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Life Story / Obituary
With a warm smile and a generous soul, Terrance John DuBridge lived a life rich in family and friends. A man who embodied the principles he believed in, Terry was loving, kind, hard-working, and a passionate outdoorsman. Whether traveling with his beloved, gathering to celebrate a family member's special day, or casting his line in local waters, Terry embraced every moment as a gift to be treasured. He led with his heart in all things and, in doing so, modeled how to live wholeheartedly, with gratitude, hope, and love. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Terry will long be remembered by those he so dearly loved.
Despite the obvious gloom of the Great Depression, the power of hope undulated in the hearts of many. With a natural drive to not just endure but thrive in the face of uncertainty, the nation continued to put one foot in front of the other to build a better future. Nowhere was there more hope for the future than in the home of Flinton and Nora (Haywood) DuBridge as they welcomed their son Terry to their family on May 14, 1937, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The second oldest of the four DuBridge children, Terry enjoyed a childhood filled with strong family connections and traditions. His father worked as a machinist in manufacturing, and his mother was a homemaker who also worked at a gift shop. Terry was particularly close with his older sister Carole and was a great big brother to his younger siblings, Daryl and Elaine. Terry and his uncles, Bob, Leon, and Lynn, were close in age and became good friends too. The family lived in the Northwest side of Grand Rapids and attended Saint James Catholic Church. They made their home on Covell Ave. for a short time before moving to their home on Kusterer Ave.
As a boy, Terry attended Oakley Elementary School and spent a lot of time playing at his grandparents' cottage on Spring Lake. From an early age, Terry enjoyed the lake, fishing, and boating in his grandpa's Chris-Craft motorboat. He also loved hunting, bicycling, and horseback riding. As a boy, Terry had horses and loved riding them often with his cousin who lived nearby. One day, he rode his horse to town, trotting right down Leonard St. in Grand Rapids. When they reached Alpine Ave., the horse decided to sit down in the middle of the street and refused to go any farther! Terry had to call his father for help.
Terry attended Union High School, where he was a member of The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). He was also very mechanical and loved cars. He and his buddies spent a lot of time helping each other with their cars. After graduating with the class of 1954, Terry joined the National Guard, a reserve force of the United States Army and Air Force. One of his very first responsibilities was to assist in Standale, Michigan, during the "Tornado of 1956."
Much to Terry's good fortune, a co-worker arranged a blind date with two sisters. Terry's was Shirley Ranny, a new student teacher. A good match, Terry and Shirley were quickly a couple setting their hearts on building a future together. The happy couple married in November of 1960 at St. James Catholic Church. The wedding was in the afternoon, following Terry's brother Daryl's wedding in the morning on the same day. They were both attendants in each other's weddings.
The newlyweds first settled in Cedar Springs, Michigan, before moving to a house on Fennessy St. NW in Walker, Michigan. In time, they were blessed to welcome children to their family: Brian in 1961, Brent in 1963, Michele in 1964, Grant in 1966, and Amy in 1968. Terry liked to travel with his family to Altona, Michigan, to visit with family, help on their Christmas tree farm, and hunt deer on their land. The family also had memorable trips to Colorado and California in a Chevrolet Belaire. They traveled to the Upper Peninsula to visit family at Bill and Bertha's cottage. Terry was a good teacher to his children. He was responsible and a disciplinarian when needed. A playful father, Terry was thrilled to share his love of the outdoors with his children. The family bicycled together, all seven members in a row, each with a tall flag attached to their bike. They also enjoyed snowmobiling too.
Though his marriage to Shirley ended in divorce in 1980, the couple remained good friends, sharing their unwavering commitment to their children. In time, Terry met and married Dorothy Snip. This marriage lasted 40 years, and Terry became a close and trusted role model for Dorothy's four children: Darleen, Jan, Roger, and Cindy. He and Dorothy's children would gather most Sundays for a family dinner.
Terry and Dorothy camped extensively. Especially after he retired from his career as a machinist, they traveled all around America and Canada, Terry served as the president of the Michigan Jayco RV Owners Club and was a proud member of the Good Sam Club. A meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, Terry had hamburgers every Saturday night and ice cream every night before bed. He loved chocolate-covered cherries and enjoyed reading Westerns, author Zane Grey's books. Terry cherished his gun collection and his farm tractors and loved his pickup trucks. He was also proud of his Lincoln Towncars. Because Terry had rare O negative blood, the universal blood type, Terry felt called to help others by donating blood as often as he could.
Without a doubt, Terry's heart's delight was his family. As his family grew and he became a grandfather, Terry delighted in every moment he spent with his grandchildren. He relished attending their birthday parties and delivering his traditional Kit Kat Bar to the child being celebrated that day.
Though the world feels far less certain in the absence of Terry's steadfast love and companionship, may we find much comfort in our many treasured memories of the man we were so lucky to know. May we also find comfort in the honor of carrying Terry's beautiful legacy forward. Whenever we explore the outdoors, share an adventure, go for a boat ride, or cheer on our loved one's dreams, we celebrate all the ways Terry gifted our lives. In this way, we keep his spirit alive and inspiring others as he so inspired each of us.
Terrance J. DuBridge, aged 86, passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 4, 2023, with his family at his side.
Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by his brother Daryl DuBridge and sister Elaine Peterson.
Terry will be deeply missed by his wife of 40 years, Dorothy (Snip) DuBridge; his children, Brian DuBridge, Brent (Michelle) DuBridge, Michele (Scott) Johnson, Grant (Mirsada) DuBridge, and Amy (Steve) Walters as well as by Dorothy's children, Darleen (Bob) Nawrocki, Jan (Dave) Borst, Roger VanVels and Cindy (Ken) RysKamp. Also surviving are a multitude of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, his sister, Carole (Willard) Smith, and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, at 12 PM at the Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, Alt-Shawmut Chapel (2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504), with visitation prior to the service beginning at 10:00 AM. Terry will be laid to rest in Rosedale Memorial Park Cemetery.