Slipped away peacefully on September 14, 2013 at age 54 at home in Brentwood Bay, B.C. with close family at hand after a 9 month courageous battle. Terry was born to Ray & Marie Gardner in Grostenquin, France at RCAF, 2 Fighter Wing in 1959. Predeceased by her Dad, in August 2012, Terry is survived by husband & soul mate, Marcus (James & Stephanie); mother Marie; brothers Jeff (Naomi, Emma, Tegan, Oliver) and Les (Monique); sister Liane (Cam, Brian, Steven, Carli, Morgan); Marcus's family, Win & Joanne Albrecht; sister Joy (Ray, Layla, Craig, Ty, Trish, Leo, Sage, Dana). And extended family, on both sides, in Canada, France, Germany & the USA. To all her much loved nieces & nephews Terry was simply known as "Aunt T". Family was always first and foremost with Terry.
Terry joined the Victoria City Police Department in April 1978 at the tender age of 19 at a time when women were relative newcomers in operational policing in Canada. Constantly forging new ground ahead of her along the way, after stints in various areas of the Department, Terry retired from VCP in January 2010 as a Detective in the Major Crime Section after 31 years, 10 months in policing. Terry is the longest serving female police officer in the 155 year history of the VCP. As a testament to the tenacity & professionalism Terry brought to her investigative work, she continued to receive commendations & recognition long after retirement as cases concluded.
While policing was a major aspect of her adult life, Terry's other interests were varied & many. From competing in the World Police & Fire Games to serving on the board of the Women's Transition House. From a passion for gardening to crafts like knitting, sewing, teddy bear & quilt making. For over 25 years Terry bred, raised & showed champion Akitas under the kennel name 'Katana'. There must've been quite a gathering at the Rainbow Bridge when Kami, Koko, Bear, Kira, McCloud, Cat, Kaze, Valor & little Rocky were waiting to greet her. Terry leaves behind 'the gang' at home Nikki, Shelby, Kaiko & Gavin under Marcus's tender care. Terry was a long time member of the Victoria City Kennel Club, the Akita Club of B.C. and the Canadian Kennel Club. Terry was proud to have shown an Akita at a Crufts show in the U.K.
In retirement Terry enjoyed her part time employment with both Central Saanich & Saanich Police Departments as a communications specialist. And occasional contract work for both Federal Corrections Canada as a 'community member' and the JIBC Police Academy as a guest instructor. Just prior to retirement Terry discovered a passion for jewelry making which culminated in many creations of her own design. Later Terry could be found on Etsy as 'Tease Jewels' and at local craft shows with friend Cherie as 'Seacoast Creations'. Some of Terry's jewelry was recently featured in an international jewelry maker's magazine. Terry also pursued her lifelong interest in photography to a professional level. In January 2013 Terry won an award for her photo "Sentry" taken while on a trip in the Alps the previous year. Despite the debilitating illness, with the assistance of mentor Alexis, achieved her professional accreditation via the PPOC in May 2013. Terry never went anywhere without her trusty Nikons.
Retirement also opened up the road for travel. Two trips to the World Dog Show in Europe, touring around Holland, France, Germany & Austria with her Mom & dear friend, Bev. Yellowstone Park in Wyoming; Little Big Horn in Montana and seeing the Eagles play the Hollywood Bowl in California with Marcus among many other adventures.
Marcus, Liane & the family would like to sincerely thank Terry's family doctors E. Fast & S. Leggatt, the doctors & staff of the B.C. Cancer Agency, Victoria Clinic, the expert nursing staff of Peninsula Home Care and the Palliative Response Team of Victoria Hospice for their kind assistance & guidance in enabling Terry to remain in the comfort of home during her entire journey.
Terry truly lived life to the fullest. She would not say good-bye only "Adieu until we meet again. And "I can run faster now than I have in years". So, with that, you just have to trust she who steals your heart.
There will be a Celebration of Life for Terry on Saturday October 05, 2013 at 12:00 noon at the Ashton Armoury, 724 Vanalman Avenue, Victoria, B.C. Please come & share your stories with an open mike. While flowers etc are graciously declined donations in Terry's name to the Victoria Hospice, Palliative Response Team, would be most appreciated.
Published in Victoria Times Colonist from Sept. 27 to Sept. 29, 2013