Tribute: Terry Geerlinks
It is my honor today to remember a truly special and extraordinary friend of the Alzheimer Society, Terry Geerlinks. Terry passed away on January 15 at the age of 91. Terry was at every one of our Walks from the very beginning except last year when she was attending her son’s funeral who passed away due to Alzheimer’s disease. Terry became involved with the Society because of the love of her life, Geert, had Alzheimer’s disease and she wanted to make a difference in other’s lives.
Terry was one of our very first volunteers in our Volunteer Companion Program and she took on the role of a fundraiser for the Walk with great passion, determination, and persistence.
Terry was the top individual fundraiser almost every year for the past 25 years. Each year, she would have literally a stack of pledge sheets often comprised of donations that were $5 and $10.
Terry raised over $50,000 for the Alzheimer Society. Terry was a joyful, appreciative, beautiful soul.
In the last couple of years, it was getting more and more difficult for Terry to keep track of the pages and pages of donations she received. Her family would offer to help her and would take on calling on her behalf. Last week at Terry’s funeral, her children and grandchildren told me that they would start to call those they had said they would call and would find that Terry had already called that person.
Terry came to the Walk in the last few years and each year would say, “Shelley, I don’t know if I can keep raising the money.” And I would say “Terry, you have done so, so much already and all we want is for you to come and be here because the Walk would not be the same without you.”
Terry, you are not here anymore in person, but your spirit of determination, strength, persistence, and commitment to those who have dementia will live on in all of us who knew and loved you.
Terry, thank you for being a soldier for those with dementia in Oxford County. Thank you for all the lives you touched through your tireless fundraising and for sharing with so many about the value of the services of the Alzheimer Society.
Today as we Walk, we honor and remember you our friend.
- Shelley Greene