Macomb County man known for his positive vision died of COVID-19
Macomb County man known for his positive vision died of COVID-19

Macomb County man known for his positive vision died of COVID-19

This obituary is part of “We will remember“, a series about those we have lost to coronavirus.

Gerald T. Terlep was a calm man who believed that people were good. He was known for putting a positive spin on situations and helping people turn their lives around.

Terlep, 78, died Jan. 31 at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Clinton Township as a result of complications from COVID-19.

Some known as Jerry, Terlep was the eldest of six siblings and took on a father figure at the age of 11 to help his mother after his father’s death and the loss of his stepfather later in life.

The family moved to Detroit from Joilet, Illinois when Terlep was a teenager. He went to St. David Catholic School in Detroit, received her bachelor’s degree from St. John the Baptist Carmelite Novitiate and then attended Wayne State University, where he received a master’s and doctorate in education.

Terlep, a resident of New Baltimore, spent more than 50 years as a social worker and therapist.

After retiring from the Henry Ford Hospital Health System, he and his wife of 34 years, Nancy, founded CUBE, a private therapy practice. Terlep was especially proud of CUBE and had been working from home recently.

Gerald and Nancy Terlep.

“The experience of love in marriage” was the title of Terlep’s doctoral dissertation, and he lived what he wrote about with his wife. They were inseparable and enjoyed traveling, eating daily breakfast together and sharing their love of reading.

He was family focused and passionate about philosophy, history and education. Terlep was confused by current events and loved sharing his spin on the latest news. He was also a big fan of all sports in Michigan.

Terlep loved his work and enjoyed learning from his clients, many of whom were disabled or survived from war, addiction or violence. They came to him seeking peace and a better life, according to his daughter, Sharon Terlep. His wit and humility helped him relate to everyone with comforting and encouraging words.

Gerald Terlep with his grandson Murphy.

One client recently said, “The moment you met him, you knew you were not getting bigger,” his daughter recalled.

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“He felt there was room for everyone in the world.… He had a positive spin on everything,” she said, noting that her father would always see the positive side of a situation when she thought he should agree with her in that life was hard.

Terlep was also known for getting things done for people.

“He once said from his point of view that the system was set up not to help people, and his system was set up to help people,” his son Alan said, remembering how his father knew how to get there. through bureaucracy to help people.

From left: James Terlep (brother), Sharon Terlep (daughter), Aspen Terlep (granddaughter, back), Murphy (granddaughter, front), Jazz Raymond (granddaughter), Gerald Terlep and Rachel Hood (daughter-in-law).

Terlep, who had underlying health conditions, was vaccinated and given a booster shot for COVID-19.

Before Christmas, he experienced severe cold symptoms and after several days found a place where he could be tested for the virus. His test came again positive. He received a sotrovimab infusion and began to feel better, but had a prolonged cough, which his doctor attributed to his cure of COVID-19, his daughter remembered. After several days at home, his oxygen level dropped to below 90% and he was admitted to the hospital.

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