“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
Terry loved the outdoors and being one with nature. It didn’t matter if he was hunting or fishing with the boys, splitting wood, or on a road trip with Anne, if he was surrounded by nature, he was at peace.
Terry Dale was born at home, on Lot 11, Concession 11, in Sullivan Township on November 15, 1945. He was the firstborn to Melvin and Mavis (Ash) Klages and was soon joined by younger siblings Dennis (1948), John (1950), Carol (1953) and Mark (1960). The Klages family owned and operated a mixed farm and Terry soon began school, attending S.S. #9 Marmion. He continued his education at Chesley District High School, before moving on to the University of Guelph and obtaining his Diploma in Agriculture. He was a 1966 A graduate.
It was around this time that Terry was set-up on a blind date by a friend. On this particular evening, he was taking his date to the Drive-In theatre. His date, who was also set-up for this evening, was a young woman by the name of Anne Marie McKinnon. The two hit it off immediately, and soon began dating. They were wed on December 27, 1968 at Port Elgin United Church and soon settled in Owen Sound for a few months.
Terry had joined Local 527 in June of 1968 and was working through his five-year apprenticeship. In addition to spending some time at George Brown in Toronto, completing his schooling, Terry worked in Owen Sound for Central Mechanical (based in Guelph). Before long, he and Anne settled on his grandparent’s farm near Dobbinton, where they remained for the next 16 years. The Klages family soon began to grow with the additions of four sons, Mike (1969), Neil (1970), Stacey (1972) and Chris (1976). Terry spent the first few years working as a journeyman throughout much of Southwestern Ontario. In 1969 Terry began working at Douglas Point Generation Station as a Pipefitter.
Life was not all work and no play for Terry though. He absolutely loved spending any free time he had hunting or fishing. It didn’t matter if he was out by himself, spending time teaching the boys the craft, or heading out on a hunting or fishing trip with family or friends, he truly loved every minute of it. There were countless fishing trips to Whitefish Falls, moose hunting trips up north, or just hunting with the guys on a weekend. When time allowed it Terry and Anne hit the road in their small motorhome. Together they explored much of North America, travelling north to Alaska, south to the likes of Florida and Texas, east to Newfoundland (several times), west to Vancouver Island, and many places in between. All these adventures, and Terry didn’t travel on a commercial airplane even once! Amazing! Terry also enjoyed working with wood. It could have been as simple as chopping wood, or building a unique piece of furniture for a family member, many of which will be passed on to future generations. Most recently he made a number of wooden pens (yes, you read that right) that he gave to a variety of family and friends. A token of his talents, that will always remain with those closest to him for years to come.
Terry gave of his time and talents in other ways as well. He was a member for a time of the Chesley Kinsmen Club and an active member for much of his life at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. He enjoyed a good game of cards, once a member of a card club, and in recent months spent Thursday nights at his mom’s, playing cards with her and his brothers. In more recent years, Terry would make a concerted effort to end the workday early to go to George Klages’ for a 3 O’Clock Meeting, to catch up on the local news. Fish, wild game and seafood were some of Terry’s favourite foods. Younger family members learned early to guard their desserts, as “Prankster Terry” would steal the icing right off the top of their cake. Maple syrup was another favourite, as was a glass of rye or cold beer, shared with friends or family. I am told a little liquid courage always helped him get up on the dance floor!
In 1985, Anne and Terry relocated to Newtonville, as Terry was transferred to Darlington. Here they remained for the next six years, until 1991, when they returned to Chesley, settling in their current home. Terry remained at Bruce Power until his retirement in 2003, after spending 31 years with the company. On his first day of retirement, his co-workers dropped off his trusty “I seeeee” chair on the front lawn – a phrase Terry was often heard saying. Unlike most, retirement did not mean that Terry slowed down, but instead he got to do more of the things he loved when he wanted too. He loved spending time with others, and often said, “working together is better than by yourself.” He was also known to say, “All you can do is the best you can do!” Terry was a handy, fun-loving man, who loved his family dearly. Thankfully, the countless tales of Terry’s adventures and stories will remain with us all for years to come.
Terry passed away after a brief illness at South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Chesley on Monday, December 7, 2020 in his 76th year.
Beloved husband of Anne (McKinnon). Loving father of Mike (Lori) of R.R. #2 Desboro, Neil (Becky) of Hanover, Stacey (Krista) of Tara and Chris (Natasha) of Chesley. Terry will be dearly missed by his grandchildren Luke, Wes, Dianne, Evangeline, Dale, Daniel, Beverley, Kendra, Tyler, Gerret, and Mackenzie. Cherished son of Mavis Klages of Chesley and brother of Dennis (Norma) of Kitchener, John (Mary) of R.R. #4 Chesley, Carol (Vern) Weiss of Elmvale and Mark (Susan) of Chesley. Terry will be fondly remembered by Anne’s siblings, David (Judy) McKinnon, Rod (Connie) McKinnon, Laurel (Wayne) Purdy, Elaine (Wayne) Mundle and Craig McKinnon (Catherine Racine). He was predeceased by his father Melvin and brother-in-law Gordon McKinnon.
A private funeral service honouring Terry’s life will be held with interment to follow in Chesley Cemetery. A recording of Terry’s funeral service will be posted on the Rhody Family Funeral Home website following the service.
Memorial donations to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Chesley Hospital Foundation or Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.