Terry Ree Stephens, age 73, of Grand Rapids, MN died of a sudden, massive heart attack February 12, 2017, while on vacation near Bellingham, Washington.
Terry was born on October 21, 1943, the second of twin boys, in Birmingham, MI, to Russel and Mary (Holcomb) Stephens. He graduated from Moorhead State University with degrees in History, English and Education. He earned a Master’s degree in School Library and Media from Mankato State University. He retired in 2001 after a 30-year career as the high school Librarian/Media Specialist for the Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School District. Terry was united in marriage to Cheryl (Cheri) Fried on Sept. 16, 1967. After Cheri’s retirement in 2004, they moved to Grand Rapids to be near their first grandson.
Terry was an active member of the Baha’i Faith, which gave him great joy and strength of character. He particularly enjoyed working with and encouraging youth. He was a founding member of the Itasca Diversity Alliance which fosters a principle he firmly believed in, “We are all members of one family, the human family.” He belonged to the Circle of Healing whose purpose is to “take courageous actions needed to create communities that are culturally aware and considerate of all its residents and visitors.” He was a lover of books and libraries, always eager to share his latest great read. He served on the Programing Board of the Grand Rapids Library for several years and was always assisting the Friends of the Library with their latest project. He loved spending time with his children, grandchildren and family. He was a lifelong learner who also enjoyed woodworking, technology, playing guitar and boating, but most of all he loved people and engaging in meaningful conversations with friends and acquaintances alike. We will miss his engaging smile and wonderful laugh. Terry strove to make this earth a better place, he will be greatly missed by many whose lives he touched.
He is preceded in death by his twin brother, Gary, his parents and aunt, Louise Holcomb.
He was deeply loved and will be greatly missed by his surviving family: his wife of 49 years, Cheri; son, Chad of Tucson, AZ; daughters, Carmen Griggs of Grand Rapids, MN and Dawn Zimmerman (Anthony) of Ferndale, WA; grandchildren, Scott and Nick Griggs, Ezri, Lily, Zoey and Brinley Zimmerman.
Terry’s funeral was held at the Moles Family Funeral Home in Ferndale, WA on February 16, 2017. Internment is at Enterprise Cemetery, Ferndale, WA.
Please join the family for a local Memorial Service and Celebration of Terry’s Life at 1:00 pm Sunday afternoon, March 26 at the Harris Town Hall, 21998 Airport Road in Grand Rapids, MN.