Terry Alden Erwin

Visitation

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sunday October 23, 2022


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Terry Alden Erwin, age 75, of Sarona, Wisconsin, beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend and mentor, passed away in the early morning of August 16, 2022.

Terry was the second of five children born to parents Arthur (Art) and Deborah (Debby) Erwin (Eldred) on August 27, 1946, in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Art and Debby eventually moved their young family to Woodland Lane, in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where they lived and raised their family on Lac LaBelle for many years.

Terry attended University Lake School, in Hartland, Wisconsin, earning his diploma in 1964, and went on to attend college at UW-Whitewater, graduating in 1969.

Terry seemed to excel at most everything. He was a remarkably good sailor and iceboater, hunter, fisherman, woodworker, craftsman, husband and father. Terry was a kid at heart; yet, even as a kid himself, Terry was known for his patience and kindness. In his youth, Terry would often catch fish out of Lac LaBelle, clean them and cook them for his littler siblings, or make them pizzas from scratch. His little sister, Trudy, recalls that as a teenager, Terry already seemed like an adult. A gentle giant at 6 feet, 5 inches tall, Terry was extraordinarily generous with his time, always playing with her and her brother Chip—but never teasing them. As a child, Trudy recalls thinking how lucky Terry’s future kids would be to have him as their dad.

Following in the footsteps of older brother Jeff, Terry took to sailing at a young age. Racing X Boats at Lac LaBelle Yacht Club, Terry could win races single handedly, but he would add a younger sibling to meet the crew requirement. One such picture shows Terry with a free arm wrapped around his little sister on a chilly race day, while she enjoys the carefree boat ride. That same generous spirit and effortless mentorship were as much a part of Terry’s storied racing career as the races he won.

In his senior year at UW-Whitewater, Terry became the sailing instructor to freshman Dorothy Leidiger. In an attempt to impress her, Terry invited Dorothy on a first date to a banquet held by the Wisconsin Yachting Association, where Terry was to receive a trophy for First Place in C-Scows. Terry’s plan worked, and the pair began dating. Terry and Dorothy were married on May 26, 1974. The couple enjoyed years of sailing, traveling, and adventures together. Terry supported Dorothy as she started her business, and approached her only twice to have ‘a serious talk.’ The first ‘talk’ was to request that they start a family. They welcomed their first son, Graham Arthur (now Arthur Graham), in 1982. The second time, Terry proposed that they grow their family; they welcomed Margaret Ann (Maggie) in 1985. Terry and Dorothy raised their children in their home in Wayzata, Minnesota. As a hands-on stay-at-home parent, Terry fostered his same love for the outdoors in his two kids. Arthur and Maggie adored their dad; growing up, the two were never far from his side.

In adulthood, Terry became a champion sailor on the water and on the ice. Known for both his craftsmanship and sportsmanship, Terry once modified his C-Scow, lovingly named ‘Pressed Rat,’ by changing the shape of the sideboards and creating a rear-mounted rudder now common in today’s scows. Terry was a perpetually tough competitor; yet, he was beloved for his ability to ‘turn it off’ when the race ended. Back on shore, he was a friend to everyone; he loved nothing more than to laugh and swap stories with the other sailors.

An exceptional hunter, wild game was often on the menu for Terry’s family and friends. Whether it was geese, ducks, pheasants, quail, venison, or fish, you could count on Terry to fill the freezer each season.

Terry’s love of laughter, zest for life, and devotion to his family defied the disease that touched his final years. He was a friend to all, a mentor to many, and the anchor of his family.

Terry is preceded in death by his father, Art, and his mother, Debby. Terry is survived by his wife, Dorothy; his son, Arthur, and daughter, Maggie (Ken) Scofield; grandsons, Koa and Ethan Scofield; brothers, Jeffrey, Scott, and Chip; sister, Trudy; and nieces and nephews, Barrett and Spencer Erwin (Scott and Jackie), David and Lily Erwin (Chip and Jana), and Ryan Kensinger (Trudy Erwin and Jeff Kensinger).

A public Celebration to honor Terry’s Life will be held at The Lafayette Club in Minnetonka Beach, Minnesota, on Sunday, October 23, 2022, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org, or a donation to the Lac LaBelle Youth Sailing Program in Terry’s memory.

Services are entrusted to O’Connell Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Hudson, WI, 54022, 715-386-3725, www.oconnellfuneralhomes.com

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