SAVANNA—Colleen "Chopper" Terry was a person who always kept life fun and was a great friend to many people. At the age of 67, Colleen passed away peacefully Saturday, Feb. 25, at FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport after a long battle with her health.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 4, at the Law Jones Funeral Home in Savanna. Visitation will be held from 3-6 p.m. Saturday, March 4, at the funeral home, prior to the service. Friends are invited to share in Colleen's life at lawjonesfuneralhome.com.
Colleen Ann Moore Terry was born Sept. 26, 1955, to Eleanor (Dyson) and James Moore. She grew up the Chestnut Park neighborhood of Savanna. After graduating from high school in '73, Chopper married Marty Ware. They had one very special son, Joshua. When Josh was a young boy, she took Josh to LaCrosse, Wis., to put him in a special school for children with autism.
Colleen lived in LaCrosse for many years and married her longtime love, Marc Terry. Marc welcomed Josh and treated him as his very own son. They had a great relationship. Colleen worked in many flower shops around LaCrosse. Then, Colleen and Josh returned to Savanna. She opened a bar/restaurant called Chopper’s, and ran the business for a few years.
Up until the last couple of years, Colleen worked at the West Carroll Primary School, in charge of running the Thunder Way Store. She would supply the store with special items that students were able to come in and buy with their "Thunder Bucks" that they received for outstanding behavior.
Colleen loved working with the kids and missed seeing them dearly after she retired. She spent her summers working at the Train Car downtown Savanna. Chopper would welcome visitors who came to tour the train car. She loved talking to people.
Josh was Colleen's life. She devoted herself to Josh and his needs. They had a very special relationship because it was primarily Colleen and Josh against the world. She always wanted to help Josh be happy and proud of his life. He loved the Price is Right show and she arranged a trip to California to take Josh to see a taping of the show. He got to have dinner with Drew Carey and received a "shout-out" during the episode. Every decision she made, she made with Josh in mind; he was her life.
Colleen also devoted her life to her many nieces and nephews. She treated them as if they were her kids, and she was known as "Gramchop" to her great-nieces and nephews. Her brother later married Glenda who had four daughters that she welcomed with open arms as well.
Colleen spent the last two years taking care of her mother, Eleanor. Along with her brother, Jimmy, they spent almost every day with their mom to keep her home and not in a nursing home at the end of her life. Colleen was by her mom's side when she passed last February, and a few months later, her brother Jimmy also passed very suddenly. Colleen helped the family through these difficult times.
Then, after battling Covid, her health became a challenge for her. She spent the last eight months in a nursing home in Freeport receiving dialysis three times a week. Her body finally told her it was time to stop fighting and to join her dad, mother and brother, in Heaven.
Colleen will dearly be missed by her son, Joshua; her sisters, Cathy (Duce) Corey and Patty Jo Derrickson; her half-sister, Raylene (Kenneth) Wright; her sister-in-law Glenda Moore; her nieces, Charlotte (Randy) Johnston, Chelsea (Adam) Moore, Tammy Hammer, Joannen (Dave) Crow, Cindy (Brad) Crow Robinson, and Sarah Crow. Colleen is also survived by one nephew, Chad (Jennifer) Moore. Colleen had many great-nieces and nephews and her two very special great-niece and nephew, Matt and Corey Johnston. Colleen is also survived by her step-mother, Betty Moore.
Colleen was preceded in death by her parents, Jim Moore and Eleanor Torke; her step-father, John Torke; and her brother, Jimmy.