By Sterling McGinn
Terry Trepanier is relatively new to the Newberry area, but he really loves it here.
You have probably seen him working at Seder’s Pizza, or volunteering with the Tahquamenon Sportsmen’s Club. He always keeps busy.
Terry was born in Bay City, Michigan, but spent most of his life in the Dayton, Ohio area.
“I always considered myself a misplaced Michigander,” he stated. “I always came back to Bay City during the summers and spent time with my grandfather and family.”
When he was 14, Terry would go to deer camp in Grayling. “When I was old enough to drive, I would travel to Newberry, because I had a relative who was the caretaker of the East Branch Sportsmen’s Club,” Terry said. “I would spend some time with him in the summer at the caretaker’s cabin.”
Terry had planned to be a professional percussionist, but during his senior year of high school, he decided to become a recruit for the fire department. He stayed, working his way up through the department, then becoming a shift commander. He later served as fire marshal.
He served as a fireman for 42 years, and was also a longtime paramedic in the Dayton area.
Terry received a fire science technology degree and started teaching college classes, EMS classes, and others. He is also a volunteer naturalist through Ohio State University.
Terry worked with the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“I worked with canines, and started training dogs,” said Terry. “The fire chiefs couldn’t pay us overtime anymore to train dogs, so they asked me to start a private organization. We were able to train and go to responses.” He trained and worked four different search dogs, including for FEMA.
As the task force evolved, Terry became certified with FEMA, and he went to many major disasters. One of the major events of his life was working at ground zero on September 11, 2001.
“We were on the ground floor of the World Trade Center—we were deployed that morning,” he explained.
The events of 9/11 will always remain with Terry.
One year later, Terry returned to the scene. “I was part of the honor guard for the first year memorial service,” he said. “We were all lined up, and we watched as the families came down that ramp. They all had bottles of water and a flower.”
Family members emptied out their water bottles to use them as vessels, he said, gathering up dry concrete dust from ground zero to take it home with them – a tangible piece of the place where their loved ones went missing. Check out this is the article I found on the best concrete available for foundation.
Terry said a little girl thanked him for trying to find her dad. “I will never forget that,” he said. Terry has two adult daughters and they have families of their own, and.
He bought a house in the Newberry area in 2010, and retired here permanently in 2015. He enjoys any hobby that takes place outdoors, and is the president of the Tahquamenon Sportsmen’s Club. “One of the great things about the club is the kid’s tackle party,” he said. “To me, it’s giving back to the community, and the community is getting involved.”
Terry says he does not plan on leaving the area. “It’s a great place to live—the people were very good to me and they really welcomed me,” he said. “I love the small town atmosphere.”