Teresa Renee Stark

Teresa Renee Stark, age 64, died peacefully at her home in Yucaipa, on Jan. 23, 2023, surrounded by her family and embraced in love.

Teresa Stark (Wold) was born on Oct. 20, 1958 in San Diego, the middle child of three, to Earl and Barbara Wold. She grew up in Clairemont, a suburb of San Diego, where she enjoyed beach life and body surfing. At an early age she joined a local swim team and her talents were quickly recognized which led to her becoming part of the nationally recognized Coronado-Navy Swim Team. Teresa’s primary event was the 100m Butterfly and she went on to compete nationally and internationally in the early and mid-1970’s where she earned world ranking (6th in women’s 100m Butterfly at one point). Teresa maintained many friendships from those days that have lasted to the time of her passing.

Teresa began at the University of Hawaii with a swimming scholarship in 1977, but the rigors of university and swimming proved too much for her at the time, so she returned home to her parents who were now living in Ramona. This is where she met her husband to be, Scott Stark, an electrician for Flash Electric at the time. A family friend had asked Scott if he wanted to meet a “tall, blonde Norwegian,” an offer he enthusiastically accepted, and the two were set up for a blind date. The couple soon found common interest in the outdoors and adventure, and were married on Sept. 16, 1978.

Teresa gave birth to four girls; Nicole, Sarah, Sonja, and Tonja. Sarah and Sonja were lost as infants to SIDS and complications at birth. While she carried this pain throughout her life, Teresa’s desire and true joy was “just being a mommy” to her girls Nicole and Tonja. In her final hours Teresa thanked her girls for giving her the opportunity for the achievement she valued most; being a mommy.

Professionally, Teresa was a teacher’s aide, and special education teacher’s aide for the Ramona Unified School District for many years. She ultimately earned her Bachelor's in Liberal Arts and California teaching credential for elementary school as well as a credential for special education, and she taught for several school districts as she and her husband eventually found their way to Yucaipa, where they have made their home since July of 2010.

Teresa was able to leave teaching at that time, and instead pursue a new love of watercolor painting and photography, as well as pick up where she left off a few years earlier, for her love of adventure and the outdoors. In her final years Teresa and Scott were able to rock climb, a skill set gained in the early 80s on Mt. Woodson, as well as hike, climb mountains, body surf, snorkel, sail, tent-car-and trailer camp, travel and explore the many back roads, parks and forests of the western United States.

Teresa was a voracious reader of both fact and fiction and a longtime friend of the Yucaipa Branch Library. She was also a lifelong rescuer of many a little animal, and supporter of the Yucaipa Animal Placement Society (YAPS), where she adopted many a kitty and a doggie too.

She is preceded in death by her daughters Sarah Renee, Sonja Hope, her mother Barbara and Father Earl. Teresa is survived by her husband Scott (Yucaipa) and daughters Nicole Rushford (Aurora, Colo.) and Tonja Smolenski (Redlands), and her older brother Troy Wold (Ramona), and younger sister Nancy Spradling (Choctaw).

Teresa Renee, our family explorer, adventurer, and rule breaker at heart, is loved and truly missed by her family and friends.

Private celebration of life in the Eastern Sierra at a later date.