92, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 20, 2023, surrounded by his loving family, in the care of Hospice of Hamilton. Jack put up a courageous years-long fight against congestive heart failure in addition to other lesser maladies that gradually appeared during his very long life. Jack was born on December 25, 1930, to the late Ralph Terry, Sr of Beckley, West Virginia and the late Marjorie Terry, of Hamilton, Ohio. Jack was the youngest son of three. His older brothers were the late Ralph Terry, Jr of Dayton, OH, and the late Ray Terry of Hamilton, Ohio. Jack was a devoted husband, father, fantastic grandfather, great-grandfather, and a good friend to many.
Jack was always the center of attention in any room with his amusingly gruff personality, quick wit, and booming, rumbly loud voice. He was outrageously one of a kind, with a personality permanently molded at a very young age by the rigorous training uniquely characteristic of enlistment in the United States Marine Corps. In some ways, Jack was a bastion of honor, while in others, he was a comical rascal. In general, all who knew him have many fond memories of good times and being in the company of a uniquely huge personality. He was truly a 'character.'
A classic example of Jack's penchant for keeping the pot stirred involved Toby, his long-time canine companion. Toby was a yappy, obnoxious, high-energy poodle. One of Jack's favorite pastimes was to bedevil everyone at family feasts by surreptitiously feeding Toby under the table while pretending to swat at him with a folded-up newspaper. This frequent, chaotic performance never failed to induce extremely irritating barking by a very confused Toby, which evoked annoyed, boisterous complaints from everyone at the table, all in good-natured fun. It's just what the feisty Jack did, to keep life interesting, noisy, and rowdy.
Jack grew up in Hamilton, Ohio, and spent the vast majority of his 92 years there. He proudly joined the United States Marines at the age of 17. His Marine training took him from the east coast, at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, to the west coast, at Camp Pendleton in California. He was stationed in Korea as he bravely served during the Korean War as Occupational Specialty Ordinance Stockman and Barber. Jack participated in the Assault and Seizure of Incheon, Korea in September 1950; the Capture and Seizure of Seoul, Korea in September 1950; and the Wonsan-Hungnam-Chosin Campaign in Northern Korea in December 1950.
Following the Korean War, Jack returned to Hamilton. He then briefly resided in Riverside, California, but soon returned to Hamilton. For numerous years, he owned a winter home in Lake Wales, Florida. Jack relocated to Fort Myers Beach, Florida, two years ago, but the good life in Sunny Florida ended when the howling Hurricane Ian chased him back to Hamilton. In his final odyssey, a frail and fragile 91-year-old Jack summoned the will and energy to drive himself and his wife from Florida to Ohio, along with the few possessions they were able to save from the savage storm surge. The trip was a grueling three-day journey. Thus Hurricane Ian served as the element of destiny that caused Jack to complete the circle of life in which his place of birth became his place of death.
Jack and Phyllis Marie Pater were childhood sweethearts from middle-school age forward. They married in 1949 and subsequently had their first child, Jack Edward Terry. This first born son was delivered as Jack was serving in Korea. Their second-born son, Michael David Terry, followed shortly, and then came their daughter, Linda Joyce Terry, several years later. Jack and his beloved wife Phyllis were married for 73 years. They could really cut a rug to Old Rocky Top. Until recently, Jack and Phyllis were often honored as being the longest-married couple on the dance floor at wedding receptions.
Jack's children, Jack Edward, Michael David, and Linda Joyce have all survived him, as have their spouses, Sue Terry, Robin Terry, and Jim Wall. Jack also is survived by many grandchildren, including Douglas, Samantha, twins Andy and Jonathan; Scott and Kelsey; and Bradley. He is also survived by a host of great-grandkids, to include Holden and Stuart; Harper and Sutton; Emma and Liam; Raegan and Brynn; Caleb; and Lucy, Kenlee, and Lincoln.
Throughout the decades, Jack was a long-time member of Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Saint Peter's in Chains Catholic Church, and Saint Julie Billiart's Catholic Church, all in Hamilton, Ohio. He owned and operated the Terry Barber Shop for many years, until he and Phyllis acquired and ran Kremer's Flower Shop and Greenhouse. Both shops were in the quaint Lindenwald neighborhood of Hamilton.
Upon retirement, Jack and Phyllis roamed the United States in their Pace Arrow; rode scooters far and wide; traveled extensively internationally; tended a large, productive garden and canned and froze their impressive yield; relished babysitting the great-grandkids; and enjoyed playing Bingo and watching game shows on TV. One of Jack's favorite pastimes was watching Korean War and WWII videos on YouTube.
Jack enjoyed a special bond with various lifetime friends, to include his surviving sister-in-law, Barb Terry of Dayton, Ohio; the Ham and Bobby Bley families of Hamilton; Duke Thompson and the guys at Tri-City Automotive of Hamilton; RV motor home friends, Murray and Lois Miller of Michigan; and former boss and good friend, Jerry Collins of Hamilton. Jack enjoyed the company of long-time friends Everett and Joanie Helton, their work and boating buddies. Jack's inanimate 'best friends' included his host of cherished tools and machines, which were his well-maintained, constant companions through life. Jack was an accomplished fixer of things. He was ever willing to teach his fixing skills/tool use to anybody interested in learning.
A celebration of Jack's life was held during the 9:00 a.m. Mass at St. Julie Billiart Catholic Church in Hamilton, Ohio, on Sunday, January 22. In lieu of flowers, please feel free to donate to the Semper Fi & America's Fund (Charity Watch Top-Rated and Charity Navigator 4-star rating).
Semper Fidelis and many salutes to Sergeant Jack Terry. You were greatly loved and will be sorely missed. Life will go on for your survivors, but we will find that a certain amount of fizz-pop-bang and sparkle will be sadly missing without your inimitable presence in our lives.