Margaret "Ann" Terrett

March 02, 2013|By JANET HEIM |
  • Bob and Ann Terrett were married July 6, 1957, in Silver Spring, Md.
Submitted photo

KEEDYSVILLE, Md. — Once you met Margaret “Ann” Terrett, you were a friend for life.

“I think the most important thing — when you met Mom for the first time, you might not know her, but when you left, you were a friend,” said son Robert “Bobby” Terrett of Keedysville.

She didn’t like to be called Margaret, though, so husband Robert “Bob” Terrett only called her Margaret when he wanted to get a rise out of her.

Ann Garner was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Greenbelt, Md., the third of six children. After high school graduation in 1953, she worked for many years as a receptionist for doctors in Silver Spring, Md., and Chevy Chase, Md.

She met Bob, who also grew up in the D.C. area, through a friend and they went on a blind date in October 1956, about nine months after Bob got out of the Army.

He told his mother after their second date that “she was the girl I was going to marry.”

“I guess I was a sucker for redheads,” Bob said.

He proposed on New Year’s Eve, at a party filled with school friends.

“I was pretty sure she would accept,” Bob said.

The couple married in July 1957 in Silver Spring. They raised Bobby and their daughter, Susan Barnes, in Rockville, Md.

“Family was really important and her faith, too,” said Susan, who lives in Middletown, Md.

Many weekends were spent camping, progressing from tents to pop-up camper to travel-trailer to a motor home, in which they covered many miles across the country.

“We traveled a lot,” Bob said.

The family also owned a mobile home on two acres of property in Garrett County, Md., a retreat from the city.

“We loved the mountains,” Bob said.

They initially thought about moving to Garrett County, but Bob, an electrician, said he couldn’t get a job there. Friends who lived in Washington County encouraged the Terretts to settle near them.

The decision was made to move out of the Rockville area after both children finished high school. Not a day was wasted, with the family moving to Keedysville the day after Susan earned her diploma.

“The next day, I was picking raspberries,” Susan said.

Their Red Hill Road property boasted 1,500 raspberry bushes and peach trees.

“I had donkeys, pigs, peaches and raspberries,” Bob said.

As they settled into a more rural lifestyle, Ann and Bob continued to commute together to their jobs in the D.C. area, getting up at 4 a.m.

Ann retired before Bob, but still got up to see him off.

“Ann was so faithful,” Bob said. “When I’d get up to go to work, she’d get up, have coffee, make lunch and give me a kiss. I never left with her sleeping in bed.”

While the children were growing up in Rockville, Ann would make homemade pizza for Saturday lunch.

“It was like a magnet,” Bob said. “The neighborhood kids would show up.”

After the move to Keedysville, Bob got the idea to open a restaurant so Ann could make her pizzas, among other things.

In 1986, they opened Town Center Sub and Pizza in Boonsboro. Bob built the restaurant from scratch in the kitchen of an old house.

Initially, it was a small carryout, with Bob adding a deck out front with tables and umbrellas, then a deck in the back and eventually opening a dining room.

They didn’t open the restaurant until noon on Sundays so they could go to church.

“Church was important to her,” said Susan, adding that both her parents were involved in the churches they attended.

With Susan running the business during daytime hours, Ann and Bob worked their full-time jobs for several years until it became too much. The Terretts sold the business in 1995 after Ann had a mini-stroke.

“We enjoyed meeting the people,” Bob said.

They took pride in their restaurant’s reputation for quality and cleanliness. Susan said the health inspector would eat lunch at Town Center because he knew of their high standards.

The slogan for the restaurant was “Quality is our specialty.”

“She always had quality as her thing,” Bob said. “There was no halfway, whether it was taking care of the home or business.

“It had to be the best she could do. The best cheeses, best produce, best of everything.”

“You were married to the job,” Susan said. “It was a lot of hours.”

They met many people in the community through Town Center and would run into former customers wherever they went.

“A lot of kids remember Mom and Dad,” Susan said.

“We had a lot of loyal patrons,” Bob said.

When the carnival came to Boonsboro every year, the carnival owners would eat at Town Center and asked the Terretts to work with them after Ann and Bob retired. For several years, the couple traveled with the carnival to up to 10 cities from Boston to North Carolina.

“We enjoyed that,” Bob said.

Ann made cotton candy, candy apples and popcorn, while Bob took care of the sno-balls. They were known for their work ethic and honesty.

“Honesty and integrity is a hallmark of our family,” Bobby said.

The Terretts’ travels took them all over the United States, including several trips with grandchildren to Alaska. The past 12 years, they wintered in Florida from about Oct. 1 to April 30, within 10 minutes of an entrance to the Everglades.

When Ann couldn’t walk, Bob would take her to the park entrance in her motorized scooter.

“She’d sit out on the trail and talk to people from all over the world,” Bob said.

This past fall, they delayed their trip to Florida to be here for Susan’s 50th birthday on Oct. 11. Two days before Susan’s birthday, Ann fell and they never made it to Florida.

Ann enjoyed bingo and taking her granddaughters to lunch and the movies.

“We never done anything apart, never separate vacations,” Bob said of their 55-year marriage. “The only thing I didn’t do was bingo.”

“Basically, in a nutshell, we’re a very close family,” Susan said. “We did everything together.”

While they owned Town Center, they closed the restaurant on Mother’s Day so Bob could take Ann for an overnight to Atlantic City, N.J., to go to the casinos.

As Ann’s mobility declined, she used her iPhone to keep in touch through texts and emails and play games such as Dice with Friends and Words with Friends with multiple players.

“She was not afraid of electronics,” daughter-in-law Darletta Terrett said.

There are five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Ann had health issues over the years, but it was after falling and breaking her pelvic bone in October 2012 that her health really spiraled downward.

She was in and out of the hospital, nursing home and home, with the support of her family, until she died of pancreatitis and kidney failure.

Editor’s note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail runs “A Life Remembered.” Each story in this continuing series takes a look back — through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others — at a member of the community who died recently. Today’s “A Life Remembered” is about Margaret “Ann” Terrett, who died Feb. 21 at the age of 78. Her obituary was published in the Feb. 24 edition of The Herald-Mail.

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