Courier-Leader, Paw Paw Flashes, & South Haven Beacon Obituaries

Obituary: Terry L. Wolownik

Terry L. Wolonik,77, passed away May 3, 2024, peacefully at home, surrounded by his beloved wife and daughters in Queen Creek, Arizona. 

Terry was preceded in death by his late parents Charlie and June McCauslin, Henrietta (Nanny) Weidner and sister, Kay Gailhouse.

Terry is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Barbara; and his four children, Karen (Michael) Wolownik, Albert of Gurnee, IL, Sarah (Jeremy) Tilstra of Pittsburgh, PA, Sherri (James) Kerrigan of Mission Viejo, CA, and Terry Bargielski of Torrance, CA.

His legacy will continue through his grandchildren, Kennedy (Braiden) (23), Liam (21), and Kylie (18) Kerrigan; Taylor (16) and Tianna (16) Bargielski; Sydney (14) and Carter (11) Albert; Brandon (13) and Zachary (10) Tilstra; and great-grandchildren, Tanner Lee (2) and Hudson James (9 months).

He is also survived by his sisters, Charlyn Raber of Lawton, and Cathy Cummings of Fairbanks, AK; sister-in-law, Kay (Jerry) Schultz; brother-in-law, Rick (Nancy) Weidner; and many beloved aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The family is grateful for so many visits, calls, texts, and cards that brightened Terry’s last days and surrounded him with love. Truly, our family could not have made it through the last several months without the amazing support of family and dear friends.

Terry was raised in Lawton with his parents and three sisters and graduated from Michigan State University.  He spent most of his career working as a materials manager, traveling the world, and eventually settling in Indianapolis, Indiana. Terry returned to Michigan when he and Barbara retired in 2009.  Together, they renovated a cottage into a beautiful home on Three Mile Lake in Paw Paw where they enjoyed hosting friends, family and especially their grandchildren.  The family has so many happy memories of boating, swimming, fishing, and Terry grilling his famous “Grandpa Burgers” for dinner after long days of playing in the lake.

Terry was a doer, rarely sitting still, and always had his own precise and particular way of completing daily tasks. There was not a home project that Terry couldn’t handle. He was always willing to help others and could build or fix just about anything. He spent many hours taking calls from all his children, troubleshooting home appliances, cars, and house disasters. He fostered a culture of learning, had high expectations, and instilled a sense of curiosity, strong work ethic, drive to achieve, and mental fortitude in all of children and grandchildren.

Terry and Barbara found their chosen family in a small golfing community in Queen Creek, Arizona in 2020, affectionately called Encanterra. They soon made this their permanent home and had been blessed with years of great golfing and amazing friendships. The family has found so much comfort in the community of Encanterra over the last several months and greatly appreciate their selflessness and willingness to help at any moment.

Throughout Terry’s long battle with lung cancer and its complications, he encountered so many wonderful nurses, physicians, techs, and medical staff that brightened his day. The family would like to thank the staff at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Hospice of the Valley Arizona, and in particular, Drs. Yael Kusne, Timothy Burns, and Heath Skinner. The family would also like to thank the Gilbert Memorial Park staff for their kindness and guidance during the difficult days.

Per his wishes, Terry was cremated. There will be a Celebration of Life service, June 29, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Adams Funeral Home, 502 W. Michigan Ave., Paw Paw. Please consider donations to Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, AZ (, or a remembrance at your local church.

Leave a Reply