Grace Terry

Memorial Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, October 12, 2024
St. Luke Episcopal Church
182 Main St.
Gladstone, New Jersey, United States
(908) 234-0002

Obituary of Grace H Terry

Grace Heiskell Terry, widow of Walter Bliss Terry, died peacefully at her home in Peapack, New Jersey on June 23. She was 101.  Grace was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, on February 2, 1923, to Georgia Royston Heiskell and Frederick S. Heiskell.

Grace’s mother’s ancestors were among the first residents of Little Rock in 1821. Her father was managing editor of The Arkansas Gazette, the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi. The Heiskell family had purchased controlling interest in the paper in Little Rock, in 1902. Fred died suddenly at age 55. At the time Grace and her sister, Josephine were only 8 and 15. Throughout their lives, both were inspired by his good humor, strong character, love of family and skillful writing. Grace was also proud of his family's tradition of journalism in Virginia and Tennessee.

Grace attended The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, NY, and Katherine Gibbs in Boston, MA, after which she became secretary to her uncle J.N. ( Ned) Heiskell, Editor of the Gazette. There she gained a lifelong appreciation for proper English usage and spelling.  Her uncle would continue to serve as editor until his death in December, 1972. During his tenure the paper was awarded two Pulitzer Prizes in 1958 for its courageous stand and editorials supporting law and order in the integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957.

Grace met her future husband, Walter B. Terry, when, as a young Army officer in WWII, he trained at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock. They were married in 1944 before he was sent to Europe.  When he returned, they settled in Peapack, NJ, where Grace often described herself as the ambassador from Arkansas. Her outgoing personality and quick wit attracted friends of all ages. She was an infinite source of family stories and told them with remarkable recollection of detail. She was a trend setter, dressed with great style- looked like someone you wanted to know. Because of her interest in current events, two of her letters to the editor were published in the New York Times, which she read daily. Her husband, Walter, commuted to New York city where he completed a successful career in banking at JP Morgan & Co. He and Grace both loved to play bridge and traveled regularly to Arkansas to visit family and for Walter to go duck hunting.

She was predeceased by her husband and her sister, Josephine Harrison Hollenberg.  She is survived by her daughter, Georgia Schley (Reeve, III) of Whitehouse, N.J. and her son, Walter B. Terry, Jr. of Peapack, N.J., two grandchildren, Marie Schley (Nick Morton) and Reeve T. Schley  (Brittney) both of Los Angeles, Calif., and 4 great grandchildren, as well as her nephew, Fred H. Harrison ( Helen), and her niece, Ellen Dickins, both of Little Rock.

A memorial service is planned for October 12, 2024 at 11AM at St Luke’s Episcopal Church, Gladstone, NJ.  In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to National Society of the Colonial Dames -NJ, (NSCDA-NJ, specify “The Barn Fund”) 180 Burrs Road, Westampton,NJ 08060-9618, or to the Historic Arkansas Museum Foundation (HAMF), 200 E. 3rd St., Little Rock, AR 72201.

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