Wilbert Terry



Southwest Harbor

4/3/1930 – 11/18/2021

Wilbert Terry, 91, of Southwest Harbor passed away on Nov. 18, 2021. He was born in Oneida, Tenn., to Naman and Frances Douglas Terry, the youngest of six children.

After the death of his father when he was 2, his mother moved him and his sister to Crystal, Maine. At 10, they moved to Southwest Harbor, where he attended school. At 16, Wilbert left school to help support his mother by driving a truck for OE Harper.

Wilbert was drafted into the Army by Harry S. Truman (he never let anyone forget this) during the Korean Conflict. After returning to Southwest Harbor, he looked up Joan Robinson and they were married on Aug. 29, 1954. They moved to Portland and had two daughters, Kim and Amy. Wilbert drove all over New England for A&P food stores making deliveries.

One night, making a delivery in a snowstorm, he said to himself there must be something better he could do. So, he quit his job and moved back to Southwest Harbor with his family and ran Robinson Hardware for his father-in-law, Lawrence Robinson. He later bought the store.

Wilbert took in a partner, Raymond Reed Jr., and they added plumbing and sheet metal work. In 1992, Wilbert semi-retired but kept the septic truck and became Terry’s Tank Service. At 87, he no longer could physically help out with the business, but passed along a lot of knowledge to others, including his grandson, Chad Terry, who continues to operate Terry’s Tank Service.

Wilbert was active in the Masons since 1959 and joined the Anah Shriners in 1982, where he was a member of the Lobster Boat Unit. He built his own boat to the specs of a Coast Guard boat used as the tow boat in parades. Wilbert was a member of the Southwest Harbor Fire Department, where he was chief for 25 years. He also was a member of the American Legion.

Wilbert and Joan spent 13 winters in Florida, where they made many life-lasting friends.

Wilbert was predeceased by his parents, Naman and Frances Terry, his in-laws Lawrence and Marjorie Robinson and his own daughters Kim Elliott and Amy Carter. Also his siblings Harold Terry, Dorthea Stone, William Terry, Willard Terry and Doramay Bragg. He was also predeceased by long-lost friends Douglas Gott and Gardner Mitchell. He is survived by his wife, Joan Terry, grandchildren Chad (Mindy) Terry, Stacy Elliott (Steve Bernard), Joshua Conary (Jennifer Russotti); great-grandchildren Tyler, Alahna, Nicholas, Barrett, Eli, Elijah and Leo; step-grandchildren Jason, Joseph, Matt, Nick and Ashley and their children; and son-in-law Edgar Elliott.

Arrangements will be announced at a later date.

Know when to pay your respects.