Husband, father, Pops, salesman, folk artist. Born Oct. 30, 1938, in London, England, died May 10, 2012, in Picton, Ont., of cancer, aged 73.
When he was born in London, England, he was Terence Todhunter. But the Second World War would change his life dramatically.
Terence was 2½ when his mother was severely wounded in the London bombing. His father was away in the military, and Terry became front-page news in the Daily Mail with a request for family contact.
He was subsequently cared for by friends of his father, who finally adopted him, and he became Terence Williams.
Sadly, he never knew much of this story until he was nearly 70 and his adoptive mother gave him the newspaper clippings plus some letters and photos.
After a not-very-brilliant academic schooling (though he was good at art), Terence was sent to military school at age 15. After graduating, he was posted to Kenya, then Hong Kong, where he worked alongside the renowned Gurkhas.
But the confines of barracks life frustrated him and created a bouncing-ball of promotions/demotions, leading Terence to borrow enough money to buy his way out of the army.
Returning to England in the Swinging Sixties, his good looks and sociability enabled him to thoroughly enjoy all London had to offer. He worked as a sales rep and favoured the “mod” look, along with the requisite scooter.
He was six weeks from getting married when he met Joy. The attraction was instant and definite; Terry cancelled his wedding, Joy left her unhappy marriage, and they moved to Canada – but not before Terry took a leave-of-absence in Malta to face lawsuits for breach of promise and alienation of affection (both subsequently dropped).
With no “Canadian experience,” he worked briefly in construction on the Gardiner Expressway, but soon moved back into sales. Through a social contact, he began what became his career as a sales rep in magazines and radio.
The couple returned to England in 1973, where Terence established the sales department at London Broadcasting, Britain’s first legal commercial radio station. But after two years that included IRA bombings, railway strikes and electricity blackouts, they came back to Canada.
Terence ended his 40-year sales career with the “perfect job” at JAZZ-FM, working with people he liked and clients he respected.
He and Joy retired to Prince Edward County in eastern Ontario. Always interested in local art and artisans, Terry had begun to collect decoys and carved birds when a vacation in the Maritimes refreshed his own artistic talent. He developed his own style in carving wacky animals and birds, some with social statements, others just for fun. His folk art is in many private international collections.
Terence always said, “I just want people to smile when they look at my work.”
He leaves his wife of 48 years, two sons and three granddaughters.