Mary Brosnahan Terpstra

Honored by:Her husband and children: Harvey P. Terpstra, Shelly M. Terpstra, Anna R. Terpstra, David M. Terpstra
Brick location:E:4  map

Mary Brosnahan Terpstra is a passionate idealist with high expectations for herself. She has formed strong moral beliefs and takes action in support of those beliefs. She is a local activist in the true sense of the word, is a compassionate individual, and has a deep love for children.

Mary organized and has been the driving force in a neighborhood association which has faced numerous issues. She has argued long and hard for resolutions that have made her neighborhood a better place to live and raise a family. In the community as a whole, Mary has been a strong voice supporting the maintenance of affordable housing and has served on various city committees. In the school system and in her church, she has also been involved in numerous endeavors. Her reason for involvement in many things is exemplified by one of Mary's favorite quotations, "Eternal vigilance is the price of democracy." Mary has taken that quotation to heart.

In addition to, and as a part of her activism, Mary has shown great compassion for others. She helped organize and manage a church ministry that provides emergency funding to individuals in need. She has also provided consolation and guidance to many persons in time of need. As a result of this work and of her compassionate lifestyle Mary was selected for the 1994 "Justice Award" given by the Ames Center for Creative Justice. She was deeply honored.

We have described Mary as an activist on many issues, but her foremost passion is a love for children and how they develop and learn. Educated as an elementary school teacher, she has been interested in all phases of child development and loves being with young people. She has volunteered with many youth organizations, helped establish a youth ministry program at her church, and currently coordinates a home schooling program for children being educated outside the regular school institution. This is a very personal choice as well, since her own children have been educated at home.

In her life, Mary Brosnahan Terpstra has not been afraid to take a different path based on her strong beliefs. She is a remarkable person. It has been our privilege to know and to love her.

Submitted on 7/1/96