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November 2, 1935 - December 3, 2019
Bill Terry was a loving husband, father and brother, a proud grandfather, and a generous friend to many. In his CBC career and in retirement as a passionate gardener and plantsman, he embraced life with great flair and careful planning. During his last 25 years in Sechelt, with his wife Rosemary Bates, he built a seaside house and fulfilled a lifelong ambition to create a perfect garden. Bill believed gardening to be "the most optimistic of occupations, which explains why gardeners tend to live to a great age." His 84 years were a testament to that belief.
Born in Cornwall, UK, Bill emigrated to Canada in 1958, took the train to Vancouver and started a 35-year long career with the CBC. Besides enjoying many years as a radio current affairs producer in Vancouver, Ottawa and Winnipeg, Bill was head of CBC Television in Manitoba, then head of Radio Drama and Features in Toronto, and finally Deputy Head of the English radio networks. A true believer in public broadcasting, Bill was a teacher and mentor to many, demonstrating his own high standards, wisdom and whimsy in many program forms. As a manager, he knew that his success should be measured in the achievements of those he hired and guided. He treasured the deep friendships and varied adventures his CBC career brought him.
Bill's written legacy includes four books about gardening and plant hunting, one co-authored with Rosemary. Blue Heaven, Encounters with the Blue Poppy (2009) described his quest to grow the notoriously difficult Himalayan blue poppy. His success in its propagation made him an acknowledged expert in this field. Bill's creative scrapbooks – with photos, text and mementos, documenting family, political events, travel and the passage of time – proved to be the harbinger of his happy writing, speaking and teaching years in Sechelt.
Bill is survived by his wife Rosemary and children, John, Daniel and Christina Terry; Sarah Iwakabe and Hilary Bolton; their partners, and 10 beloved grandchildren; his brothers Charles and James Terry and families; and many members of the extended Terry, Eckford and Bates clans in Canada, the UK and abroad. He was predeceased by his first wife Mariel Chisholm.
Bill and his family are grateful for the opportunity to ease his death using Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD). For their kind, compassionate guidance, gratitude is due to Drs. Hermann Mentz and Carmen Goojha and nurse Jennifer Edwards, as well as the Sunshine Coast palliative care support team. Their care, skill and understanding allowed Bill to leave life as he lived it, with grace and dignity.
Bill was a founding member of the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden Society in Sechelt. A celebration of his life will be held at the Botanical Garden when spring has sprung. Donations to the Garden will be a loving memorial and gratefully received. https://coastbotanicalgarden.org
Published in The Coast Reporter on Dec. 13, 2019
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