My love, Terry Joe Vondra, fought to take his last breath January 10, 2020. He became sick in 2004 and discovered on the path that he was developing lung issues that progressively worsened over time. He fought a long brave battle and would have stayed with us if he could. He lived and loved hard during his time on this earth and was adored by many. We cherish every day we had with him. The void will not be easy to fill for any that knew him. He will be missed dearly.
Terry was born in Canon City, Colorado to Joseph Alexander Vondra and Betty Jo Stevens. He attended school in Canon and graduated Canon City High School in the class of 1968. A time of turbulence and excitement, when long hair was taboo and the Vietnam War was at its peak. He attended college for a time and shortly after was drafted into the Army.
Terry served in Vietnam from 1970-1971 as Army AUS UNASGB, SP4-E4, HQ 2nd BDE, 25th Infantry Division, the Electric Strawberry Company. Serving his country he did over 70 helicopter trips in and out of the jungle, surrounded by war and Agent Orange. He received the Purple Heart for his service among other honors before the end of his tour. He didn’t talk much about those times and in that era, when our boys came home, they were made to feel less than welcome. We changed that for him as we became his source of home, love, and comfort.
After the war he returned to Canon until he was given the chance to go to Alaska to work construction with his Uncle Lewis (dad number 2). Terry worked there for 30 years and was known for his excavation skills. His family owned Browns Hill Quarry where he worked as a 302 Operating Engineer. He made many friends in Alaska as well. It was in North Pole where he met and married his wife Debra J. Faultner, the love of his life, through thick and thin to the very end, hand in hand. We both had been married previously and with our children, Jason Allen (Terrys) and Kimberlee Jasmine (Debs) we became a new family. Dylan Joseph was born shortly after to us all and then we were five. Life was good. We moved back to Canon in 2006 because he wanted to retire and return to his home. He was a simple man that enjoyed the simple things, a ride on his Harley, a comfy chair, some good food, along with a good basketball or football game with his family and friends.
Terry is survived by myself, his wife, Debra; his children and their loves, Jason Allen Vondra (Vanessa), Kimberlee Jasmine Lipari (Phil), Dylan Joseph Vondra (Cassidy); grandchildren, Joseph and Kiana Vondra, Zada and Marcus Lipari; his mother Betty Joe Fixman; sister, Sheri Holloway (Jerry); his nephew Troy and nieces Dawn and Shauna; mother-in-law, Arlene Langworthy; brother-in-law, Kenneth Faultner (Virgie), sister-in-law, Collette Carrol (Joe); nephews, Caleb (Rachel), Ryan, Boden, and Jaden, nieces, McKenna (Trevor); aunts, Carol Vondra (Lewis), and Mary Flack (Frank); many family (Vondra, Stevens, Santilli, McDowell, Harding, Eckels, Bush) and a world full of dear friends, both living and passed on to the other side that greeted him on his continuing adventure.
We will be having a gathering and celebration of life of family and friends to raise a glass and make his ears burn on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 4 p.m. at one of his favorite hang outs, the Owl, at 626 Main Street, Canon City, Colorado. We will have another gathering in North Pole, Alaska this summer to celebrate his life with family and friends there. Please bring any memories or pictures you would like to share with his family.
He will have a place in the VA section of the Mountain Vale Cemetery in Canon City, Colorado that we will finalize in a couple of months as it takes a little while for the VA to complete the process. I hope you will utilize it to visit with him when the need arises. Please let me know if you would like to be present at that ceremony and I will get you the dates as soon as I have them. Many blessings to you and yours.
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