Oak Harbor Senior Center remembers Roxann Dunn-Terry

Roxann Dunn-Terry passed away Jan. 8. She was known for her love of crab. - Photo submitted
Roxann Dunn-Terry passed away Jan. 8. She was known for her love of crab.
— image credit: Photo submitted

One of the most well-known faces at the Oak Harbor Senior Center is missing.

Roxann Dunn-Terry, the longtime program coordinator at the center, passed away Jan. 8 after a brief illness. Her death, at age 60, shocked many at the center.

Mike McIntyre, senior center director, said people are still in the process of grieving the loss, but they hope to have a special memorial for Dunn-Terry in the near future.

Her funeral and viewing at Wallin Funeral Home took place last week.

“She was really the heart of this place in many ways,” he said.

“It’s tough for all us. We just have this big void.”

Three of Dunn-Terry’s close friends at the Senior Center sat down with the Whidbey News-Times to speak about her this week. Mary McYoung, Edna Schultz and Cookie Carrothers describe Dunn-Terry as a friendly, steady presence at the center.

“She just had a big heart,” Carrothers said. “It just came natural to her.”

Dunn-Terry cared deeply about the people at the center, they said, and made a point of learning everything she could about the seniors. She always took the time to speak with people and had a talent for consoling and mediating conflicts.

“If you needed someone to play pinochle, she was always willing to drop everything she was doing and join in,” said Schultz, who added that Dunn-Terry was pretty good at the game.

Dunn-Terry was in charge of the center’s popular travel program and especially loved the crab cruises.

McYoung said Dunny-Terry and her husband James Terry went along on some of the more memorable trips, including one involving a mouse in a hotel room at Mount Rainier.

The women said it was clear that Dunn-Terry had a tight-knit family and cared about them deeply.

“She was very close to her granddaughter,” McYoung said. “She just spoiled her.”

Dunn-Terry was also known for her legendary love of chocolate.

“Crab and chocolate. Those were her things,” McIntyre said.

Dunn-Terry was the editor of The Bridge when it was a joint publication of the Senior Center and the Whidbey News-Times. Her friends said they loved the columns she wrote, which often touched on the community and her family — and of course her beloved granddaughter.

Dunn-Terry was born July 17, 1953 at the Navy Dispensary at the Sea Plane Base. Her family moved away but returned to Oak Harbor in 1969; she graduated from Oak Harbor High School in 1971, according to her obituary.

Her friends said she was very dedicated to her church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints. She was proud of her 14 years as a seminary teacher and loved the scriptures.

She also loved her friends, arts and crafts, reading, writing, concerts, theater, travel and moose, her obituary states.

Dunn-Terry’s  family asked for memorial be made to the Oak Harbor Senior Center Foundation, which can be mailed to 51 SE Jerome St., Oak Harbor.


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