April 14, 2006

Father Richard Terrill served in archdiocese for 36 years

By Mary Ann Wyand

Father Richard F. Terrill, a retired diocesan priest and former pastor of St. Nicholas Parish in Ripley County, died on March 28 in Newaygo, Mich. He was 85.

The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on April 3 at St. Bartholomew Church in Newaygo. Father Thomas Boufford, St. Bartholomew’s pastor, was the principal celebrant. Twelve diocesan priests concelebrated the funeral liturgy. Burial followed at Newaygo Cemetery.

Bishop Walter A. Hurley of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Mich., said in a letter dated March 31 that he is “grateful for Father Terrill’s priestly service in the diocese during his retirement years.”

Father Terrill “assisted as he was able,” Bishop Hurley said. “May Father Terrill now rest in eternal peace and enjoy the fullness of the glory of the Lord he so faithfully served. Let us continue to remember him in our Masses and prayers.”

Father Dennis Morrow, archivist for the Diocese of Grand Rapids, said Father Terrill “served honorably in retirement for over 15 years.”

Father Morrow said Father Charles Brown, “who had come to know Father Terrill as a worthy mentor, preached the [funeral] homily at Father Dick’s request.”

The archivist said “the esteem in which Father Dick was held by the priests of the Grand Rapids Diocese was underscored by the presence of numerous concelebrants from near and far.”

Richard Francis Terrill was born on May 2, 1920, in Marcellus, Mich., to Elmer and Charlotte (Robinson) Terrill. He graduated from Newaygo High School in 1938, then attended St. Mary College in St. Mary, Ky., and Saint Meinrad Seminary in St. Meinrad.

He was ordained a deacon on May 2, 1953, his 33rd birthday, by Archbishop Paul C. Schulte, then ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis on May 3, 1954, by Archbishop Schulte.

His first assignment was as assistant pastor of the former Holy Trinity Parish in New Albany. In 1956, he was named assistant pastor of St. Christopher Parish in Indianapolis. Five years later, he was appointed assistant pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Indianapolis and served as a high school instructor.

In 1964, Father Terrill was named pastor of Our Lady of the Springs Parish in French Lick and Our Lord Jesus Christ Parish in Paoli. In 1971, he returned to Indianapolis to serve as pastor of St. Philip Neri Parish.

He began his pastorate at St. Nicholas Parish in Ripley County on Jan. 14, 1978, and served there until his retirement on July 5, 1990, when he moved home to Newaygo and continued his priestly ministry in the Diocese of Grand Rapids.

He was a member of the American Guild of Organists and the Newaygo County Ministerial Association.

Surviving are one brother, Bus Terrill of Clearwater, Fla.; three sisters, Inez Eckert of Newaygo, Joyce Anderson of Sparta, Mich., and Maxine Terrill of Marcellus; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial gifts may be sent to St. Bartholomew Parish, 599 Brooks St., Newaygo, MI 49337 for the parish or the Newaygo Area Emergency Food Pantry. †


Local site Links: