In Loving Memory of Terri L. Dunkle
Terri L. Dunkle, beloved father, grandfather, and friend, peacefully passed away on July 3, 2023, at the age of 80. He embraced life with a spirit of curiosity and ambition, leaving behind a legacy of love, wisdom, and cherished memories. Though his physical presence will be deeply missed, his spirit will forever remain in the hearts of all who knew him.
Born on August 14, 1942, in Emlenton, Terri grew up in Western Pennsylvania with his sister, brothers, and step-siblings.
After graduating high school in 1960, Terri enlisted in the US Marine Corps. He served on the USS Valley Forge heading to deployment in Cuba as the hospital ship for the Bay of Pigs invasion, which thankfully never materialized. From there he was stationed in Okinawa and eventually called up to Vietnam. In April 1964, he volunteered for a medical evacuation mission and his helicopter took enemy fire, wounding Terri in the leg. He retired from the Marines as a purple-heart decorated Sergeant in 1968. Looking back on that time he shared, “I honestly have to say that turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. Even though it created a lot of pain and a lot of problems over the years, it allowed me to go to college on the GI bill.” It also allowed him to meet the love of his life, Joyce Beebe, whom he married in 1966.
Throughout his life, he remained a source of strength, encouragement and optimism. Always striving to reach his next goal to achieve his dreams. He graduated from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 1969 and went on to get his master’s degree at the University of New Mexico.
Professionally, Terri returned to Clarion University of Pennsylvania to teach neurological and physical impairments in the Special Education Department. He stayed at the university until his retirement in 1997. During that same span of time, Terri continued to foster the entrepreneurial spirit that led him to exceptional success with his personal Amway business and as a Development Agent and Owner of Subway Sandwich Shops. He was known for his exceptional work ethic, integrity, and dedication. His colleagues respected him for his wisdom, mentorship, and ability to inspire those around him. Terri lived by his mindset that dreams could become reality and should be protected from anyone who would try to discourage you from following your dreams.
Terri was a pillar of support for his family, always offering a listening ear, kind words, unwavering guidance, and far too many Dad Jokes to recount. His daughters were his pride and joy, and he took great delight in watching them grow into the remarkable individuals they are today. As a grandparent, Terri showered his grandchildren with love, teaching them valuable life lessons and creating beautiful memories that will forever be cherished.
In his free time, Terri enjoyed exploring new places and traveling with his wife and daughters. One of his long-time dreams was to own a version of the first car he ever had. He did that when he restored a 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible, winning several awards in car shows. He loved country music and rock ‘n roll classics from his youth. Terri’s wandering spirit eventually led him to St. Simons Island, GA, where he and Joyce retired in 2008.
A man of deep faith, Terri found solace and strength in his spiritual beliefs. His unwavering devotion to his faith was evident in his kindheartedness, generosity, and unwavering love for others. He was an active leader in the churches his family attended through the years. He was always ready to lend a helping hand and offer support to those in need.
Terri will forever be remembered for his warm smile, his infectious laughter, and his ability to bring joy to any gathering through his sense of humor. His wisdom, patience, and kind nature touched the lives of many, leaving an indelible mark on all who had the privilege of knowing him.
The loss of Terri leaves a void that cannot be filled, but his memory will continue to inspire and guide us. As we mourn his passing, let us celebrate the beautiful life he lived and find solace in the knowledge that he is now at peace in heaven.
Terri is survived by his wife of 57 years, Joyce Beebe Dunkle, and his four daughters and their families, —Robin Szeliga (Ken Szeliga), daughters Whitney and Olivia; Deanna McLean; Victoria Dunkle Noyes (Dave Noyes), son August, daughter Lorelei; Tricia Wingard (Brian Wingard), Embrissa Paar (Raistlyn Paar; Everly Wingard; Tanner Wingard; and Tayla Wingard. Terri also was able to meet his first great-grandchild, Orion Paar, just a few short weeks prior to his passing. He is also remembered with love and respect by his extended family and countless friends.
He is also survived by his sisters, Gloria Briggs and Gerri Shoup, and brother, David Dunkle. Preceding him in death were his mother, Zella Dunkle; father and stepmother, Gerald and Doris Dunkle, and brothers Roger Hale and Francis Dunkle.
A funeral service to honor and remember Terri’s life will be held on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, at the Goble Funeral Home, 330 Wood Street, Clarion, PA 16214. Visitation will be between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM with a Celebration of Life beginning at 1:00 PM. Terri will be buried with full military honors at Emlenton Cemetery immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made in memory of Terri L. Dunkle to St. Simons United Methodist Church or Special Olympics Pennsylvania, causes close to his heart.
May we find comfort in the love and memories we shared with Terri. May his soul rest in eternal peace.