Terry passed away at Touchmark’s Memory Care on October 1, 2018. He was 86 years old, and he was ready to reunite with his loving wife, Dolores, and his son, Kurt. Cremation has taken place.
Terry was born in Great Falls on August 17, 1932. He and his mom, Rose Guidotti, lived with family in the small community of Black Eagle. He graduated from St. Mary’s High School where he played football and made lifelong friends. Working hard was a core value that Terry mastered at a young age. Straight out of high school, Terry went to work as a sheet metal fabricator for AT Klemens & Son in Great Falls. This was the start of his commitment and passion for the sheet metal trade. Not only did Terry enjoy working in the trade, but he also developed friendships with co-workers that withstood the test of time.
Terry joined the Army and served for two years during the Korean War. He returned from Korea uninjured, and went back to work for AT Klemens. The best part of Terry’s return was his marriage to Dolores Stenseth in 1956. Dolores was the love of Terry’s life, and they were blessed to have 55 years together packed full with five children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. They made an impressive team with Terry relentlessly working hard to support his family and Dolores doing the same at home.
Terry’s career in the sheet metal trade took an interesting turn in 1962 when he was working for the Reber Company and became responsible for designing the heating systems and supervising the sheet metal work performed on the Minuteman missile projects in South Dakota, North Dakota, California, Wyoming, and Massachusetts. He continued working in this area for over 10 years, and saw parts of the country he likely would not have otherwise visited. Terry worked for the last 11 years of his career as the Director of Buildings and Grounds for the Helena School District, retiring in 1994. He enjoyed his time with the school district, but he was a sheet metal worker and craftsman at heart. Long after his body quit cooperating, and he was unable to work in his shop, he always enjoyed talking with his kids and others about their jobs in construction, always giving advice and wishing he could be working right alongside them.
In 1978, Terry and Dolores moved their family to a beautiful area one mile above Marysville towards the Great Divide ski area. Terry loved everything about his home, from the beautiful trees, to the pond, to caring for his lawn, and time in his wood shop where he spent endless hours creating and building. After his retirement in 1994, Terry finally relaxed a little and caught many fish. The Smith River held a special place in Terry’s heart, and fly fishing from his float tube in various ponds around Montana with family and friends became Terry’s favorite pastime. He also spent a lot of quality time with his kids and grandkids, creating memories they will hold in their hearts forever.
Terry is survived by his sons Durk (Paula) Pipinich of Marysville; Clay (Colleen) Pipinich of Helena; Nick (Darcey) Pipinich of Marysville; and his daughter Tammy Pipinich (Steve Sandru) of Lincoln. Terry’s grandchildren are Cody (Brenna) Clark (kids MaKena and Kylee); Kori Ann (Jared) Keller; Dani and Jake Pipinich; Tyler (Jessica) Pipinich (kids McKenna, Alexa and Bridger); Clayleen, Coltan, and Tanlee Pipinich. Terry’s family would like to thank his close friend Lee Melcheski for providing Terry with company and support when he needed it most; Andrew Gilbert, M.D. and Compassus Hospice for their commitment to Terry’s comfort in the final months and days of his life; and finally an enormous thank you to the dedicated aides and nurses at Touchmark’s Memory Care. These wonderful individuals are caregivers in every sense of the word, all impressively compassionate and kind in a setting that can be very uplifting and rewarding, yet difficult and demanding.
A graveside service with military honors will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 18th at Montana State Veterans Cemetery with a reception to follow at the Fort Harrison Service Club at Fort Harrison. In lieu of flowers, memorials in honor of Terry are suggested to Montana Project Healing Waters, PO Box 1798, Helena, MT 59624 or to Compassus Hospice, 1075 Rodney St Ste 102, Helena, MT 59601. Please visit below to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Terry.