Terri Doremus

By on May 17, 2012

Terri Doremus, 65, of Elburn, formerly of Des Plaines, Ill., passed away peacefully at Loyola Hospital, Saturday, May 5, 2012.

Terri was born on Sept. 16, 1946, in Bellwood, Ill., the daughter of Ralph (Bud) and Elsie (Sue) (Peterson) Doremus.

She grew up in Des Plaines, where she attended West Elementary School and Algonquin Junior High. Throughout her childhood years, she was involved in Girl Scouts of America; never missing summer camp at Norwesco and attending the Girl Scout Round-Up in Button Bay, Vt., during her senior year in high school.

She was active in her church youth group and sang in the choir. As a student at Maine West High School, Des Plaines, Terri was a cast member of “Kiss Me Kate” and assisted behind the scenes with lighting and costuming. She graduated in 1964.

Terri valued her opportunity to further her education by attending Carthage College, Kenosha, Wis., DePaul University, Chicago, and receiving her Bachelor’s Degrees in Theatre and English from the University of Montana in Missoula.

Terri spent the summer after graduation doing Summer Stock in Scobey, Mont., as a costume assistant.

Upon return to Illinois, she worked as a full-time secretary and a part-time director of youth ministry at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Niles.

In 1978, Terri entered seminary at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She directed the musical “Godspell”. Her third year of seminary was spent as an intern at Zion Lutheran Church in Gowrie, Iowa, where she continued to blend her love of the theatre with her faith by writing and presenting a Lenten series of dramatic presentations on the women of Jesus’ life.

She graduated in 1982 with a Masters of Divinity. Terri was one of 13 women out of 40 Masters of Divinity students. She was ordained in January 1983 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Park Ridge, Ill.

Terri was called as pastor to two congregations in southern Illinois; St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Nokomis and St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Fillmore. She faithfully served those two communities for 10 years, creating new and innovative ways to reach out in faith.

Upon her return to the northwest suburbs, Terri served as Interim Pastor at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Arlington Heights, Ill.

She graduated from the Chaplaincy Program at Alexian Brothers Medical Center, Elk Grove Village, Ill. Terri served as an on-call chaplain for the hospital for several years. During that time, she participated in the Anniversary Celebration of Ordination for the head of the Chaplaincy program. Terri also sang and played guitar during a peace vigil at the hospital.

Terri also worked as a counselor in a private practice in Schaumburg, Ill., until the mid-1990s, when she retired due to health concerns.

Terri had a special place in her heart for her “furry friends” and was a strong supporter of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. Her constant companion the last 12 years was her beloved dog, Domino, a dog she rescued as a puppy. She was a foster parent to a variety of dogs over the years, for in her heart there was always “room for one more”.

Terri loved reading mysteries; especially the ones that included recipes. She was an avid fan of the television show “Chopped” and loved to try new recipes out for friends and loved ones. She also enjoyed NCIS, Animal Planet and Worst Cooks.

Although she enjoyed all genres of music, Terri loved show tunes and the music of Josh Groban.

She crocheted and loved making appliqued Christmas stockings for family and friends—especially as a gift for a newborn baby.
Every New Year’s Eve included Thin Man or Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies, banging pans at midnight and the traditional forkful of herring for good luck.

Terri’s apartment door was always open, welcoming all, listening compassionately and lovingly supporting those who needed a shoulder to lean on.

She actively participated in the ceramics class at the Meadows Apartments, and every Thursday you could find her calling the Bingo games.

Terri never lost hope, relying on her faith amidst the hardest of times, meeting each new day courageously with a smile on her face and love in her heart.

She is survived by her sister, Roxanne; her nephew, Ryan Andrew; and great-nephew, Elijah Ryan.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Private celebration of life will be held by the family on Friday, May 18, in the Community Room at the Meadows Apartments.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Terri’s name to benefit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and Tails Animal Shelter.

Checks may be made out to either charity and mailed in the care of the Terri Doremus family at P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.