Memories and Condolences: Leave Your Thoughts Here

Please leave your messages to the family or memories about Betty Davis Terry, an amazing wife, mother, daughter, teacher, friend. You can also send photos and other materials to add to this site to beth.terry001 [at] gmail [dot] com.


  1. Mrs. Terry was my 2nd grade teacher at University Elementary School in Honolulu, Hawaii. I, and my fellow classmates, loved her dearly. Trying to put my finger on just what it was that made us take to her so completely...her large and radiant smile, her friendliness, enthusiasm and encouragement, her going beyond the "normal" doings of a teacher. I will always remember the HUGE turquoise burlap map of the world that she hung on the front wall of our classroom. It covered the entire wall! She had drawn in the outlines of each and every country and it was our task to "discover" them all. It was such a thrill to be able to write in the name of the country we found and to gradually see all the blanks filled in. That project made a lasting impression on me.

    Still clear in my memory is how she read to us. We'd sit on the wood floor at her feet and she enthralled us with the stories she chose.

    Mrs. Terry must have had an ethic of discipline as well. I remember, at least two times, watching her write my name in the top right corner of the black board, meaning I would have to stay after school for talking or being inattentive in class. I was so embarrassed and after those two times, I never had to stay back again!

    I remember we were all so sad to learn that she was leaving Hawaii and our school. It's nice to have such fond memories of a person and teacher I loved so long ago. Aloha and mahalo, Mrs. Terry.

    Sending my sympathies to her family who obviously loved and enjoyed her very much.

    Shelley Choy
    Class of 1973
    University High School

  2. I only have fond memories about Sister Terry. She was always very kind and had the most genuine smile that anyone could ever have. I know she loved her mother, her husband and her children. I will always admire her dedication to her family and the love she had for her husband.
    The only comfort for her husband and children during this sorrow time is the knowledge that she will be restored to her full self and that she knew and loved her Heavenly Father. Our prayers are with you.

    Roxana Sirk
    Beltsville Ward (former)

  3. Mrs. Terry was my first young teacher, so just by appearance she was a great teacher and could do no wrong!

    In retrospect, Mrs. Terry didn't talk down to us and there was no baby talk from her. She had substance.

    Her positive and happy energy set the tone for a wonderful learning environment and I always remember how she smiled and laughed a lot.
    She turned me onto reading and I remember going nuts for the book "Island of the Blue Dolphins."

    Another memory that pops up was when we had to do oral reports on a book we read. Karen shared her book about a "loquacious little girl." Mrs. Terry asked Karen if she knew the definition of "loquacious." Karen didn't know the meaning and in defining the word for her, Mrs. Terry used Karen as an example of a loquacious girl. Karen was so happy to learn a new and big word and she went around announcing, "I'm loquacious . . . I'm loquacious!"

    To add to my sister's posting, above. One day, Shelley did not appear for a ride home after school. I found her sitting with Mrs. Terry in an empty and silent classroom. I knew something was up especially because Mrs. Terry didn't greet me and she looked stern. Shelley had to stay after school (which was a big deal in those days) because she was talking out of turn during class. To get Shelley back into the lesson Mrs. Terry asked, "Shelley, what did I just say?" Shelley's answer was, "What did I just say." Mrs. Terry was not pleased with her response!!

    It's amazing to know that children from Hawaii to the East Coast had the great fortune of a wonderful learning experience with Mrs. Terry.

    She was the best!!

    Patti Choy

  4. Ellen-

    I never had the opportunity to meet your mom, but I always found her story of moving out to Hawaii on her own as so inspiring. And clearly she raised a wonderful daughter. Your tribute to her brought tears to my eyes. My sympathies to you and your family. Thinking of you all.


  5. Ellen:
    My condolences on the loss of your mother. I had no idea about her accomplishments as an educator, and I was touched by your tribute. In my mind she was simply very kind to me when I would come to visit.

    Marta Dark McNeese

  6. Thanks so much for sharing the wonderful tribute to your mother. We enjoyed seeing every piece of it, and remembering the fine picnics we enjoyed at your family home, with your parents, grandparents, siblings and the missionaries. We smiled at the comment in David's remembrance that she "fed the missionaries". She fed us too, with food and love and joy. She raised a lovely family. She lives on within all of you.

    Love, Dad and Melba
    (Pastor Richard and Melba Reichard)

  7. We are so sorry about the passing of your mother. She was a grand lady, and a real treasure in this world. I truly admired your mother, and her lovely characteristicts, for many reasons. And she was a sweet friend to me, more than once, when I lived so close to her and your dad. Please know that we are thinking of you today, and we dearly wish we could be there with you to celebrate her life and remember her influence in this world.

    I have the fondest memories of her ever-ready smile and loving personality. I wish I had had the resources to come back and sing for her again. She was always so extremely kind and complimentary to me whenever I got the nerve to sing in public. She is a pure treasure to this world, and our hearts are with you all.

    With much, much love,
    Glenna (and Kay and Parker)

  8. Is thinking about my friends in the Terry family today - Beth Terry, David Terry, Ellen Terry Holder, Frances Terry Meyerson, and Will Terry. Last night, I shared with my daughter, Mary, who is friends with Ellen's son, David, my fond memories of hanging out at your family's house in middle school. I am keeping you all and our warm memories in my heart today.

    Paul Wester

  9. My interactions with your mother were limited to my visits to your house. What I'm sure I never fully articulated to you (or her, obviously) was that I marveled at the Terry household.

    The loving relationship between your parents and the closeness between the Terry siblings were somewhat foreign from what I knew. Seeing your father and mother move in an affectionate tandem, listening to the giggly chatter between you and Frances and watching everyone's playful interactions with David: it was clear that the house was filled with love and support. I know your mother was at the center of that and my thoughts are with the entire Terry clan.

    And these days my marvel focuses toward the life you have made for you and your children. Challenges aside, it is clear that like your own mother, you delight in your children. Absolutely a thing of beauty and wonder. I mean it.


  10. Thank you, Betty, for all you have given us. For all the smiles and words of encouragement during difficult times, for your positive attitude and humor, for your wisdom and kindness and for your example as an exemplary teacher, friend, mom and wife. Your legacy will live on forever through the many lives you have touched with your sweetness and generosity.

    I have never known a woman who was more adored by her husband and children than Mrs. Terry. This was never more obvious to me than when I read the words written for the memorial, but now I understand why she was always smiling. Because she knew it too. All the time, every day. She was truly loved.

    My heart goes out to you all. May your memories comfort you during this time.

    Peace and Love,

  11. Dear Ellen & Fran,

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. You have my deepest sympathies and are in my thoughts. I'll spare you the normal cliche's but instead share the following. I pray it may bring comfort to your hearts...

    "Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!"

    Henry Scott Holland, Professor of Divinity, Oxford,1847-1918

  12. I want to say thanks so much to Betty, she led our people well. God willing her memory will live on via all of her work. I will never forget how much she inspired me and all of our people. Love and Blessings, Esperanza

  13. Alfred and JoAnne SammonsMarch 9, 2011 at 1:56 AM

    I don't think everyone will know how much you and your wife meant to this group' they are indebted to her work ( & ) you to put people at ease, I am praying for you and your family
    May God be with you at all time.

    Alfred and JoAnne Sammons

  14. God speed, Mrs. Terry. I can't express adequately the influence you had in my life.

    Your knowledge enlighted me. Your passion encouraged me. Your compassion uplifted me.

    You touched me in so many ways. You helped me believe in myself and gave me the tools I needed to succeed. And I know you similarly impacted countless other students.

    Rest in peace.

    Chris Dreibelbis
    Student from Glenarden Woods Elementary

  15. I was one of Mrs. Terry's students at the University Elementary School in Hawaii. This picture is of our 4th grade class:

    I'm center front having just danced the hula for the school's May Day ceremony. For a little girl who wasn't very pretty, wasn't very smart, and wasn't very talented this was my moment. I guess Mrs. Terry was giving me my 5 minutes of fame. I'm sure moments like these help shape a person.

    When my daughter changed schools and was new to her 4th grade class she was very fortunate to have had a very supportive teacher. I've always thought of that teacher as my daughter's "Mrs. Terry". Teachers do make a difference. I'm so glad she was my teacher.

  16. As a new convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I knew no one and had no close friends. Betty took care of that. She and I worked together on on the College Park Ward newsletter, and Betty encouraged me to write announcements and articles, enter calendar items and write POETRY. I never knew I had any poetry in me until Betty encouraged it. I've always been grateful for that and so many other areas where she blessed my life, the lives of those in my family, and the lives of all those around her. I remember her Relief Society lessons as being so gentle, yet filled with passion and intent to live the gospel well, which she surely did. What a talent she had for bringing out the best and the "hidden" in all of us. It would be very hard to say good-bye to her if I didn't know FOR SURE that I'll be saying hello to her later on.
    Pat Fulcher

  17. My memories of Betty are from church in Honolulu. She was delightful --
    always smiling and friendly. She taught a class of girls in MIA and I know
    she made a difference in their lives. They were girls who were not active
    in church. Betty went the extra mile to pick them up twice each week to bring them to the church. She was a special young woman. I know she will be missed but I'm sure she left wonderful memories. Love and aloha to you Ray and to your family. Alice (Anderson) Akau

  18. I didn't know Mrs. Terry personally, but I received a lot of help when I e-mailed the provided address regarding questions about ancestry; everyone was so kind and willing to help. Mrs. Terry seemed to be a beautiful person, bith inside and out, and I am sure that she will be missed. Her legacy and knowledge will continue to live on.