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In Memoriam: Louis M. Terrell

Terrell was a two-time chair of SDSU’s political science department and former mayor of Del Mar.

Louis M. Terrell, professor emeritus of political science at San Diego State University, died on Jan. 4. The two-time chair of SDSU’s Department of Political Science and former mayor of Del Mar was 75 years old.
Louis M. Terrell

"Professor Terrell was highly valued by our colleagues and students as an exemplary scholar/teacher and one whom we could count on for advice and guidance,” said Paul Wong, dean of the SDSU College of Arts and Letters.

“When I met him for the first time in 2003, I felt the presence of his intellect, humility, and kindness. I will miss him."

Known to friends and colleagues simply as “Lou,” Terrell taught political science at SDSU from 1969 to 2003 and spent a combined 12 years as department chair. Before retiring, he established the Louis M. Terrell Scholarship and he remained connected to the department as a mentor and consultant until his death.

An active member of the community, Terrell served leadership roles at Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties, the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties and Foundation for Change. He also founded the Del Mar Foundation.

Terrell’s life was celebrated by friends, family and community members in a standing-room-only service at the Powerhouse Community Center in Del Mar on Jan. 6.

He is survived by his wife, Carol Isackson, and two adult children, Joel and Amy Isackson.