Ted Terry
1925 ~ 2013
Jun 13, 2013 | 887 views | 0 0 comments | 107 107 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ted W. Terry, age 87, passed away at home on June 6, 2013, in Dewey, Ariz. He was born Aug. 24, 1925, in Cross Plains, Texas. He was the youngest child of Everett and Dola Terry.

As a teenager he worked on a peanut farm in DeLeon, Texas. He said it was the hardest work he had ever done. At age 17 Ted joined the U.S. Navy after World War II started. He was given a medical discharge when an examination showed he had a heart murmur. He also worked at many gas stations in his younger days where he soldered radiators and was a mechanic who repaired cars.

In 1945, Ted met the love of his life, Martha Terry. Ted worked seasonally for the Forest Service at various fire Lookout stations in Arizona. Ted’s first permanent job with the federal government was working at the Navajo Army Depot at Belmont, Ariz., (where ammunition and explosives were stored), as a general maintenance worker. He was transferred to Grand Canyon National Park as a truck driver. He and Martha made their home in Grand Canyon National Park with their four children, Harvey, Linda, Debbie and Mike.

Ted built his first pick-up truck with his own hands using scraps and other parts he acquired. Working on vehicles was a life-long hobby, and he became a proficient machinist using his personal lathe. Ted worked for the National Park Service as a truck driver, maintenance worker, maintenance foreman II, and eventually, as an equipment specialist.

Ted moved his family to Moab, Utah, in 1966, and was the maintenance foreman for Arches National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, and Canyonlands National Park. In 1968, National Park Service headquarters requested that Ted return to Grand Canyon, where he engineered the Trans-Canyon water system that serves over 3 million people a year. He remained in that position until he retired in 1980 at the age of 55.

Ted and Martha made their home in Castle Valley, Utah, after Ted worked for the National Park Service for 32 years. Ted said he wanted to work for 30 years and be retired for 30 years; he surpassed that goal. He built his home in Castle Valley in the ground as a modern way to conserve energy and be comfortable year-round. He also spent much of his retirement working on his seven acres in Castle Valley. After Martha passed away he lived in Emery, Utah, to live close to his daughter Linda and her family. In 2010, Ted returned to Arizona to live with his youngest son, Mike.

Ted was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Martha Compton Terry; daughter, Linda Barnes; and siblings, Harvey and Gerald Terry.

He is survived by his son, Harvey (Debra), his daughter, Debbie (Ed Nelson), and his son, Mike (Cherie); 17 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren.

There will be a memorial service at Grand Canyon National Park at a later date, where he will be laid to rest next to his loving wife, Martha Terry.


Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.