January 14, 1935 - February 16, 2020
Terry Lee Heyer passed away surrounded by family on February 16, 2020 at Timpanogos Hospital in Orem, Utah, after a battle with pneumonia. Terry was born on January 14, 1935, in Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California, to parents Kenneth Orville Heyer and Estelle “Kay” Crocker. He had an older brother, Robin, and a younger sister, Kathleen, arrived a few years later. He grew up during the Great Depression and World War II and performed chores around the house and family vegetable garden. He remembered national rubber drives and scrap metal drives to help the war effort, and air raid blackout drills when his family would cover their home’s windows at night and sit together listening to war reports on the radio. He enjoyed playing with his older brother Robin’s collection of lead toy army soldiers and tanks, and Navy sailors. Growing up during World War II had an enormous effect on him, creating great interest in world events, history, and other nations. He had fond childhood memories of Christmas and Norman Rockwell-looking Santas. Terry enjoyed seeing shops decorated with strings of lights and glowing store windows filled with toy trains that fueled a lifelong fascination with trains. Later in life he and his wife, Anni, always went to great lengths to provide magical Christmases for their own children; often speaking to each other in German to hide Christmas secrets from their kids, who understood more German than Terry and Anni thought they did. Terry graduated with the Class of 1952 from Inglewood High School, Los Angeles County, California, where he played football and wrote for the Daily Sentinel school newspaper. An injury and a worried mother ended his football career, but Terry’s school newspaper work developed in him a love for journalism that led to various newspaper jobs in his future. On the day after Christmas during Terry’s senior year at Inglewood High School, Elder Gary Rasmussen and Elder Grant Newell, missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, knocked at his family’s home and Terry agreed to listen to their message that the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ had been restored to the earth. Over the next several months, Terry listened carefully as the missionaries taught him about Jesus Christ, apostles and prophets, and continuing revelation. He read scriptures and prayed on his own about the messages he was hearing, and received his own personal witness that what they had taught him was true. A few months before his high school graduation, Terry was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in March 1952. After graduating from Inglewood High School, Terry worked as a reporter for the Inglewood Daily News. He later traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, because he had heard there was a “church school” in Utah. He attended the University of Utah for one semester thinking it was the church school he had heard about (he repented of this later by attending the actual church school, BYU). After one semester of college, he entered the Language Training Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in preparation to serve as a missionary for the Church. From 1955 to 1957, Terry served as a missionary in the East German Mission. The East German Mission’s name changed to the North German Mission in 1957. During his mission, Terry served the German people in the still war-devastated cities of Hamburg, Berlin, Kiel, Barsinghausen, and Norden. Also during his mission, while assigned to serve in Hamburg, Terry met a lovely 18-year old church member named Anni Jahn. He was instantly smitten with her, but continued his faithful mission service in Hamburg and other cities. When his mission concluded in 1957, Terry returned to California, and he and Anni did not correspond with each other after he departed from Germany, and Anni began serving a church mission in her native Germany in 1958. After his church mission, Terry knew that compulsory military service through the draft was rapidly approaching, so he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After boot camp and other early training in California, Terry showed a propensity and skill for writing, typing, and languages. When the time came for his unit to be deployed to one of several hot spots in the world where soldiers were deployed, an Army general officer told the unit that every one of them was to be sent to reinforce troop strength along the border between South and North Korea, except for Terry and one other soldier. The general officer, who did not know any members of Terry’s unit, said he did not know why, but he knew he was supposed to send two members of the unit to Germany. Terry was one of these two. He was sent directly to Berlin. The Army discovered he was fluent in German and assigned Terry as a reporter for the Berlin Observer, which provided readers with an official account of American Military activities in the Cold War-divided city. During an Army furlough, Terry encountered Anni Jahn again when both of them were assigned to provide leadership at a church youth conference in Bremen, Germany. The conference afforded them an opportunity to talk and renew their acquaintance. They corresponded regularly after that, and when Anni completed her mission service, Terry married Anni Jahn on December 19, 1959, in the Bern Switzerland Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the temple, they were sealed together as husband and wife for time and all eternity. Terry served in the U.S. Army in Berlin from 1958 to 1960. Terry and Anni established their home in Inglewood, California. Terry was honorably discharged from the Army in 1961. After his discharge, Terry continued to put his journalism skills to use, working as a reporter, photographer, and editor for two different Los Angeles area newspapers, covering local news and sporting events. He especially loved providing news coverage at football games, his favorite sport. One memorable reporting assignment he had was covering a Los Angeles speech by Eleanor Roosevelt and briefly interacting with the former First Lady. While reporting the news and sports, he also pursued a college degree by attending night classes, culminating with a bachelor’s degree in education from Long Beach State University. With an education degree in hand, Terry taught elementary school in the Los Angeles County School District. He wanted to help improve teaching and education in Los Angeles, and believed he could do this by working for Consultants in Total Education (CITE), a private educational consulting company focused on making education fun and accessible to more Los Angeles children. At CITE, Terry also helped write educational curriculum for schools on Native American reservations. Unfortunately, after several years of success, political shifts in the administration of California’s public schools changed the state’s goals and priorities. CITE’s owners experienced financial setbacks and the company ceased operations, leaving Terry looking for a new career path. All three of Anni’s and Terry’s children: Celeste, Sunshine Raye, and Val, were born in the Los Angeles area during Terry’s years as a reporter or school curriculum writer. Their middle child, daughter, Sunshine Raye, passed away at the age of two. While working a short-term job in Northern California after CITE folded, Terry had a strong feeling that he should move his family to Utah and attend Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. The family packed up and moved in August 1975, and Terry enrolled in the Master’s Degree program in Library Science at BYU. He also took a job in BYU’s Harold B. Lee Library, where he refined and maintained the library’s catalog of holdings, as well as the music catalog at BYU’s classical music radio station, KBYU, known today as Classical 89 Radio. Terry worked diligently and earned his Master’s Degree in Library Science from BYU one year later, in 1976. When Terry was hired as LDS Hospital’s new Medical Librarian in June 1977, the medical library was only minimally equipped and provided limited services to doctors and hospital employees. Terry greatly expanded the number and type of medical journals available to doctors, and helped them find the latest medical information to make a challenging diagnosis or prepare for a new surgical procedure. He moved LDS Hospital’s Medical Library into the computer age by establishing a direct access line to the National Library of Medicine to conduct electronic searches of library catalogs across networks that formed part of what we now know as the Internet. Personal computers were a new concept, and LDS Hospital’s doctors pooled their money together to purchase the hospital’s first PC and Terry installed it in the library, providing updated software and hardware to keep the doctors equipped with what was then the cutting edge of medical research technology. Terry led the effort to form an association of medical libraries at hospitals in the Salt Lake area, including LDS Hospital, Holy Cross, St. Mark’s, Bountiful’s Lakeview Hospital, and Primary Children’s Hospital, as well as several mental health clinics. Terry was instrumental in establishing the medical library in the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center and adding it to the association of medical libraries. This association allowed each library to specialize in certain medical areas while having access to each other’s available medical journals, research, and resources. This information-sharing association benefitted doctors, nurses, and patients throughout the Wasatch Front. In 1994, Intermountain Health Care (IHC), the corporate owner of LDS Hospital, decided that it wanted to further computerize and automate its medical libraries, reducing the need for the medical research knowledge and expertise Terry provided doctors through direct interaction. This decision met with objection and protest from LDS Hospital’s active and retired doctors, who wrote letters to IHC executives explaining the vital services Terry had provided them, and the continuing need for an experienced professional medical librarian. However, this doctor’s campaign did not sway IHC from its course, leaving Terry, unexpectedly after 17 years of dedicated service and at age 59, with a need to reinvent himself once again and start looking for new career opportunities. Although it was discouraging and he did not know what the future would bring, Terry did not let this setback define or defeat him. He found part-time work as a librarian at Salt Lake Community College, and later in a branch of the Salt Lake County Library System. He took courses on how to use e-mail and the most up-to-date word processing and spreadsheet software programs available in the mid-1990s, all to make himself more marketable as a then-61 year-old job seeker. It was a difficult challenge for an accomplished senior professional to compete for jobs with younger and more tech-savvy candidates. Yet, he persevered, day after day. These part-time positions and Terry’s diligent job-hunting eventually led to his hiring by the Utah State Government’s Office of Recovery Services (ORS), which investigates and recovers funds from parents who fail to provide legally obligated financial support for their children. Terry’s newspaper reporter skills were well-suited to this job, which required tracking down people who did not want to be found, using computer database searches and telephone calls, and interviewing witnesses. He produced written reports of what he learned from each witness, and presented his investigation findings. As he had done every day in all jobs throughout his career, Terry put his shoulder to the wheel and pushed along, doing his duty with a heart full of song. Terry worked at the Utah State ORS for 11 years, retiring in 2007 at age 72 with a lovely BYU Football-themed retirement party organized by his colleagues. After his retirement from Utah ORS, Terry and Anni served together as missionaries in the Lindon Utah Cannery Mission, from January 2008 to December 2009. Terry helped operate and monitor machinery that filled thousands of food storage cans with fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat for needy people around the world. Anni worked in the cannery’s distribution area, preparing the food cans for shipments to many continents through the Church’s welfare and humanitarian aid programs. Terry’s Interests: Music was one of Terry’s greatest passions in life. He loved to sing, to conduct, and he tried throughout his life to learn various instruments. He had a beautiful tenor voice which he loved to share, whether in choirs or just singing tenderly to his children and grandchildren. He had a great fondness for Big Band music, which reminded him of his childhood and youth. His record collection was full of Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, and countless others. Yet, his musical tastes were broad, embracing styles and cultures from all over the world. He wanted his children to share in his passion for music, and music of some kind was always playing in the home. In the 1960s and early 1970s, Terry performed with the Southern California Mormon Choir, an 80-voice choral ensemble organized in 1953 under the auspices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With the choir, Terry performed classical, sacred, folk, patriotic, and popular choral music in concerts throughout the Southern California area. The choir was accompanied by several prestigious symphonies and orchestras, including the Boston Pops, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the California Philharmonic, the Pacific Symphony, and the Utah Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Tabernacle Choir (known at that time as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir). Terry was a member of the choir when it performed a memorable sunrise Easter concert in the historic Hollywood Bowl concert venue. Terry and Anni always brought their children to every concert, instilling in them a deep love and appreciation for music. The choir regularly presented Handel’s Messiah during the Christmas season, and Terry always loved singing anything from Handel’s Messiah in choirs he performed with throughout his life. He performed with the Southern California Mormon Choir until he moved with his family to Utah in 1975. After moving to Utah, Terry joined and performed for many years with the Wasatch Chorale, previously named the Utah Valley Choral Society, a Provo, Utah-based community choir that holds several concerts each year accompanied by various symphonies, special vocal performers, and accomplished instrumentalists. During Terry’s years with Wasatch Chorale, he had the privilege of performing in the nation’s most renowned concert venue, Carnegie Hall in New York City. Terry appeared in two Church movies: The Letter Writer; and The Mountain of the Lord. In The Letter Writer, Terry had a role in a singing group. Terry sought solace from his workplace or other life stresses through gardening and landscaping, usually well past dark and late into the night. He lovingly cared for his many fruit trees, large garden plot, rose bushes, and lawn. He taught his children a strong work ethic by giving them assignments to weed, mow, till, plant, water, harvest fruits and vegetables, and remove rocks from the hilly soil for each new phase of his landscaping creations. Picking fruit from the top branches of tall fruit trees planted on the sides of steep hills was a challenging and potentially perilous chore where ladders were useless, but neither Anni nor Terry could bear to see any fruit wasted, so the children learned tree climbing and balancing on narrow branches while holding buckets. Terry was always working on some landscaping or gardening project on his property, including building a lighted cascading waterfall, re-creating the family’s favorite Mount Timpanogos campsite under a massive evergreen tree, and building a pergola at the home’s main entrance, entwined with beautiful purple and white wisteria flowers when in bloom. Serving others was one of Terry’s great joys in life. He loved to help others, and rarely waited until someone expressed a need before he jumped into action to serve them. He was a faithful home-teacher and ministering brother in the Church, and paid particular attention to the needs of widows he was assigned to watch over for many years, helping them with things they could not do for themselves. His service always came with a warm smile and gentle words of encouragement. Whenever a local Church leader asked for volunteers, Terry was quick to raise a hand and pitch in with all his might, whatever the task. Terry’s other passions were: reading and writing, BYU Football, playing chess, Risk, and Monopoly—at least until Risk and Monopoly inevitably devolved into squabbles between his children or grandchildren; See’s Candy—since the first See’s chocolate factory was a short drive from his Los Angeles-area home and became an annual Christmas and Valentine’s Day tradition for the Heyer family; all things Disney and Disneyland, but particularly Mickey Mouse; and family history research and temple work. Terry’s Family: Terry is survived by his wife, Anni, and their children: Celeste (husband, Scott) and Val (wife, Joy); grandchildren: David, Ariel (husband, Clint), Benjamin, Emily (husband, Aaron), Nathan, Nicholas, Matthew, Dorey, Lilly, and Samuel; great-grandchildren: Ella and Tanner; his sister, Kathleen (husband, Jon); sister-in-law, Thelma; brother-in-law, David; nieces: Christa, Angelika, Cindy, Dinah, Jules, Nona, Rose, Debbie, Dani, Becky, Corina, and Tiffany; nephews: Jeff, Steven, Jonathan, David, Patrick, Kim, and Casey. He was preceded in death by daughter, Sunshine Raye; father, Kenneth; mother, Estelle; brother, Robin; father-in-law, Friedrich; mother-in-law, Ella; sister-in-law, Eva, and nephew, Michael. In lieu of flowers, the Heyer family requests that donations be made in Terry’s memory to the Primary Children’s Hospital at https://give.intermountainfoundation.org/primary-childrens-hospital, by selecting the “Honor or Memorial Gift” button in the donation form. As parents who lost a young daughter to illness, Anni and Terry always had a special place in their hearts for children’s hospitals. Funeral services for Terry Lee Heyer will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, February 28, 2020 at the Lakeridge 4th Ward Chapel, 158 East 1100 South, Orem, Utah. Friends may visit with the family at the Berg Orem Chapel, 500 N. State Street, Thursday, February 27 from 6-8:00 p.m. and at the church Friday from 9:30-10:45 a.m. prior to services. Interment, Utah Veterans Memorial Park. Condolences may be expressed at www.bergmortuary.com.
Terry Lee Heyer passed away surrounded by family on February 16, 2020 at Timpanogos Hospital in Orem, Utah, after a battle with pneumonia. Terry was born on January 14, 1935, in Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California, to parents Kenneth... View Obituary & Service Information
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