In Memory of Fred and Edna Terry
When asked what difference he hopes his family’s support of NHH Foundation will make, Christopher Terry shares, “I would like to help ensure when people need care in the future, they have access to the same high-quality care my family has had access to when we’ve needed it.”
He goes on to explain the difference past donors made in the experiences he has had himself and witnessed through his parents’ care at NHH – how the equipment funded by our community was there to make this care possible, locally.
“It’s imperative those who are in a position to help consider doing so, to help give future patients and families the same privilege of accessing this care close to home,” he says.
This drive to help prepare for the future is what inspired Christopher and his brother, Charlie, to make a gift to NHH Foundation’s Endowment Fund in memory of their parents, Fred and Edna Terry. Though NHH is not Charlie’s local hospital as he lives in South Carolina, he agreed this gift was a fitting tribute to recognize the role our Hospital played in his parents’ and brother’s lives.
Christopher and his wife, Victoria, moved to Port Hope in 2012 after living and working in Ottawa for more than 40 years. Victoria had spent her career in the media field, working as a Producer for CTV News then moving to the Press Office of the United States Embassy. Christopher split his career between the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and then, to his delight given his lifelong interest in the history of technology in general and aviation in particular, the leadership of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa and subsequently its parent body, the Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation, from which he retired as President and CEO. Their work lives allowed them numerous opportunities to travel and to meet and make friends with many interesting people around the world.
A big change from the city lifestyle, they chose to retire to Port Hope for a few key reasons: to be closer to their grandchildren, who at the time were in Toronto; to live along Lake Ontario, and away from the harsher Ottawa winters; and for the property itself, which has tranquil outdoor space for Victoria to enjoy her love of gardening. It was a somewhat surprising choice as they didn’t know anyone in the area when they first arrived, but the two were soon followed by Christopher’s parents, who moved to the town that same year from Collingwood.
Christopher was the first of the four to experience care at NHH when it was discovered he had atrial fibrillation in 2013. Their experiences intensified when his parents’ health began to decline. Veterans of the Royal Air Force and the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, Fred and Edna actively served during the Second World War, were married in 1946 and emigrated to Canada with their young family in 1957. During the last years of their lives, both Fred and Edna were in and out of NHH on multiple occasions and Christopher experienced the Hospital from the family perspective, bringing them to appointments and visiting during their many stays. Ultimately, Fred passed away surrounded by family in his home in 2016 and Edna passed away in her sleep at NHH in the fall of 2021.
“NHH is quite a unique hospital – it’s different, in a good way, from other larger hospitals,” shares Christopher. “There were many occasions visiting my parents when I was greeted by name as I entered the front door. The staff were all professional and it felt like everyone we interacted with – from the Emergency Department, Diagnostic Imaging, IMCare, to the doctors, nursing, and ward staff – went out of their way to help make things as comfortable as they could.”
Christopher and Victoria have been supporters of NHH Foundation since 2014 and members of the Caring for Generations Society since 2015. Upon deciding to make a gift in their parents’ memories to NHH Foundation, Christopher and Charlie further determined their gift would be directed in support of the Foundation’s Endowment Fund.
“I like the enduring nature of the Endowment Fund,” explains Christopher. “Our gift, combined with others to the Endowment, will serve to generate income for the indefinite future and I hope as technology evolves, will help NHH stay abreast with the latest equipment to care for future patients.”