Franklin Delano 'Zert' Terry
On Friday, August 22, 2014, Franklin Delano "Zert" Terry, age 81, of Hillsboro passed away in his home due to illness while he was surrounded by his loving family. He was a man treasured and respected by all who knew him.
He was born in Wheeler Alabama on April 16, 1933, to the late Steve Henderson and Sadie Mildred Terry. The name "Franklin Delano" was suggested by Miss Annie Wheeler after President Roosevelt who was in office at the time. As a young boy he worked for Miss Wheeler on the grounds of her home. He also collected the town's mail from the train that ran in front of the Wheeler home. He attended Hazelwood High School in Town Creek. While there, he played football, basketball and was active in several clubs until he graduated in 1951. Following graduation, Franklin moved north and began working at the Hudson Company in Detroit, Michigan.
After being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1953, he continued to serve until 1955. While serving, he had a portion of his check sent home to support his family since his father was unable to work due to an accident that left him partially disabled. During his service in the Eighth Infantry Regiment, 101st Battallion, he received the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Occupation Medal (Germany) and a Good Conduct Medal. After 1955 he continued to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve until 1961, when he was honorably discharged. Later he attended Calhoun College and received training as an electrician.
While serving in the reserve, he met the love of his life, Joele Eddine Foster. The two were married on February 13, 1959. He and Joele had four precious children together. He worked tirelessly to provide for his growing family, sometimes working multiple jobs at Monsanto Chemical and also teaching night classes at Calhoun College. He was later hired by Saginaw, General Motor Company where he worked until his retirement. His later years were occupied with raising cattle, gardening and time spent with his family. He enjoyed being outdoors, farming and teaching his children and grandchildren about hard work and making memories with them.
His strong work ethic spilled over into his personal and family life. He was devoted to his family and he loved them deeply. His greatest joy was to see his children and grandchildren gathered around the table enjoying a meal together during holidays, birthdays, Alabama football games, or any other time they all got together. No words will ever be able to convey how earnestly and profoundly he will be missed by his family and friends for years to come.
Franklin was preceded in death by his parents, Steven and Mildred Terry and his son, Randy Terry.
Franklin is survived by his wife, Joele "Dean"; one daughter, Susan (Walter) Abel of Tuscumbia; two sons, Greg Terry of Priceville, Mike (Carla) Terry of Madison; eight grandchildren, Meleah Terry, Kassie Abel, Dustin Terry, Stephen Abel, Paige Terry, Brandon Terry, Nathan Terry, Matthew Terry; two brothers, W.C. Terry (Doris), Douglas (Gail) Terry; and one sister, Sandra Terry.
A celebration of Franklin's life will be held at 2 p.m. today, August 25, 2014, at Oak Grove First Congregational Methodist Church in Trinity with Bro. Shane Wiliams and Dr. David Stidham officiating and Parkway Funeral Home directing. The body will be at the church one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at East Lawrence Memorial Gardens.
Pallbearers will be Wayne Henderson, Walter Abel, Stephen Abel, Dustin Terry, Chris Armor, Keith Harris, Heath Green and Cole Terry.
Honorary pallbearers will be Willard Wilkerson, Pelmar Morris, Don Parker, Brandon Terry, Nathan Terry and Matthew Terry.
Thank you to everyone who had a part in providing prayer, care and support for Franklin and his family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.(256)355-6321
This obituary was originally published in the Decatur Daily.