Terry Van Pay, 77, loving husband, father, and grandpa, passed away from Alzheimer’s disease on July 14, 2021. Terry was a gentle, hardworking, and humorous man who touched many lives.
Terry was born on February 11, 1944, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He graduated from Green Bay East High School in 1962 and started work at Northern Paper Mills. Staying with the company through several changes in ownership, he retired in 2006, as the Maintenance Manager of Georgia Pacific’s Green Bay East Side Mill. Terry took pride in his 44-year career that ended as a senior manager at the mill.
With his beloved wife Sandy, he spent many weekends at the cabin they built on the Oconto River near Mountain, Wisconsin. Terry enjoyed “deer hunting” with the guys at the cabin, yet the only deer ever bagged came from an accident on a forest road (and the tow truck driver took both the truck and the deer). Terry shared with his brothers a lifelong interest in cars. He loved recounting the scrapes he and his twin, Tom, got into as children–test-driving cars before they were old enough to drive and “borrowing” the priests’ car from Saints Peter and Paul. As adults, all the brothers traveled to the car show in Iola each year.
Terry was an accomplished woodworker and spent many hours in his basement workshop and at the Monday night woodworking class at Preble High School. His creations included a kitchen table and cabinets, work benches, toy chests, a crib, guitars, and Soap Box Derby cars, including one that raced at the world championships.
He was an avid traveler and visited more than 30 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, and 8 countries, including China, Cambodia, Italy, and New Zealand. Terry took up long-distance biking in his late 60s and peddled more than 3,000 miles. With family and friends, he biked the three longest off-road bike trails in the country and peddled across Missouri (Katy Trail), New York (Erie Canal Trail) and from Washington DC to Pittsburgh (C&O Canal and Allegheny Trails), as well as a variety of trails in Wisconsin. Terry loved his regular Wednesday breakfasts with high school friends and his Thursday breakfasts with Richard Swigert, his brother-in-law.
Terry was preceded in death by his parents Theresa (Pavlik) and Edwin Van Pay; twin brother Tom; sister, Arleen Fitzgerald; brothers Jim and Steve Van Pay; in-laws, Arleen (Becker) and Ken Swigert; and sisters-in-law, Vicki Swigert and Sherry (Swigert) Bosar.
Terry will be deeply missed by his wife of 56 years, Sandy (Swigert) Van Pay; their children Kevin of Green Bay and Sarasota, Florida, and his children, Rachel and Ryan; Kim of Suamico and her children, Ashley and Michael Spychalla, and Brian (Betsy) of Longmont, Colorado, and his children, Audrey and Henry Terrance.
Terry is also survived by his brother, Chuck (Linda) Van Pay; sisters-in-law, Jackie Van Pay, Betty Van Pay, Dianne Van Pay; brothers-in-law, Richard (Joan) Swigert, Franklin Fitzgerald, and Larry Bosar. He is further survived by many nieces and nephews; and Godchildren: including Mark Van Pay, Mike Swigert, Chris Van Pay, Jeff Van Pay, and Sally Agger.
Even while Alzheimer’s took its toll, Terry maintained his sense of humor and remembered his close family and friends. His family extends a special thank you to the care and attention given by the professionals at Curative Connections, especially Kim and Julie, Oak Park Place, Unity Hospice, and St. Vincent’s Hospital.
Family and friends are invited to the Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St., on Monday, July 19, 2021, to come remember and celebrate Terry’s life from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. There will be a wake service at 7:00 p.m. where we will honor his life in prayer and share stories. The visitation will continue on Tuesday at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 720 N. Baird St., from 10:00 a.m. until the time of Mass. Funeral Mass 11:00 a.m. Tuesday at the church with Rev. Jose Lopez officiating. Terry will be laid to rest at the Allouez Chapel Mausoleum. Online condolences may be expressed at www.prokowall.com. The family hopes that all planning to attend the services have been fully vaccinated. They kindly request anyone not vaccinated wear a mask and practice social distancing.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorials preferred to Curative Connections and Unity Hospice in Terry’s name.