Terry Sexton, son of Margaret (Trankner) and Howard Sexton, was born at home during a blizzard on March 11, 1941 in Osage. A good friend and neighbor volunteered as midwife until the doctor arrived. Doc Higgs had difficulty getting to the farm on time and was greeted by a healthy baby boy. Margaret and Howard never had another child. Terry frequently said, "I owe my mom and dad. They just had me." He loved being an only child or just never noticed as he had such wonderful best friends in the neighborhood and cousins that came to visit and play. Terry felt that he had lived an idyllic life both at home on the farm with his parents and in his community. He expressed that while he was recently in the hospital trying to overcome several health conditions, the greatest of which was mantle cell lymphoma.
Terry was the center of attention with his parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles. Auntie Anne even gave Terry his middle name, Eugene. They and several cousins preceded Terry in death. He was also preceded in death by his father-in-law Luther Simenson, of Shevlin and nephew, Michael Steven Simenson of Pinewood.
In Terry's teenage years he started playing guitar and over the years played lead guitar in several bands including The Pretenders, Country Express and the Cadillac Cowboys. He also played steel guitar and banjo. He had a lifelong love of music with a preference for "real" bluegrass and loved to share it with others. Sometimes he had the nurses dancing during his hospital stays. Terry never went there without his iPod and computer so he could keep up with his music and his work.
Terry was very proud of his life's work, which included an array of interesting jobs. His earliest jobs included pole climbing for the telephone company, bagging groceries and logging whenever he needed a little extra money. After high school he went to Havre, Mont. to work on the Schnitzmeier Ranch.
Then he moved to Minneapolis where he worked for Gould National Battery making batteries for the Telstar Satellite. He also drove a delivery truck for Feingold Meats, sometimes traveling to Duluth and other neighboring towns. He loved those jobs.
While in the Twin Cities he met Alice Faye Shaver from the Leonard area, not far from his hometown. In the fall of 1963 they both came home to attend Bemidji State College. They got engaged during the homecoming dance that fall. At the time, Terry worked at the Nymore Standard station, and in fact, was working the day of their wedding June 13, 1964, just making it in time for the ceremony.
A year later, Terry graduated and accepted a job as an Industrial Arts teacher in Melrose living there five years making great friends and becoming a father for the first time.
Terry left teaching to work at Arctic Cat Enterprises in Thief River Falls. He became a specialist in service and safety, traveling as far as Toronto, New Brunswick and Alaska, speaking on behalf of the company. While in Thief River Falls he became a father for the second time.
In 1975, Terry began work with Steiger Tractor in Fargo, N.D. and moved to Moorhead. At Steiger he headed up a very successful service and parts department and made life-long friends. He grew to really enjoy his city and neighbors and never wanted to move again.
In recent years he had two coffee groups he met with regularly to share and gain wisdom. He also traveled around the country to meet with his professional organization, the SBI Group. These groups and the members were a cherished part of his life.
After working in the corporate world he vowed to never call another person "boss." He began working independently, starting two businesses including a very successful one selling used parts for large tractors. After these business ventures he became an independent sales representative for manufacturers. He got his start in this working for Midwest Marketing promoting a wide range of products. He enjoyed the work and loved the people.
In the 1980s he got a chance to start a new line of tractors in the U.S. from Belarus Russia. He set up a successful group of dealers and earned a trip for his whole family and several dealers to travel throughout Russia. Since that time he concentrated on agricultural products. He later began selling Valtra tractors made in Finland. He had dealers in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. He traveled those states and to Finland regularly.
Over the years he also worked for Alamo/Rhino company, REM manufacturing, Conveyall Corporation and Asset Inspections. In recent years he added another line from Canada called Seed Hawk, which sells huge air seeders. He enjoyed the challenge immensely and continued with Seed Hawk and Alamo/Rhino for the rest of his life. The people he worked with in these companies and products he represented were highly regarded by Terry. He described what he did for a living as "doing what he loved, traveling and visiting with his friends."
Though extremely proud of these great jobs and experiences, what he was most proud of was his family, wife, Alice Faye, and their children; daughter, Heather, her husband Kerrik and grandchildren Severin and Stella from Roseville; son, Brady, his wife Laurel and grandchildren Isabella and Louie from Fargo, N.D.; they were all the joy of his life. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Lillian Simenson; brothers-in-law Junior and Wesley; sisters-in-law, Yonne and Kathy; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Terry was with family when he passed away on Sunday Aug. 11, 2013 at Sanford Hospital in Fargo, N.D.
His personality was delightfully upbeat and he was a brilliant storyteller. His constant audience was riveted to his outrageous opinions, metaphors and tall-tales. With great enjoyment, he planned ahead for a festive celebration of his life on the farm that he loved. The party will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1, on the Sexton farm in Osage, with bluegrass music playing in the barn and a cannon tribute at 4 p.m. Friends and family are all welcome.
To leave online condolences or to share stories about Terry visit www.jonespearson.com.