We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter
your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you
can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Dr. Thomas Eugene "Gene" Terrell
October 2, 1926 ~ November 20, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old
16 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Dr. Thomas Eugene's family - View on Tribute Wall
TRINITY - Dr. Thomas Eugene (Gene) Terrell, 97, physician, farmer, friend to all and enemy to none, died at his home in Randolph County on November 20, 2023 surrounded by love and the presence of his wife, Eldora, and his six children.
Gene was born in Greensboro on October 2, 1926. He grew up on Terrell Street, the oldest of 5 children born to Arthur Eugene Terrell and Myrtle Snider Terrell. His fond memories included drawing water by a bucket from a hand-dug well, sharing an outhouse with the family next door, milking their cow each day and growing vegetables for the table. The kitchen stove was their source of heat for the entire house.
His habit of hard work began when he was a boy, riding his bike to deliver three paper routes for the Greensboro paper or groceries for nearby Field’s Grocery. He graduated from Greensboro High School in 1944 and then worked at a Western Auto Warehouse where he saved money for college but with no plans for when or where until a friend one day said at lunch, “Let’s go enroll at Guilford College.” Gene jumped at the chance, even though he had no idea where Guilford College was.
At Guilford, Gene enrolled in science classes where his chemistry lab partner was 15-year-old Eldora Haworth. A few weeks into their freshman year he asked her on impulse to be his date to a class picnic. Their love and partnership lasted 78 years. After graduating from Guilford College in 1949, they enrolled at Duke Medical School together, graduating in 1953.
After medical school and residency, Gene joined the army where he served with the guided missile center at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas. While Gene served as head of X-ray services and oversaw the base’s laboratory, Eldora worked as a physician at Brook Army Hospital. During their two-year stint in El Paso, they started their family with the births of their first two children, Sara Beth and Tom. They soon returned to North Carolina where they settled in Eldora’s hometown of High Point and founded a husband-and-wife medical practice in internal medicine, a practice they shared for 45 years.
Bill, Richard, Tim, and Jane were born in rapid succession. To keep six rambunctious children busy and out of trouble, Gene and Eldora bought a small farm in Randolph County that grew over the decades to 752 acres. The family farm was central to Gene’s life, serving as a center of the family activities, providing an outlet for his unbounding energy and optimism, and serving as his enduring legacy.
After treating thousands of patients and their families over parts of six decades, Gene and Eldora retired to their farm in 2004, using their new farmhouse as they had always used their farm, as a place for family and friends to gather for fellowship, the annual Thanksgiving Brunswick Stew, many fourths of July, weddings, and other special events. Gene never sought the spotlight or placed himself in the middle of conversations. His presence was quiet and understated.
When he wasn’t working in his orchards and gardens or building barns and sheds and handling a large herd of cows, Gene loved sitting beside Eldora to read medical journals, books on any topic, or to watch Duke basketball or the evening news. He preached the importance of exercise to all his patients, was an avid runner for many years, and until the last few months, Gene still walked 45 minutes a day on his treadmill.
Gene died expressing gratitude for everyone who helped him along his life’s journey, always attributing his successes to serendipitous luck or the kindness of others, never claiming credit for himself. He died as he lived – quietly, humbly, and with his family by his side.
He was predeceased by his parents, his sister, Hilda Ruth Gailey, and his brother, Wayne. He is survived by Eldora Haworth Terrell, his wife of 72 years and companion for 78 years; his children Sara Beth Terrell (Jim Hood), Tom (Gaither), Bill (Donna), Richard, Tim (Grace) and Jane Bedenbaugh (Carl); grandchildren Julia Hood, Daniel Hood, Joseph Terrell, Patrick Terrell, Katy Terrell Garrison, Robyn Terrell Narron, Kristen Hooks, and Jordan Hooks; great-granddaughter Gabriella Garrison and another great-grandchild expected in February 2024.
A service to celebrate Gene’s long and wonderful life will be held at Springfield Friends Meeting, 555 E. Springfield Road, High Point, on Sunday, November 26 at 2:00. The family will greet friends in the Rees Fellowship Hall after the service.
Instead of flowers, memorials may be sent to Springfield Friends Meeting earmarked for the capital improvement fund.