Michael R. Terry, age 65, of Isanti died January 31, 2024 at home. A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 P.M. Saturday, February 24th at
Federal Cartridge Clubhouse
1101 East Main Street
Anoka, MN 55303.
On January 31, 2024, Michael R. Terry passed away in his home in with his wife LeAnn, and his beloved dogs, Rose, Griffin, and Willow, aka the worst dog ever. Willow is a cat.
1958 was an eventful year for Jim and Verla Terry – their family doubled in just eleven short months. Mike was born in Sault St. Marie, Michigan on December 11, 1958, just in time to attend the first birthday of his sister Sharron.
As is often the case with Air Force families, they moved frequently and ended up living in Michigan, Delaware, Panama, and various cities in Minnesota. Mike had many fond memories of these childhood travels. He liked to tell how when they lived in Panama, they would spray for mosquitoes and the neighborhood children would run through the fog, pretending they lived in London. In Nimrod MN, their home was a primitive cabin with no running water or indoor bathroom. Mike talked about the fun and adventures he enjoyed while living there and always said how grateful he was for the ‘privilege of poverty’ and the character that it built.
After a brief stay in Abilene TX, Mike’s ‘other mother’ Liz, his father Jim, and his brother Roger created a life in Wichita, Kansas. Verla and the children returned to MN where they lived in Fridley. Mike told how his mom bought him his first rifle from Holiday Village and how much it meant to him because he knew she had sacrificed so he could have it.
Mike, his sister, and their youngest brother Craig moved with their mom to a brand new house in Blaine. While there, he and his friends had many adventures, hunting, fishing, shooting squirrels, working on cars and many would remain friends for most of their lives. Mike attended Blaine Sr High and enlisted in the Army right after summer school. He attended basic training and then was stationed in Germany. Mike decided that unlike his father, he would not be a ‘lifer’, and he returned home to attend maintenance school at Anoka Vo-Tech.
Before graduation, he began working at River Place and eventually became their chief engineer. He later went on to work for North Memorial and eventually, he’d finish his career at the University of Minnesota. He had many stories from his time working.
On an especially snowy morning, while Mike lived and worked at River Place, he called his boss to tell him he wouldn’t be able to get to work due to the snow and ended the call. A moment later, the phone rang and his boss told him to get his butt in the elevator and get to work. So he did.
There was another time, while working at North Memorial, where a woman complained so often about the temperature in her office that he finally installed a thermostat just for her. He stopped back a few weeks later and asked how it was working. “Great!” she said. Mike had installed the thermostat but it was connected to and controlled absolutely nothing.
After a layoff at North Memorial, he struggled to complete online job applications. If you held up a wrench, Mike could tell you its size from across the room, but that skill did not translate well to technology. The only screen Mike could navigate well was on the television set. With some assistance, Mike completed an online application for the first and last time, and was hired at the University of Minnesota.
Mike had worked there for several years when his boss was informed that one of his employees had sent an astronomical amount of texts. When the boss heard it was Mike, he replied “It can’t be Mike – he doesn’t even know what a text is.” Turns out he was willing to learn new skills so he could communicate with LeAnn. His new skills paid off and shortly after the two were dating. Very smooth Mike.
On June 6th, 2020 Mike and LeAnn had a beautiful small ceremony to celebrate their love. Due to Covid and Mike’s mom missing the first ceremony, they got to plan a second wedding. The two were often caught red-handed by the neighbors in fits of laughter on the deck. Everyone could see Mike’s blue eyes, “shooting stars and hearts” whenever he looked at LeAnn. Even though Mike and LeAnn were inseparable, their dogs needed separating on many occasions before they finally became the best of friends.
Mike retired from the University on January 6th, 2021. He spent his time at home with LeAnn, sneaking the dogs plenty of treats – Griffin gained at least five pounds, watching old westerns, Deadliest Catch, and yelling “Tase ‘em! Tase ‘em!” during episodes of Cops.
In September, Mike was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Mike’s first chemo appointment resulted in a trip to a third floor suite at Cambridge Medical Center. After being admitted, they called LeAnn back to the hospital and told them that Mike was dying. Mike survived that night and the latest catch phrase when asked “How are you?” became “better than Tuesday.”
Mike and LeAnn were given the gift of time – not as much as they wanted but as much as they needed. Mike took his last breath at home, next to his wife, with his dogs laying beside him.
Mike was preceded in death by his father Charles Raymond (aka Jim) Terry; his sister-in-law Peggy Terry and many extended family and friends.
Mike is survived by his wife LeAnn, his dogs Rose and Griffin, Willow the cat he never wanted but learned to love; his mother Verla Burnham; his other mother, Liz Terry; his sister Sharron (Bob) Katvala, his brothers Roger (Cindy) Terry and Craig Terry; his step children Kindsey (TJ Zinken) Moe, Kurri (Laura Cherry) Moe and their daughters Ren and Ali, who christened him “Great Dazzle Dad”, Ted (Stephanie) Moe and their son Michael, and Reed Moe; his nieces, Linzee (Josh) Bearl, Rob (Jenny) Katvala, Adam Katvala, Jainna (Aaron) Veale, Corey Katvala, Sterling Terry, Elizabeth Terry, Neil (Kaitlyn) Terry, Clarice Terry; his uncles Lee (Glenda) Burnham, Lloyd (Linda) Shelton, Richard (Loretta) Shelton; his aunts Charlotte Shelton-Cox and Glendoris (John) Barnard. He is also survived by many great nieces and nephews. He will be missed by his many cousins, his brother-in-laws Mark and Barry (Colleen) Brooks, the morning employees at the Mobile station in Isanti, as well as his many friends and neighbors.