Terry Elizabeth Ketner Emry, 69

Terry Elizabeth Ketner Emry passed away in her home in Manchaca, TX at the age of 69 years, 6 months and 28 days on July 2, 2018. She had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in September of 2016. After a long struggle and with several complications, she entered hospice care in her home twelve days prior to her passing. Her husband, Raleigh E. Emry, daughter, Elizabeth Ann Anzaldua and son, Steven Todd Emry, were at her bedside when she died at dawn. 

Terry, born on December 4, 1948 in Salisbury, NC, was the first child born to Edith Elizabeth (Ritchie) Ketner and Zane Cruse Ketner. Both of her parents preceded her in death. 

Terry attended elementary and high school in Rockwell and Monroe, NC. She graduated from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro in June of 1971 with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. During her senior year, she met then Captain Raleigh Emry who was stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB. After a whirlwind romance, he proposed to her on New Years Eve and they were married on June 13, 1971. 

To their surprise, Raleigh received order to Vietnam for a one-year combat tour. He departed that late summer. Their daughter, Elizabeth Ann (Anzaldua), known as Lisa, was born during the time Raleigh was in Vietnam on May 1, 1972.

After an assignment at George AFB in California, Terry, Raleigh, and Lisa were relocated to Quebec, Canada within the USAF Officer Exchange Program. After a year, they moved across Canada to Comox, British Columbia on Vancouver Island where Raleigh continued his exchange service. It was here that their son, Steven Todd Emry was born on October 22, 1975.

They continued to move where the Air Force sent them – from Canada to Panama City, Florida, then to Anchorage, AK and then to Raleigh’s final assignment near Austin, TX.

It was difficult for Terry to maintain a career with their frequent moves, so she devoted her spare time to volunteer work – for example the American Red Cross in military hospitals, as a Girl Scout Leader, and for charitable fundraising as Ways and Means Chairman of the Officers Wives Club. Terry’s first love and devotion however was to her family.

Terry was diagnosed with ovarian cancer while they lived in Panama City, FL. She underwent several treatments and survived this disease for nearly forty years. The pancreatic cancer that took her life has no relationship to the ovarian cancer that she survived. 

Terry loved children. She often talked of her summers as a Camp Counselor at Camp Illahee in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. She was on the trip staff and led her campers on outings into those mountains, including a hike to the top of Mt. LeConte where they stayed the night in the rustic cabins (the highest altitude guest lodge in the eastern United States) and returned by way of Alum Cave.

After Raleigh retired from the Air Force in 1987, Terry returned to school to earn her Teacher’s Certification from Southwest Texas State University. She enjoyed a fifteen-year career as a teacher at Joslin Elementary School in Austin, TX. Many of her students kept in touch. Some are now parents with children of their own and several have proclaimed that Terry was their most beloved teacher.

Terry loved nature. She thoroughly enjoyed traveling and hiking and learning about the wildflowers that grew in each region where they lived. She would often write poetry, journals, and stories inspired by travels with Raleigh. During her many years in Texas she incorporated native wildflowers into the landscape at her home. 

Terry is survived by Raleigh, her husband of 47 years; daughter, Lisa Anzaldua and her partner Jimmy Knowles; and two grandchildren, Foster Evan Anzaldua and Randa Elizabeth Anzaldua all of Austin, TX; son, Steven (Sara Grace Grajales) Emry and grandchildren, twins, Magnolia Edith and Dorothy Grace of Brooklyn, New York; sisters and brother, Carol Renee (Greg) Courtney of Mineral Springs, NC, Ronald Lee (Letty) Ketner of Charlotte, NC, Janice Lou Murray of Salisbury and Judith Elaine (Michael) Mills of Reidsville, NC; her sisters have given Terry many loving nieces and nephews; uncle, Leebert (Barbara) Ketner; aunts, Lou Ellen Shuping and Doris Ritchie all of Salisbury, NC are survivors from Terry’s parents’ generation.

Memorial services for Terry will be on: August 18, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 LaCrosse Ave, Austin, TX 78739 and September 9, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Organ Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall, 1515 Organ Church Road, Salisbury.

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