John N. Terrey

Seattle, Washington

1926 - 2017


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John N. TerreyJanuary 19, 1926-December 28, 2017On December 28, 2017, Dr. John N. Terrey passed away in his sleep. Terrey was born in 1926 in Chicago, the second of eight children. His mother passed away when he was 12, and at age 14 he moved to the Seattle area to live with his aunt, Bernice...

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My Uncle John was my father's oldest brother. He encouraged my dad to move to Seattle in 1957 after my dad graduated from Notre Dame. I left the Seattle area in 1978 after I married. My father died in 1987. Uncle John took time to visit whenever he was in Texas. He took time to write to me at Christmas. I have letters and cards I have saved over the years. Especially meaningful one from 2001 where he states, "This holiday season once more finds us amid turmoil. It is a harsh reminder...

I first met John Terrey at Bellevue High School as a student in his senior English class (1957-58). He was an excellent teacher and highly respected by his students. His enthusiasm for poetry, drama and reading was infectious. He challenged me to think and to read more broadly than I ever had before. He was definitely a favorite teacher.

It was about the time of my 50th high school reunion that our relationship transitioned from teacher/mentor to a student to a real friendship....

I met John when he was a Trustee at The Evergreen State College and I was the Board Secretary. He expanded my literature horizons and was the impetus behind a gift from the Board of tickets to Phantom of the Opera for my 50th birthday, a night I will never forget. It was a privilege to know John. My thoughts are with Liz and his family.

John was one of my favorite people. Whenever you talked with him you always learned something. When ever he told a joke or a story, you were never sure what it was for sure until the punch line. He will be missed.

Thank you for your service, Sir.

John was a much-loved "founding father" of the Creative Retirement Institute (CRI). We remember his warm smile and the twinkle in his eye for all of us who loved life-long learning. We thank both John and Liz for the good times they have shared with us at CRI.

A masterful teacher, creative thinker and caring mentor. Those of us who were fortunate enough to have Mr. Terrey as our teacher are, to this day, better for it. No one can leave a legacy better than that.

John was a widely admired teacher at Bellevue High School in the late 1950s and early 1960s. His enthusiasm for literature was contagious, and his active involvement in school life inspired many students beyond the classroom. He is always remembered at alumni events.