Terrance (Terry) Vearl Green, 76, of Great Falls, died at a local hospital August 25th due to complications following surgery.
Terry was born February 19, 1939 in Powell, Wyoming to Vearl and Dorothy (Lampe) Green. Because of his father’s work, the family moved a lot when he was young, living in Nebraska, San Francisco and Chinook, MT before coming to Great Falls in the mid-1950’s. He told his parents they could move again but he was never going to leave here – and he never did. He had found his home place.
He attended West Junior High and Great Falls High School, where he was active in sports. He was proud of being a Bison and being a part of the football team that won the state championship in 1956.
He worked with his father as a perfa-taper on many of the homes in Riverview while in school. After graduation in 1957 he worked construction on the Minuteman Missile program for several years at the same time he served in the Montana Air National Guard for six years. He worked many years as a part-time driver for Great Falls Redi Mix and United Materials.
In 1963 he was hired by the Great Falls Fire Department and rose through the ranks to become a Captain in 1972. This was the position he held until his retirement in 1997. He took great pride in his vocation and received several commendations for his service to the community. In 1992 he received an award from the Firefighters local IAAF #8 for saving a life while on a call. Terry was well known within the department for his steady disposition, dedication and his skill at racquetball. There is a special bond among those who risk their lives for others and Terry was fortunate to be a part of that brotherhood.
Terry was an avid hunter and fisherman and passed that love on to his children and grandchildren. He hunted with the same guys every year until his health problems forced him to stop. He often said that those times at the Middle Fork camp with his hunting buddies were among his best memories.
On Tuesday morning he commented how beautiful the sunrise was from his hospital window and his spirits were high. He truly believed the words of his favorite song, “What a Wonderful World”.
He was a member of the Firefighters Local #8 and the Teamsters Union.
In 1960 he married Bonny Johnson (Minster) and they later divorced.
Terry and Diane (Jensen) Erickson were married in 1980.
Terry is survived by his wife Diane; son Kent (Wendy) of Hillsboro, Oregon; step children Lisa Willis of Great Falls, Randy Erickson of Washington and Loren Erickson of Mississippi; grandchildren Braden Green, Apryl Solana, Ashley and Kaylie Erickson; sisters Sherry Kalpinski and Debbie Pearson of Louisiana.
Those who preceded him in death were his parents; brother Dallas; infant son Kip; daughter Kimberle and great-grandson Vincent.
Terry’s request was that no service be held.
There is a poem often read when a firefighter retires that says, in part:
“I’m an old Fire-dog
With a head full of smog.
But don’t rub it in, I implore,
For I’ve just one regret
As I sit here and fret;
I’m not riden’ the rig anymore.
Let them say what they can,
It’s the job of a man
Even now as it was of yore.
And I’ll sure let them know
That I was one, although,
I’m not riden’ the rig anymore.”