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Terry Neal Fennema
June 27, 2023 (age 67) 67 Years Old
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Terry Neal Fennema was born June 27, 1956, to George and Wilma (Eizenga) Fennema in Roseland, Illinois. Terry was baptized in 1956 at Fourth Christian Reformed Church in Roseland. He attended school at the Roseland Christian Grade School and graduated from Chicago Christian High School in 1973.
When Terry was a young boy, his family spent many hours fishing, swimming, golfing, and taking long walks at Little Paw Paw Lake by Coloma, Michigan. He talked of these years often. Terry moved from the Chicago area to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1973. He met Ruth Van Dyk on a blind date in Kalamazoo, Mich. After a brief dating relationship, they were married May 27, 1976, at Grace Christian Reformed Church in Kalamazoo.
Terry and Ruth made their home in Mokena, Ill. for much of their married life. It was here that they were blessed with the birth of five children. They were members of Orland Park CRC until 1991, when they joined the First Protestant Reformed Church of South Holland, Ill. In 2010, they moved to Edgerton, Minn. where their oldest son lived with his family.
Terry was known for his work ethic and a commitment to excellence in everything he did. He started working at the age of 13. Over the years he worked as a craftsman for Malkov Lumber and Detmers Co. in Chicago. He owned his own construction company from 1993-1995. He then went into truck driving for the next 18 years, with most of those years spent working for Van Barren Cartage and Falcon Pallet. In 2013, he returned to his passion - working with wood at Dakota Millwork/The Urban Woodshop in Sioux Falls, S.D., where he worked until cancer forced him into retirement in 2021.
When he was not working, Terry enjoyed summer camping trips with family, hunting, fishing, and spending time with his children and grandchildren. He was an avid reader for most of his life and over the years collected many books, both fictional and theological. He was never one to shy away from a theological discussion and held fast to his faith and convictions.
Terry passed away Tuesday, June 27 on his 67th birthday at Pipestone County Medical Center after a 2 ½ year battle with cancer. He is lovingly remembered by his wife, Ruth and five children: Michael (Jill) of Edgerton, Minn, Matthew (Sara) of Albertville, Minn, Sara (Robert) Grah of The Villages, Florida, Adam (Beth) of Edgerton, Minn, Jacob (Monique) of Sioux Falls, S.D. and 13 grandchildren; his siblings: George (Ruth) Fennema of Hudsonville, Mich., Richard (Elsa) Fennema of Chicago, Ill., William (Patricia) of Sand Lake, Mich., Lynnell Julien of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and many other relatives and friends.
Terry was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law David Julien.