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Terence “Terry” Bruce Elder

Terence “Terry” Bruce Elder

May 18, 1921 — October 27, 2018

Terence Bruce Elder was born in Portland, Oregon, on May 18, 1921. Following graduation from Grant High School, Terry enrolled at Oregon State College. While studying Agriculture, he served as Student Manager of the OSC Track & Field team, Chapter President of his fraternity (Delta Upsilon), and as an enthusiastic member of the cheer squad.

As happened for so many young students in the 1940s, World War II interrupted Terry’s college career. His front line experiences as an Armored Reconnaissance Commander in Europe postponed his OSC graduation until June 1947. This is also when he committed to an “in-it-for-life” marriage with Mildred Louise McKenzie of Medford, Oregon. That promise lasted for 71 blissful years. Terry always credited Millie with making their home a very happy one. You only had to look at them together to know this was true.

Terry’s long-planned aspiration of buying a homestead to farm did not materialize, so he explored other career opportunities. First, he took a position with the US Bureau of Reclamation (water and power services) in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Next, he tried his hand with the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Finally, a career in banking spanning 41 years. He began as an Agricultural Field Representative for First National Bank, assisting farmers and farm-related enterprises in the Mid-Willamette Valley. He spent time at the bank’s Lebanon branch, then accepted a challenging “sink or swim” promotion to branch manager in Albany, and the real prize as vice president and manager of the Corvallis Branch.

At each assignment, Terry became involved in community and social activities as well as fraternal organizations. Terry was awarded First Citizen of Corvallis, the Bank’s Civic Leadership Award, the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences Diamond Pioneer Award, and together with Millie, the OSU Alumni Association Leadership Award. Terry served as president of the OSU Alumni Association, president of the OSU Dad’s Club, president of the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce and president of the Rotary Club of Corvallis.

Terry enjoyed being around all types of people, and especially enjoyed working with so many enthusiastic, dedicated community volunteers. He found contentment dancing to music of the 1940s, alpine skiing, golfing, backpacking, woodworking, creating leaded glass art, U.S. and world travel, writing his life story, people-watching, and constantly trying to satisfy his insatiable curiosity.

Surviving are his wife, Millie; son, Jeff and wife, Molly; daughter, Lori and husband, Greg; daughter, Nancy and husband, Harvey; grandchildren, Adam Elder, Ashley Hope Elder, Allison Reese, Aaron Cody, Shannon Lusk and Emily Berkey; and great-grandchildren. Alexander and Nicholas Elder, Hudson Reese and baby Naomi Lusk.

Family was the very heart and soul of his active and fruitful life. Terry spent his time among us with honesty, dignity and absolutely no regrets. This was his mantra during his 97 years. The love and respect of his family was well earned and he will be sorely missed.

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