Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Terry Lee Kirkhart, TSgt., USAF, (Retired)November 28, 1947 – July 03, 2012
RAPID CITY ~ Terry Lee Kirkhart, 64, died Tuesday, July 3, 2012, while hiking at Harney Peak.
Terry was born Nov. 28, 1947, in Hillsboro, Ohio, to Clarence V. and Laveda Margene (Roush) Kirkhart. He graduated from high school at Lynchburg, Ohio. Terry married Judy Jandes on July 19, 1967, at Allensburg, Ohio, spanning 30+ years of marriage, while raising their family of five children together.
He worked in his local community until he joined the U.S. Air Force on Sept. 9, 1975, shortly before his 28th birthday. He spent most of his 20-year career as Crew Chief on H-1 Huey and H-53 Jolly Green Helicopters. He was stationed at Minot, ND, RAF at Woodbridge, England, then a tour of Desert Storm as Air Rescue, and later retired from Ellsworth Air Force Base on June 30, 1995.
Terry went on to pursue and achieve a Master’s Degree from University of South Dakota. Through family and friends, Terry met and married his soul mate, Ranae Schrier. Recently, Terry found himself back in uniform, for the U.S. National Parks Service, as Interpreter at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
Everyone says Terry was a Great man, but to anyone who encountered Terry in their lives, they knew he was the kind of person who inspired people; not by words, but through actions. What leaves an indelible mark in all our hearts is the way he loved every single person in a way that they felt his sincerity. He didn’t just do things for people, he did it in such a unique and thoughtful way, with child-like innocence. Some say it was silly, embarrassing, even cheesy. To us it was AMAZING and the most memorable. This was a man who never hesitated to show his love. He was a man of few words, but his actions spoke volumes. His passion in his work inspired two of his children to join the military and follow in his footsteps. He didn’t tell people how to live their lives, he inspired them. Terry’s life was spent pouring his heart upon his family, his friends and anyone who had the privilege of meeting him.
He is survived by his wife, Ranae Schrier of Rapid City; four children, Greg (Nikki) Kirkhart of Bossier City, La., Kevin (Agnes) Kirkhart of Concord, Calif., Heather (Scott) Trowbridge of North Bend, Ore., and Angelia Kirkhart of Oahu, Hawaii; nine grandchildren, Joshua, Matthew, Ryan, Jake, Aiden, Audrey, Jon, Jason and Taylor; two step-grandchildren, Kyrdan and Trenton; and his sister, CarolAnn (Jerry) Dyer of Hillsboro, Ohio.
Terry was preceded in death by his parents and his daughter, Wendy Lee Kirkhart in 2004.
Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at Kirk Funeral Home and one hour before services.
Terry’s services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 7, at the funeral home, with Howard Schrier officiating and military honors provided by Ellsworth Air Force Base Honor Guard.
A memorial has been established to Storybook Island of Rapid City.
Friends may sign Terry’s online guestbook at www.kirkfuneralhome.com.
Published in Rapid City Journal on July 6, 2012
July 28, 2012Oh, Ranae! DJ and I were devastated to hear the news of Terry’s passing from Drake & Patricia last night! We are SO VERY sorry we didn’t know about this when it happened. Please know we will miss him and our deepest sympathy goes to you and your family for this tragic loss. More hugs to come.~DJ & Susie Mittelstadt, Keystone, South Dakota
July 16, 2012Ranae, I only knew Terry as a compassionate man who’d treated everyone with respect, a true gentleman. He will be greatly missed I know, and though we never got to really know him we miss him and I will remember him. Allen~Allen – Else Biesman, Rapid City, South Dakota
July 12, 2012Ranae, The few times we were around Terry and you, we could tell he was a lot of fun and what a great couple you were. We’ll always remember the night at Oggie’s shortly after your wedding. Keeping you in our thoughts.~Rhonda, Joanne, Laurie, Deb, Ellen & Donna (Red Hat Rebels)
July 07, 2012Ranae and family, I am so sorry to hear about Terry. My heart goes out to you in your time of grief. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you.~Dan, Alexa and Tanner Harn
July 07, 2012I was there on the mountain when Terry and Ranae were married in the beautiful Black Hills on a gorgeous Fall day. The colors were vibrant. Terry was overcome with joy to join his life with Ranae. I will never forget it. I am so sorry for the loss of Terry. My thoughts are with all his family and friends.~Cory Tomovick
July 06, 2012Ranae, we were so shocked to hear of Terry’s passing. He was such an amazing person; so thoughtful and kind. Know that you and all the family are in our prayers.~Cathy & Chuck Little Bull
July 06, 2012To all the Kirkhart family, I am very sorry to hear about the loss of Terry. I worked with him for a few years at Murphys. He was such an amazing man, his stories about his time in the Air Force helped push me in that direction. Although I cannot be there due to being deployed in Kryzyzstan, your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.~Lindsey (Weiler) Griffin
July 06, 2012I was so very sorry to hear about Terry. It is hard to understand how someone with so much life can now be gone. I knew Terry while he was at NAU; he was such a kind and thoughtful man. You all are in my prayers for peace and comfort during this difficult time.~Peggy Schlechter
July 06, 2012Oh, Ranae,We can’t tell you how sorry we were to hear of Terry’s death. We will remember his thoughtfulness and caring attitude. I am right now thinking of the last time I spoke with him – at Jolly Lane Greenhouse while you were looking for plants or flowers. He was his normal cheerful self that day. Please take care – we send sincere condolences to you and your families.~Bill and Sherry Wood
July 06, 2012I am so very sorry to hear about Terry. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the family.~Mary Ellen Lantis
July 06, 2012I am so sorry to hear of Terry’s passing. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and especially to his beloved wife and soulmate, Ranae.~Roger Soucy
July 06, 2012I enjoyed very much working with Terry at Mount Rushmore before I returned east on June 25. He was an all-around great guy, fun to talk with. When I went to visit Devil’s Tower, he told me to stop at the Trading Post in Aladdin, Wyo. on my way and I’m glad I did. Terry quickly mastered the art of putting up tipis, and was a lot of fun to have at the Heritage Village, teaching folks about Native culture. I will remember him just as he was.~Jonathan Cooper
July 06, 2012So sorry to hear of Terry’s passing. We graduated together from Lynchburg High School. He always had a lighthearted attitude. May God comfort the family in this time of loss.~Deanna (Stockwell) Smaltz
July 06, 2012God Bless you my friend….Love ya Renaew.~Rick
July 06, 2012Ranae, you are in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. Hold your memories close and remember to reach out to your “sisters” in your hour of need. “Sisters will not only walk the valley by your side, they will carry you if necessary.~Sandy Schwan
July 06, 2012Our prayers and sympathy go out to you, Ranae, and to all of your family. Even though we didn’t know Terry for long, we knew he was a wonderful person and he will be greatly missed. The two of you were great together. Never forget all of the wonderful memories. Terry will always be in your heart. We love you.~Kathy and Rodger Marx
July 06, 2012Ranae; We are so shocked. We just had pizza with Terry a couple weeks ago in Hermosa. He was so full of life and absolutely loved his new job. I simply cannot put into words our immense sadness. Stay strong my friend and remember we are all here for you. See you soon.~Brian and Cheryl Evans
July 06, 2012Terry has been such a big part of our life these past few years whether it was relaxing at the Gaslight or cheering at a Rushmore hockey game. We will miss him in so many ways; such a positive guy and a good friend. Our hearts break for all he touched, especially Renae and Jason.~The Dunfee’s
July 06, 2012I never met Terry but have heard from family about his wonderful personality.~Rosemary Schrier
July 06, 2012Terry was a wonderful man and will be missed it’s hard to believe he’s gone. My prayers go out to his family. RIP Terry.~Nick Rottum
July 06, 2012Ranae, Our heart goes out to you, and your family we are to sorry for your loss. Terry will truly be missed in a lot of ways. If you ever need anything give us a shout. Sending lots of Hugs & prayers your way. Love ya Rich, BJ.~BJ Lund
July 05, 2012We are so sorry for your loss of Terry. He was such a great man who always had a smile on his face! We pray that the good memories get you through this hard time. Love you.~Wade and Sarah Culver and boys
July 05, 2012“Sassy pants” will be missed by three girls who loved him lots.~Krista Schrier,Hill City, South Dakota
July 06, 2012To the family of “Mr. Terry”. What a wonderful soul he was. Many fond memories of the days we had at Murphys. They will be cherished for a lifetime. I pray for healing as his untimely death is a shock. I look back on his pictures and see what a happy and fulfilling life he has lead. He was truly loved and he loved back…what a great lesson he has taught us all. I feel so blessed to have known him and what an inspiration. Love and prayers to the family. “Tee”~Teresa Gueffroy Bettelyoun, Spearfish, South Dakota
July 05, 2012You are missed by many. Peace.~Howard Schrier
July 05, 2012To the most amazing, kind-hearted, genuine father-in-law a girl could ask for, thank you for loving and blessing us in more ways than words can express. Thomas Campbell said, “To live in the hearts we leave is not to die.” And so you shall forever live in our hearts. We’ll miss you every day. Rest in peace.~Nikki Kirkhart
July 05, 2012We will miss the fun times we had working together at Murphys. God Bless you Terry.~Colleen Weiler
July 05, 2012Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Terry and Ranae’s families and friends.~Dustin and Kylie Petty
July 05, 2012~Jason Walter
July 05, 2012Our hearts go out to your family in this time of your loss. Terry was indeed a wonderful man and will be greatly missed. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.~Marty & Pearl
July 05, 2012Ranae, Our heart goes out to you, and your family. I cannot believe this really happened. You two were so happy, and were such a fun couple to be around. Hold on to your wonderful memories. Stay in touch and if we can help you in anyway. We are here for you. Sending lots of love.~Ken & Ruth Wesche
July 05, 2012To Renae and family,A shock to us and for sure to many who knew this wonderful gentleman! We loved everything about him, and share in your loss. We will grieve appropriately as we hope you will, always then remembering his humanity, asking nothing more than to emulate his gentle and friendly manner, and to live our lives in peace and harmony. We love you!~Robert and Sonja Shannon
July 05, 2012My sympathy and prayers are with all of you. I only met you for a short time, but your love for him clearly showed. I will never forget you all and your incredible courage. Karla (Emt/RMA from Iowa who was hiking).~Karla Moothart
July 05, 2012Terry will be greatly missed! Much sadness for the whole Kirkhart family.~Love, Brandy, Andrew and Kennedy