Terry Fornell, age 74, died peacefully at her Crosslake home on October 20, 2023, after a long battle with cancer. She was born on October 21, 1948, in Brainerd, MN to Donald and Bertella Raph. She attended Pine River High School, graduating as the class of 1966’s valedictorian. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from St. Cloud State University in 1971, and then had the privilege of teaching elementary school students for 35 years at Pine River Elementary School. She married Gregg Fornell on June 17, 1972, and together they raised two children in Crosslake, MN.
Upon her retirement in 2006, she spent the next 15 years traveling the world with her beloved husband. When not traveling, she enjoyed gardening and crafting of all kinds. She was also a bookworm who preferred well-worn library books over the numerous e-readers she was gifted. Terry inherited a deep love of nature from her parents and spent much of her time hiking, biking, and regaling her children with frequent updates on the exact number and variety of woodland creatures she encountered each week.
Above all else, Terry was devoted to family. She was a wonderful wife to her husband of 51 years, and loving mother to her daughter, Kristi Melrose (Don) and son, Cory. She was always there when we needed her and showed us endless love in gestures both big and small, including a weekly Sunday call to each child no matter where she or they were in the world. Terry was the oldest of 9 siblings and cherished the lifetime of memories she shared with the “Raph 9”, their spouses, and their children. She was the first to delight in and help celebrate their many accomplishments, but also the first to help in times of sadness and difficulty.
Terry fought hard to remain with those she loved so much, and she will be greatly missed by all those left behind. We are proud to now carry her with us and live our lives with the same courage, strength, and devotion as she did.
Private family services will be held.
Arrangements are entrusted to Brenny Family Funeral Chapel, Crosslake.