Terry gibbard

feb 1948 - may 2023

Dad, Husband, and Friend.
You will be missed.

© Jeff Gibbard. All rights reserved.

A Eulogy by Maryanne

Terry and I met almost 33 years ago at a mutual friend’s barbecue.At one point during our conversation he stopped and said,“you have the most alive blue eyes I have ever seen.”to which I quickly replied,“that's because you look at dead eyes all day.“I have to admit, that was a pretty clever thing to say to a funeral director and he agreed that it was a great comeback.That first interaction between us set the stage for our life together. We shared the same strange, often dark, mostly silly sense of humor. For instance, toward the end, when we talked about cremation, he said “make sure I'm not mostly dead” — a nod to The Princess Bride, one of our favorite movies.I guess I could best describe our life together with one of our favorite quotes:“We're all a little weird, and life is a little weird, and when we find someone who's weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness – and call it love – true love — or as Terry used to say “twue love” in another reference to The Princess Bride.

Believe it or not, after we met Terry called me every single day until we retired together in Mexico.One of our son's once said to me “your relationship does us disservice because we want what you both have.” I like to think we gave our children an ideal to strive for: mutual respect, deep and enduring love, and not taking yourselves too seriously.While I have been able to push the memories down from time to time, the pictures continue to be the hardest for me. I see his sweet face and all I can think about was how this man treated me like a princess or a queen. I think how when I came back from a quick 72-hour trip to the US to get his medication, I arrived home, after midnight, only to see him waiting up for me. This man, who was enduring so much, stayed awake just so he could greet me with an enthusiastic: “my warrior queen has arrived!”I loved everything about him. Honestly...everything.While many knew Terry as an introvert, he still managed to be the life of the party. I still can’t wrap my head around how he pulled off that combination.I miss him. I miss him every single day, and I still can't imagine life without him. It all feels so surreal.Our favorite song was Could I Have This Dance (for the rest of my life) by Anne Murray. It’s a great song, but in my head it will always be Could I Have This Dance (forever) because even though he’s gone, the dance goes on. I will forever love him and he will always have my heart. He stepped out of my dreams and into my heart. There will never be anyone as special as loving as caring as funny as my wonderful man, my everything.True love never dies.Terry always loved to quote movies and sing song lyrics, so I think the best way for me to honor my husband is to share a few of my favorite lyrics that will always make me think of him.You’re in my heart by Rod Stewart
You’re in my heart
You’re in my soul
You’re my lover
You’re my best friend
You’re in my soul
True Love Will Never Fade by Mark Knopfler
When I think about us
I see the pictures that we made
The picture to remind us
True love will never fade
Come What May from Moulin Rouge
Everyday I love you more and more
But, I will love you until the end of time
The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
is to just love
and be loved in return
Rest in peace, Horace.Forever yours, Pootie Bear.

A Eulogy by Jeff

I've always thought of myself as a good writer but I don't know how to put into words what my father meant to me. No matter what I write or say in this eulogy it will inevitably fail to truly capture the depth of how important he was in my life. But, I will give it a try anyway.My dad, Terry Lee Gibbard passed away early on May 4, 2023. That day also happens to be my daughter's birthday. My 43rd birthday was two days prior on the second. Needless to say May 2023 was not my favorite month in my lifetime.My father was a fairly private person so I will honor what -- I can only assume -- he would want, by not going into great detail about his life. What I will share, at a very high level, is that his life was far more traumatic than his warmth, kindness, and great sense of humor would suggest. My dad went through some really intensely serious shit in his life, and he had every justification to be a spiteful, fearful, and openly angry person. While I am reasonably certain that there were some truly ugly moments in his life, as there are in all of our lives, what I've gathered from watching his life, is that my father was not hostile, and he never carried himself as a victim of his circumstances or tragedies. Instead, for better or worse, he was forever reluctant to burden anyone else with concern about him. I always knew him to set clear boundaries, and anytime I saw him get confrontational, is was because someone has transgressed one of his clear boundaries.But these were exceptions because so long as everyone respected those boundaries, he put his energy into making others feel safe around him. He was someone his friends knew could be trusted. i think for most of his close friends and family he would definitely be the guy you'd call if you needed to hide a dead body and make sure no one found out about it...besides, he was a funeral director. What I’m saying is he could be trusted.As I am now the proud parent of two amazing children, I am attempting to live up to the high bar he set as a parent. I feel so lucky that I have his voice so clearly in my head helping guide my way. I've never doubted whether he was proud of me, he made sure I knew from the moment I came into this world that he would always have my back.I've been into superheroes for my entire life, and I still am. Of all the fantastic and colorful heroes I've read about, seen on the big screen, or pictured in my imagination, my father was and always will be my #1 hero.So, to close out the impossible task of fully memorializing my father, this person with such overwhelming significance and influence over who I am as a person, I want to share 10 lessons that he taught me, both directly and indirectly, about life and fatherhood:1. Find something you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.Have fun. Experiment. Try things. Whether it was his playful way in the kitchen or his encouragement for me to “go for it” no matter what it was, dad was a believer in the importance of being open minded and willing to surprise yourself.2. Be there and be supportive for and protective of your people, without exception and without fail.Dad showed up to every game, was always there to practice with me, and read nearly every word I’ve ever published. If you were in his circle, you could always expect him to have your back.3. Be honest. Always tell the truth and don't lie.I still remember that time I lied to my dad as a kid, and he told me that he was disappointed and I’d need to earn back his trust. It changed my life and I’ve tried to live a life where I’d never need to earn back someone’s trust.4. Be the type of person that people feel safe around.I think every parent wants their kids to feel comfortable enough to tell them everything. With my dad, that mission was accomplished, there was nothing I felt it wasn’t safe to tell him. It’s hard to explain how freeing it is to have that kind of safety.5. Do amazing things, not for the fame or attention, but because you want to.Challenge yourself. That’s all that really matters.6. Be the type of person that people trust so much that they never have to question it.When you’re honest with people, and ensure they feel safe, and you do it consistently, people don’t ever have to question your intentions. You can see this influence in everything I do.7. Don’t leave words unspoken.Tell the people you love that you love them, because you never know when it will be the last time. Tell people you’re proud of them. It means more than you might know. Aside from frequently telling me, Maryanne, and my step brothers that he loved them, another way he did this was by making time for the people in his life who truly matter and he was fully present when he did.8. Set clear boundaries. Respect other people's boundaries.My dad had boundaries and he told you about them. Some were walls to hide trauma, and some were just preferences that were iron clad. To everyone who respected those boundaries, dad was a teddy bear. To those that didn't respect those boundaries, he could be a grizzly bear.9. When life knocks you down, you gotta get back up because there are no do-overs.Dad’s life was a story of resilience. He kept getting back up and moving forward. I try to do that in the healthiest way I can.10. Life is short. Don’t waste it.He retired in his 50’s, got out of the cold, and learned to play golf, reasonably well. He taught me to laugh. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at life. Laugh at death. Don’t give a fuck. Because no one here gets out alive.I’m grateful that I got the chance to say goodbye to my dad. He was still conscious and aware, and one of the last things I told him was how I’ll end this eulogy:

Dad, you were the blueprint for me as a father. You were a fucking legend.

Tributes to Terry Gibbard

Aubrey loved her Big Daddy. She would run him ragged, climbing on him, making him chase her, and just generally being wild.Though she only got to know him for 3 years, I hope she remembers the time they spent together.

From Aubrey Gibbard

via Baba

Big Daddy got to meet his grandson shortly after he was born. He got to spend nearly 5 months with Logan.Logan was only 7 months old when Big Daddy passed away. While he may not have any memories of meeting Big Daddy, there are plenty of pictures, plenty of stories, and a lifetime of lessons and great music that will be passed down to him.

From Logan Gibbard

via Baba

Describe Terry in 3 Words:
Warm, genuine, goofy
What’s a fond memory or story you have about Terry you’d like to share?
Terry became a part of my life from the day I was born. I was born in the same hospital as his son, Jeff, in the room next door to be exact.
From that day on, our families became very close friends.Terry was like the cool uncle I always wanted. He was fun and goofy and kept you in line. What stands out the most to me were his silly faces, smile, and fun personality. He was like a big kid.I think when remembering someone we love, we should think about the joy they brought into the lives of others and their uniqueness. Terry was one of a kind and we will carry the memory of him when we think back to the times we had together in his homes in Freeport and Center Moriches and our home in Levittown. Moments like a backyard bbq, sitting around talking and laughing or playing basketball or whiffle ball in the street.Although a large amount of time passed where our families lost contact, I’m grateful that we were able to see him and reconnect before he left us. I know that Terry loved me and I loved him.Love always, WendiIf you could say one more thing to Terry, what would you say?I’m going to miss you…

From Wendi Altman

Describe Terry in 3 Words:
Loving, kind and unforgettable
What’s a fond memory or story you have about Terry you’d like to share?
In 1989 I was on chemotherapy at Mercy Hospital. Terry would call me early on a Wednesday morning and say as soon as you finish your session, please stop by and we can share some Chinese food. It seemed very strange and comical to me that I would be having lunch at the funeral home. We worked together for over 25 years mostly via telephone. My coworkers could always hear me giggling to his latest jokes. Or they may hear him ranting and raving about our coworkers. I love those talks. I will always remember them. I also remember a good friend of ours Tom Loughran hosting a barbecue. I’ll never forget Terry meeting the love of his life Mary Anne. The long conversations eventually would turn to the love of his life, and how much he admired her. Her personality, her love of life and especially their friendship.
I will always remember all the dinners and parties we shared and all the smiles and laughter. I will always keep them in my heart. I loved him so very much.
If you could say one more thing to Terry, what would you say?I love u so so much!!!!!

From Maureen McLoughlin

Describe Terry in 3 Words:
Loving, Positive, Proud
What’s a fond memory or story you have about Terry you’d like to share?
They say that people come into our lives for a season, a reason or a lifetime. Terry came into mine this past winter when my daughter and I moved into the same condo building in Philadelphia. We only knew each other for a season and most of that season was spent going to and from doctor and hospital visits. But the reason was so that he could gift me the friendship of his beloved wife, Maryanne, who I hope will be my best friend for a lifetime.
Thank you Terry.If you could say one more thing to Terry, what would you say?You made the lives of so many better for having been loved by you.

From Lynn Jason

Describe Terry in 3 Words:
an awesome friend
What’s a fond memory or story you have about Terry you’d like to share?
I'm full of fond memories but one that comes to mind is his frustration when he first learned to play golf. Terry did not make friends easily but once you earned his trust, you couldn't asked for a better friend. Our friendship lasted for 18 years but was cut short with his passing.
If you could say one more thing to Terry, what would you say?My friend, I would have loved to have had you for another 18 years.

From ...

About Terry Gibbard

through the lens

There are no words that can sum up what he meant to those of us closest to him.
There is no story of his life that would do it justice.
But here are a few pictures that help us remember who he was.

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