south on Mills. Ms. Becker reportedly tried to overtake another car and lost control of her vehicle, which skidded across the street, striking Ms. Ingalls, according to Claremont Police Sergeant Robert Ewing. Speeding may also have been a factor, but the incident remains under investigation.

Link to Terri Wolfe's obituary

When Claremont police officers and a Los Angeles County Fire crew arrived at the scene, they found Ms. Ingalls lying on the sidewalk. Paramedics began CPR before she was transported to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, where she succumbed to her injuries.

Ms. Becker was arrested on vehicular manslaughter charges as well as willful cruelty to a child because her middle and high school age children were in the vehicle. She was held briefly in the Claremont jail and released pending further investigation.

Ms. Ingalls had just left her home on Marylind Avenue, and waved to neighbor Mellissa Martinez moments before her tragic death.

“She was my neighbor of 20 years. We waved and said goodbye to one another as she cycled off yesterday morning on her daily ride,” Ms. Martinez said. “She was a mother and a grandmother. A lovely, thoughtful person who baked fudge for my sons every year.”

The Marylind neighborhood is a tight-knit community and Ms. Ingalls, who has lived on the street for more than 30 years, was very close with many neighbors, taking daily walks with many of her friends.

Ms. Ingalls was raised in Claremont and was part of the family who owns and operates Wolfe’s Market, now Wolfe’s Deli, on Foothill Boulevard. Her brother, Tom Wolfe, and his wife Shauna spoke with the COURIER on Tuesday about Terri’s life.

“We have had such an outpouring of appreciation and love from people,” Ms. Wolfe said. “The stories we have heard of Terri’s good deeds and kindness to other people are overwhelming, but also amazing because we did not know about the things she did. She just went about doing good for other people without needing the recognition.”

Ms. Ingalls attended Mountain View and Chaparral elementary schools and El Roble Intermediate School. She graduated from Claremont High in 1976.

She received a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and received speech language pathology certification from Utah State University. Ms. Ingalls was working in pediatric speech therapy at the time of her death.

Growing up as part of the Wolfe clan she helped out at the family market, filling in shifts as a checker or boxing groceries. In recent years, she worked as the Deli’s baker, creating deserts including mint brownies, her specialty.

“What she loves, she loves to share, and she loves to bake so she would come in and bake really good brownies, bars, tapioca and chocolate mousse. She is really a multitalented person,” Ms. Wolfe said.

Mr. Wolfe said his sister was very spiritual and a life-long member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She spent long hours reading scriptures and enjoyed sharing her faith with others.

She has four children, Alicia Woolsey, Sarah Peterson, Micah Ingalls and Andrew Ingalls, and seven grandchildren. Ms. Wolfe said that her children and Ms. Ingalls’ were  similar ages and are very close.

Terri’s children and grandchildren live in Utah, so recently she had been teaching her brother’s grandchildren how to cook. “She loved to share her knowledge,” Ms. Wolfe said. “She was this super aunt and super great-aunt. She was so kind, teaching them about cooking and taking them to events.”

Ms. Ingalls loved BYU sports, in particular men’s volleyball, which has claimed nine conference championships and nine NCAA playoff appearances, including three NCAA championships. She took her nieces and nephews to UC Irvine and Pepperdine to see the Cougars in action. She was also a fan of BYU basketball and football.

Since the pandemic began, Ms. Ingalls checked on her parents at their Claremont home every day.

On November 8, Ms. Ingalls celebrated her 62nd birthday with a small family party and a dinner at a local restaurant.

On Wednesday, Claremont Police Lieutenant Jason Walters told the COURIER that due to the severity of the collision, it is going to take some time to determine the facts of the case. Police must create a factual diagram and conduct skid analysis, among other tasks. A full report could come as soon as next week but may take several weeks.

Sergeant Ewing said there has been an increase in unsafe driving, including speeding, in the stretch of Mills between Base Line Road and Foothill Boulevard. He cautioned that it only takes a second of inattention for a serious crash to occur and that motorists need to drive more safely.

Ms. Ingalls memorial service will be on Saturday November 28 at 10:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 728 E. Base Line Road, Claremont. Strict COVID-19 protocols will be enforced including masks and social distancing. Anyone who cannot attend in-person is invited to view the service virtually at: https://tinyurl.com/terrismemorial  

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