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Terry remembered for 100 years well lived

“All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”

Charlie Terry was loved deeply by many and he will remain a part of each of them.

Terry died, at age 100 on Sunday, November 3, 2019.

Terry had been a part of the Troy community for all his life. In his quiet and soft-spoken manner, he shared his deep and abiding faith. He led by example, and he had the respect of young and old. His influence spanned generations. Death will not claim the spirit of Charlie Terry because he will live on in the hearts and minds of those who loved him deeply, said Shelia Jackson.

“Words cannot express what Charlie Terry has meant to generations of people,” Jackson said. “Mr. Charlie was a pillar of the community. All of those who knew him looked up to him and had great respect for him – his family, his friends and the community. Mr. Charlie was a man of deep and abiding faith. He was a faithful member of his church, Bethel Baptist, where he sang bass in the choir. And, he played the harmonica. Mr. Charlie was filled with love and he freely gave his love to others.”

Jackson was there to celebrate Terry’s 100th birthday with him. They sang in celebration of the marking of yet another milestone year.

“Today is a blessing from God,” Terry said that he asked Jackson to sing one of his favorite songs, “Is Your All on the Altar.”

“The song tells us that you can only be blessed and have peace and sweet rest after you have yielded unto the Lord your body and soul,” Jackson said. “Mr. Charlie Terry yielded his body and soul to the Lord. He is now blessed with peace and sweet rest.”

Mickey Deveridge, chairman of the deacons at Bethel Baptist where Terry was a life-long member, said Terry served his church as a senior deacon, Sunday school teacher and a choir member.

“Mr. Charlie was instrumental in every aspect of the church,” Deveridge said. “He was a deacon when I joined the church in 1979. He was a mentor and a father figure to many. Mr. Charlie led by example. He as the kind of man that others wanted to pattern their lives after. He was a good person and a loyal friend.

Shelia Deveridge, Troy Nutrition Center director, said Terry was the oldest member of the center.

“He was one of the most dedicated, most loved and respected members, she said. “And he was an honored veteran.

“Mr. Charlie Terry joined the center in 1977,” Deveridge said. “He was the first driver we had to go pick up our clients. He sang in our choir and the clients voted him Valentine King. He came to the center as long as he was able. Mr. Charlie was an all-around wonderful person. He had a kind, gentle, beautiful spirit and he was loved dearly. What better can you say about a man. He was a Godly man; he loved and was loved back”

Anyone who ever knew Charlie Terry had great admiration for him. But, perhaps, no one more than his granddaughter, Tonya Terry.

Wherever she went, she carried him in her heart. And she shared her love of her grandfather with others.

“What my grandfather taught me was the value of relationships with him, with others and with God,” Terry said. “He was such a blessing to me and was so special in so many ways. He lived to be 100 and we tried to make the last few birthdays special because you never know if you’ll get to celebrate another.”

Terry said on her grandfather’s 100th birthday, Mayor Jason Reeves stopped by and family members came from as far away as Michigan and Ohio to share that special day.

“My grandfather’s house was always open and such a welcoming place,” Terry said and added that her grandfather had a sweet tooth and ice cream was a staple at his house.

“If he had a vice, it was pretty ladies and sweets,” she said, laughing. “I have so many fond memories of my grandfather but what I remember most about him was his voice. He had a deep voice, a sweet, deep voice. When he talked to me, his voice was so sweet that it was like he was singing. And, he would give me whisker kisses and I would giggle. I will miss his sweet, deep voice and his whisker kisses.”

Terry said Charlie Terry will be greatly missed and his death left a void that will never be filled.

“But, his death wasn’t sad, she said. “He ate ice cream, fell asleep and went sweetly to heaven.”