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William J. Terman Jr.


1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
William J. Terman Jr. Obituary
On October 31, William J. Terman, Jr. passed peacefully from his home in Spring Arbor into his eternal home in Heaven. In mid conversation with his wife Bonita, he turned his eyes toward the window and departed this world. Born in 1928, to William and Fern (Bowen) Terman of Mansfield, Ohio, he went on to receive degrees from Spring Arbor Junior College, Greenville College, Western Michigan University and earned his Ph.D. in American History from Michigan State University.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Alice (Bandringa) Terman and mother of his two children to whom he was married for 57 years. Alice passed away in 2005. He is survived by his wife of ten years, Bonita Ward-Gilley, his daughter Linda Grimm (and the late Michael Grimm) of Jackson and his son Mark Terman (and Denise) of Mason, brother Richard Terman (and Phyllis) of Williamsburg, VA and sister Arlene Dragseth (and Jack) of Suffolk, VA. Bill had four grandchildren: Michelle Grimm Chajkowski of Springport, Angela Grimm Crosby (and Brian) of State College, PA; Andrew Terman (and Katie) of Bradenton, FL, Sam Terman of Mason. He had three great grandchildren: Cameron, Finn and Nash. By marriage, he had three grandsons, Sean Edward (Karina) of Miami, FL, Stephen (Janet) of Greenville, TX and Daniel Gilley (Amy) of Austin, TX and six great grandsons Sean Carlo, Zakk, Jackson, Carson, Bryce and Peyton Gilley.
Dr. Terman became an ordained minister in the Free Methodist Church after graduating from Greenville College in 1950. He pastored churches in Bangor, Detroit and Battle Creek, Michigan. He taught middle school at Highland Junior High School in Battle Creek while pursuing his Master's degree at Western Michigan. While working on his Ph.D. at Michigan State University, he became an Associate Professor of American History at Hillsdale College. A masterful teacher and prolific writer, he rapidly became much in demand as a speaker in service clubs and churches. In 1970, he was voted Professor of the Year at Hillsdale College where he also founded the Honors Program and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. In 1975 he joined the faculty of Spring Arbor College where he served until his retirement in 1993. At Spring Arbor, he chaired the Division of Social Science.
He made history come alive. He studied the origins of this country and passionately espoused the freedoms pursued by our founding fathers. A man of strong faith, he lived his life as a dedicated and consistent follower of Jesus Christ. He had an enormous impact upon his students and was known for his integrity and his belief that we all were created equal without thought to race or ethnicity. His hobbies included singing, reading, writing poetry, sketching and travel.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Watson Funeral Chapel in Jackson where a public visitation will be held on Thursday, November 9 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. A private family burial service will be held on Friday morning at the Spring Arbor Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at the Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church on Friday, November 10 at 1 p.m.
The family thanks the compassionate and professional staff of Great Lakes Caring Hospice and the Pastors of his church.
Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church or to Somerset Beach Camp.
Published in The Hillsdale Daily News on Nov. 3, 2017
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