Terry A. M. Shepherd passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 10 with her beloved husband Harold by her side. After a fierce battle, Terry succumbed to the effects of the H1N1 virus at Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska. She was 45 years young.
Terry was born in Wurzburg, West Germany in 1964 and after her father retired from the U.S. Army in 1973, Terry and her family moved to Tampa, Fla., where she spent the majority of her childhood and adolescence.
At an early age, Terry developed a love of animals and the outdoors, a sense of social justice, and a strong environmental ethic, which carried into her college years. She received an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Tampa and then went on to obtain two masters degrees – one in political science from Colorado State University, and a second in environmental studies from the University of Montana.
Terry’s career included a long history of environmental advocacy. She worked for several years with both the Umatilla and Siletz Tribes in Oregon on a variety of treaty, tribal and environmental issues; she was also involved in forest planning with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and worked for three and a half years as the executive director of Red Rock Forests, in Moab. She was also a licensed massage therapist.
While working for the Siletz Indian tribe, Terry met the love of her life and future husband Harold Shepherd. Terry and Harold were married in a beautiful outdoor ceremony at Smith Rock State Park in Oregon in August 2000. In 2009, Terry and Harold moved to Homer, Alaska after Terry took a position as the executive director of the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies.
While living in Homer, Terry continued to pursue her passion for all things outdoors. Terry loved to go hiking, cross-country skiing, camping, snow-shoeing, and running. She shared these passions with her husband and her four-legged companions, Ramsay, Deke, Bella, and Minch. During their marriage, Terry and Harold shared many adventures in the outdoors in the form of hiking, and backpacking with their dogs in places like Canada, southern Utah, Oregon and Alaska.
Terry has been described by one friend and colleague as “in combination, the most tireless, devoted, and effective environmental activist I ever worked with…”
Terry brought to southeastern Utah a certain grace and civility to what has always been a rancorous and polarized debate. She made friends in the most surprising of places, and built authentic partnerships that were far beyond the tired euphemism for which that word has come to stand.
Terry not only set the standard in her profession, but will be remembered by friends and family as a beloved and devoted wife, wonderful daughter and loving step-mother, sister and aunt.
To her family, “She was our blumchen (little flower).” Terry was beautiful and bright and brought light into the lives of all who knew her. Her loss has a left a hole in the hearts and lives of all who knew her that cannot be expressed in words.
Terry is survived by her husband, Harold, step-children, Anna and Alex, mother and father, Milton and Christel Lane, brother, Roy, sister, Kay Basil and husband Victor and niece and nephew, Elissa and Peter Basil.
A memorial service celebrating Terry’s remarkable life will be held at a later date.