John Albert "Turk" Ternes passed away on Sept. 18, 2021, at the age of 67. He was born in Kenmare, ND to Arthur Ternes and Anne Ternes (Wentz) on February 2, 1954. The family lived in many small towns in ND, but John attended most of his school years in Kintyre and Napoleon, ND.
A 1972 graduate of Napoleon High School, John was popular and very active in sports including basketball, football, track (pole vaulter State qualifier), and wrestling (State champion). He also participated in numerous clubs and activities.
John attended Dickinson State College on an athletic scholarship. After college, he moved to Red Lodge, MT where he enjoyed skiing and developed his love for carpentry and construction. He then lived in Killeen, TX, and continued working in construction when he moved to Fountain Hills, AZ. In 2000, he moved to Covina, CA where his life was drastically changed for the better.
John overcame immense obstacles and not only chose sobriety but also met the love of his life, Gloria (Pascoe) Ternes. They married in 2006 and moved the next year to Aztec, NM where John built their home and business. He was a licensed general contractor and started Terco Construction in 2007. They later moved to their beautiful home that John built outside of Durango, CO.
In October 2021, John would have celebrated 21 years of sobriety. In his sobriety, he was a consistent and willing speaker and volunteer for many organizations. Dynamic, talented, and outgoing, John was known for his big personality, generosity, and wonderful sense of humor. He started experiencing back pain, and tests on August 31 diagnosed kidney cancer, which spread rapidly as angiosarcoma, a rare and very aggressive cancer. Eighteen days later, this world lost an incredible man. While in the hospital, he told his mother, "Two things I never want to lose: My faith in God and my sense of humor!" John was in peace as he passed; he said that although he wanted to live, he wasn't afraid to die.
He will be missed by so very many. John and his wife, Gloria Ternes, shared one of the sweetest loves ever. He is also survived by his mother Anne Wentz; his son Brad (Carolyn) Berlin; his grandchildren Bennett and Lauren Berlin; his step-son Andrew Pascoe; his grandson Andy Pascoe; his siblings Thomas (Ruth) Ternes, Tim Ternes, Jerry (Linda) Ternes, Constance (Ritch) Wells, and Colleen (Chris) Falletta; his aunt Diane Zainhofsky; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents Albert & Rose Loukota; his paternal grandparents John & Katie Ternes; his father Arthur Ternes; his step-father Curtis Wentz; and all but one of his many aunts and uncles.
A celebration memorial will be held this summer in the Durango, CO area. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Kidney Cancer Association (https://kca.securesweet.com/JohnTernes
), or to Vallecito Church where donations will be used to help people in recovery. (www.VallecitoChurch.net
- Online Giving: "John Ternes Memorial Fund." Or mail to Vallecito Church, 17576 Co Rd 501, Bayfield, CO 81122.)
Published by The Durango Herald on Oct. 5, 2021.