Terry Lee Parson died peacefully at his home near Mora, on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. He was 66 years old.
Born on Nov. 27, 1954, in Nebraska City, Nebraska, to Lynn and Barbara Parson, he and his nine siblings were raised in the limestone mining town of Weeping Water, Nebraska. He was an avid community member, participating in church, sports and social activities until graduating high school in 1973. He majored in English literature at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln - go Huskers - and following graduation, began his teaching career at Conestoga Public Schools in Murray, Nebraska.
At Conestoga, he met a fellow first-year teacher and his soon-to-be wife, Linda Arens of Kingston, Minnesota. They were united in marriage in 1980 and took several motorcycle trips, including their honeymoon to northern Minnesota and Canada, as well as trips throughout the southwestern United States.
Upon moving to Minnesota in 1981, he enjoyed teaching high school English in the Braham and Mora school districts, where he set out to make Shakespeare as compelling to all of his students as it was to him. Further into his teaching career, he earned his Master’s degree in education from St. Cloud State University.
A lifelong fan of sports, he valued the community they helped build as both an athlete and a coach. He was passionate about coaching football, basketball, wrestling and track. As a colleague, he will be remembered for his famous chili cook-offs and football pools he took charge of, always looking for ways to make work a little more enjoyable for everyone.
Having spent the last 22 years working at East Central Energy as a systems controller, he again found himself surrounded by great teammates at work who he remained close to after retiring in 2019. No matter what he did, he seemed to attract dear friends for life.
He enjoyed traveling to Europe, Alaska, Canada, Maine, the Boundary Waters, annual family reunions, Kabetogama and never missed a fishing opener if he could help it. Above all, he loved to surround himself with family and friends. Some of his favorite activities were watching wildlife and working on his hobby farm - a place he considered a “life’s dreams come true.”
There was nothing better to him than fun on the farm, sharing games, campfires, canoeing the Snake River and hayrides with the people he loved. He loved playing Scrabble and Cribbage, planting trees and feeding and watching the birds. He always had an appetite for making others laugh - from the hundreds of dad jokes he stored in his memory throughout the years to the impromptu quips that came naturally even in his last days.
Some of his life lessons were to love your family and friends, be happy and spread happiness to all and enjoy the wilderness in any way you can. His mantra after his cancer diagnosis was that “every day is Christmas,” each day is a gift.
He was a generous, caring person who had a significant presence in the lives of many who have known him through the years. The dedication and loyalty he put forth were reciprocated in many ways by all the wonderful close friends and family that cared so much for him. He left the world a better place and will be missed dearly.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lynn and Barbara Parson; sister, Charlotte (Charlie) Clauss; brother-in-law, James Murphy; and dear friend and mentor, Tom Giese.
He is survived by his wife, Linda; children, Kristom Parson, Mara (Parson) and Ryan Sjodin, Sarah Parson and Matt LeLievre; grandchildren, Cael, Cooper, and Connor; sisters, Dorothy Murphy, Cammy (Mike) Bridgman, Kathy (Rod) Johnson; brothers, Dale (Deb) Parson, Alan (Patty) Parson, John (Mary Ann) Parson, David (Lori) Parson, Jeff Parson; and many nieces, nephews and extended family.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, at Grace Lutheran Church in Mora with Pastor Gary Guptill and Pastor Dale Parson officiating. Music is being provided by Alan Parson and Betty Smith. Readers are Dorothy Murphy, Cammy Bridgman and Karen Rash. Honorary casket bearers are Ryan Sjodin, Jim Hohman, Ralph Fairchild, John Parson, Galen Brelie, David Parson, Tom Demarais, Jeff Parson, Joel Thompson and Kathy Parson. Visitation will be held from 4 until 7 p.m. at Dresser-Methven Funeral Home in Mora on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021.
Arrangements by Methven Funeral and Cremation Services.