Terrence Edwin Gordon McParland passed away peacefully at McCausland Hospital on March 5, 2023 with family by his side.
Growing up in Schreiber, Ontario, Terry, or “Mickey,” as he was known to his friends, attended Holy Angels School and Schreiber High School where he entertained classmates with his imaginative sense of humour. He provided many laughs with monologues at High School Variety Nights, was disc jockey at Teen Town dances, judged in the Kangaroo Court, and was known for pulling pranks on unsuspecting teachers.
He began work for CP Rail in high school at the White River stockyards. After a brief stint working for Kimberley Clark, and then travelling in Western Canada, Terry returned to Schreiber and worked for the railroad until his retirement in 1998. He was also an entrepreneur, operating a vending machine business for 15 years and working as an independent travel agent to keep busy during retirement.
As a lifelong Schreiber resident, Terry was proud of his community, which he dutifully served as a volunteer on numerous committees and organizations. Terry was an active member of Holy Angels Catholic Church where he held a great many roles throughout the years. His family would jokingly ask him when he was going to start hearing confessions.
Terry had a wide range of interests and enjoyed discussing them with friends and family. He loved cars and often told the story of the time he had 13 different cars in 12 months (the engines couldn’t handle his speed!). He was an enthusiastic prospector and had a beautiful collection of rocks and minerals. In his younger days, Terry spent many hours hunting and fishing, oftentimes with his big brother, Bob. In retirement, Terry became an avid baker. He could be seen at the head of the table at Christmas dinner, dishing out an enormous bowl of ‘Death by Chocolate’ to 40 members of his extended family.
In retirement, Terry put his creativity into writing. One of his stories, “The Rookie,” was published in an anthology of train stories, Through the Window of a Train. In 2013, he published a collection of short stories based on his life in Schreiber, called Tales from a Not-So-Quiet Town and Other Musings that included a few of his father’s poems. He was working on children’s stories until his health declined.
Throughout his life, Terry held a keen interest in genealogy, which he shared with his brother, Pat. Terry traced his ancestors back many generations, making two trips to Ireland - one with his son, Matthew, and the other 20 years later with the whole family, who saw and felt the County of Armagh and stood on the land of our great, great, grandfather.
Family was always the most important thing to Terry. He met his wife, Aida, shortly after she moved to Schreiber in 1975 to start teaching. He proposed almost immediately and said many times that it was the best thing he ever did. Aida says she “went where she was needed”. They married in Toronto in 1976 and enjoyed 47 years together, delighting in their three children, Matthew, Natalie, and Shellie.
As a natural caregiver, Terry lovingly looked after his mother in her later years with daily visits and evening phone calls. He had a soft spot for his elder relatives and he often visited and cared for Aunt Erie and Uncle Ambrose. He continued to care for Aunt Maureen until his health limited him to phone calls.
Terry had an adventurous spirit and explored much of the world through countless family vacations that he spent many hours planning. Together with Aida, Terry treated his family to over 20 countries, myriad memorable experiences around the world, wonderful meals in fancy restaurants, and stays in beautiful hotels. He loved his Sheratons!
The greatest gift he gave his children was his time. There was no place Terry would rather be than with his family. He spent innumerable hours with his children when they were young, taking them fishing, watching their sports, playing catch in front of the house, making lunches and dinners for them, and of course sharing his love of music with them. As his children grew older, Terry was always there for a visit or phone call. He supported his children in any way he could and always let them know how proud he was of all they had accomplished and the people they had become. In recent years Terry’s grandchildren were his greatest joy. Kaelyn, Eden, William, Everett, and Iris will miss the lunchtime visits, sword fights, finger boops, funny stories, and the goofy faces Grandpa always made to make them laugh.
In November of 2016, Terry received a double lung transplant, which extended his life for six additional years. His family is forever grateful to the organ donor who provided such a precious gift. We, his family, are also extremely appreciative of the transplant unit at Toronto General Hospital. We would also like to thank the doctors and nurses at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Thunder Bay Regional Hospital, McCausland Hospital, and homecare nurses who took such great care of Terry in his final days.
Terry is survived by his sweetheart of 47 years, Aida, his children Matthew (Sarah), Natalie (Robert) and Shellie, grandchildren Kaelyn, Eden, William, Everett, and Iris, and his sisters Doris, Judi, Sheila, and Kelly. Terry is predeceased by his parents, Phyllis and Gordon McParland, his brothers Robert and Norman Patrick, his brother-in-law David, his sister-in-law Mary, his cousins Greg, Warren and Brent (Ollie) Morrill, and numerous aunts and uncles.
Funeral Services for the late Mr. Terry McParland will be held on Friday, March 10, 2023 with family and friends gathering in Holy Angels Roman Catholic Church (103 Superior Street, Schreiber, Ontario) for the Funeral Mass at 11:00am, celebrated by Father Terry Sawchuk. Interment will take place in the Schreiber Cemetery.
Should friends so desire, donations made in Terry's memory to the North Shore Harvest Cupboard or a charity of your choice are greatly appreciated.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the EVEREST - WESTFORT CHAPEL, 420 West Gore Street, Thunder Bay.
Terry will forever be in our hearts.
We love you so much and are so proud of who you were.