Fund Est. 2008
"We didn’t have any money, but we had faith."
Mr. David Terveer is a person who is unwavering in his efforts to memorialize his wife, Betty, and provide assistance to families who have children attending St. Joe School. David is a giving person who shares his gift of philanthropy. He has worked hard for the comfortable lifestyle he is enjoying in his retirement and feels he has been blessed. He recognizes, appreciates and enjoys his ability to share. He is very generous, but David has not always had the ability to gift so altruistically.
The third of seven children, David’s first job was at the age of 10. He and his brother, John, delivered newspapers. Initially, this job allowed David and John to have their own spending money, but at age 12, David and his family’s lives were indescribably changed. David’s father died in an automobile accident leaving the family of seven children (ages 18 to 1½ years old) behind. In 1937, the Terveer family ventured into a new lifestyle and the newspaper job was no longer a playful option but a household necessity. David’s mother, who was an at-home mom, went to work at the General Electric (GE) plant in Decatur. In the early to mid 1900s, only men (and single women) were allowed to work at the GE plant. Good-paying jobs were reserved for the wage earners of the households. Through this misfortune, David’s mother became an eligible candidate.
Looking back, David recalls that with seven young children and a mother who worked full-time, so much could have gone wrong. His faith is strong and he shares that with the trust of the Almighty, good guidance, and help from family and friends, each of the Terveer children grew into responsible, respectable citizens and have raised good families.
One is not in the company of David Terveer for long before it is noted his genuine kindness, intelligence, and sincerity. It is no secret that David has his priorities in order. He has been a St. Mary’s parishioner for 75+ years and his faith is strong and steadfast. Second to his faith is his family. When Betty, his wife of 56 years died in 2005, David’s sadness could be felt when standing next to him. His hurt was evident, but his faith and love of family have brought him comfort. With his sons, daughter, and their families: Michael (Mike), Patrick (Pat) and Elizabeth (Liz), daughters-in-law, Paige and Ginny and grandchildren, they have given him a renewed sense of life and certainly fill his time and schedule.
David Terveer is no stranger to a full schedule. He was an employee of GE for 30 years, and prior to that he worked as a teacher and coach with Decatur Catholic High School and St. Joe Grade School. He also managed to dedicate hundreds of volunteer hours to various organizations such as Decatur Little League (coach), Decatur Chamber of Commerce (Board of Directors, president, Industrial Division chr.), St. Mary’s Catholic Church (parish council, St. Mary’s Foundation), Knights of Columbus (Grand Knight, district deputy), St. Joseph School (Board member & committee member: Notre Dame Smoker, Golf outings, Athletic Council), North Adams School (Building Corp.), Woodcrest (Board of Directors, vice president). This is just a few of the many organizations he has been a part of over the course of his life. It is with this community spirit that motivated David to establish this fund at the ACCF.
This fund is in appreciation and gratitude of the faith based education for four generations of Terveers who were fortunate to have such a solid, educational opportunity and experience. The David and Betty Terveer St. Joseph Education Fund was established for the Catholic school to provide scholarships for students who, like David did as a child, have experienced life’s unexpected bumps and hurdles. He wants to provide a solid foundation for children’s faith and education. This fund can also be used for educational purposes as determined necessary by the St. Joe administration.
“Because we were helped – we want to help others”
David exemplifies this counsel. He enjoys his ability to help others and stay busy. With numerous grandchildren, David and Betty had few nights when they were not at sporting events. Daughter, Liz, was a professional softball player and their children and grandchildren were likewise active in sports. David and Betty might be considered ‘well-practiced’ fans. But time moves on…currently, David is proud when he shares his grandchildren’s education goals, achievements, graduations, and promising occupations. At any time, he will be happy to talk to you about their colleges, alma maters, academic honors, and future prospects. Such joy. Such a proud Grandpa!