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Meet Your New Neighbors

Terri McKeehan moved to Tehachapi in July 2022 to marry her high school sweetheart, Sam, who works at Edwards Air Force Base and is commander of a local VFW chapter. Her parents and her sister are also nearby so she was familiar with the area from family visits over the years.

Terri was born in Upland, California and lived there through high school. She remembered Sam from the first time he winked at her in high school. They married other people but kept track of each other over the years. She married in her 20s and lived in La Quinta, near Palm Springs, while her husband was working for Bed, Bath and Beyond, among other jobs. They had three children and Terri's daughter Nikki, now 34 years old, is in the military and living in North Carolina with her family. Terri's twin boys JT and Gregory are now 26 and living in Arizona.

Terri eventually joined the mortgage industry, a business she has now been part of for 32 years. She said she started at the bottom, learning set-up and then moving up to processor and then into management. Terri and her family moved to Marana, Arizona, where they lived for 24 years. Terri is now a loan officer and Senior Production Manager for V.I.P. Independent Mortgage Inc. and is licensed in Arizona, California and Hawaii. She heads a team of five for the company that is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Following her divorce, Terri and her children remained in Arizona and Terri continued working with the Scottsdale firm. She eventually reconnected with Sam and moved to Tehachapi in July. They were married and spent their honeymoon in beautiful Costa Rica. When she married Sam, Terri also gained another son with Sam's 30-year-old son, Chris. With all their kids, Terri and Sam also now have one grandson and five granddaughters.

As soon as she moved to Tehachapi, Terri began to be very active in the community. She found office space in downtown Tehachapi and then joined the Chamber of Commerce, the Tehachapi Area Association of Realtors and Rotary.

When she is not involved with work, Terri said she loves to work in the garden and go antiquing. She refers to herself as "crafty." She is always making something whether it is scarves, pasta sauce or homemade Lemoncello. She and Sam also have two black Labrador retrievers at home. Tucker and Raven will turn 2 in May and are still quite a handful.

Welcome to Tehachapi, Terri. There is no doubt that you will be an active part of the community.


If you have moved to Tehachapi within the last six months, Hilltop Welcoming Service has a bag of information about the Greater Tehachapi area, including local activities, events, government and facilities. There are always a few coupons and gifts, as well. It is a great way to learn about your new community. Being part of this column is strictly optional. If you would like a visit from the Welcome Hostess, contact our office at (661) 822-8188.