Ocean Beach 07

Terrence Anthony Fenech

October 29, 1935 ~ May 23, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old


Terrence Anthony Fenech (aged 87) of Grand Rapids, Michigan went home to his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023. He passed away peacefully in the loving embrace of his wife (Carol) of 65 years.

Terry Fenech was born on October 29th, 1935 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada to Stephen and Catherine Fenech (Eagen). He was the middle of three boys, including his older brother Steve and younger brother Tom. Terry and his brothers attended St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School and Walkerville High School in Windsor.

After high school, Terry worked in the mail room at the headquarters of the Auto Club of Michigan in downtown Detroit. While working at the Auto Club, Terry met his wife, Carol Ann Hempenstall (of East Detroit, MI), who worked in the Personnel Department. They were married on May 17th, 1958. Both Terry and Carol made significant life changes for each other: Terry became an American citizen, and Carol converted from Methodism to Catholicism.

After their wedding, Terry and Carol moved to Dearborn Heights, MI, where their first child (Michael) was born. Soon after, they relocated to Monroe, MI, and had their second son (Todd) and their daughter (Shannon). Their family would move several times over the next few years, making their homes in Ida, MI and Big Rapids, MI. In 1970, the Fenech family moved to their home on Keeweenaw Drive in Grand Rapids, where they planted their roots and watched them grow for 44 years.

After Terry and Carol both retired, they fulfilled a lifelong dream of moving to Florida, where they purchased a home in North Fort Myers in the Lake Fairways Community. During the eight years they spent in Florida, Terry and Carol made lifelong friends and countless memories in their newfound home. Terry served on the board of the Lake Fairways Homeowners Association and he and Carol helped lead the annual Christmas cart parade.

Terry spent over 35 years working as a salesperson and executive for the Auto Club of Michigan (later AAA) and eventually managed the Northeast and Southeast Grand Rapids AAA offices. After retiring from AAA, Terry earned his Realtor’s license and put his endless sales expertise to work at Prudential Fase Realty in Grand Rapids for nearly 15 years. Those who knew and worked with Terry both at the Auto Club and in real estate remember him for his relentless work ethic and his ability to bring joy to the workplace on a regular basis.

Terry believed deeply in community service, and he and Carol were involved in countless service and civic organizations throughout his life. Most notably, Terry was a member of and tireless advocate for Kiwanis International – an organization dedicated to serving the world's children. Terry was a Kiwanian for virtually his entire adult life, active in the Monroe Kiwanis Club, Kiwanis Club of North Ft. Myers, and Kiwanis Club of North Grand Rapids, where he served in several state and local leadership roles.

In addition to Kiwanis, Terry was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, the Monroe-Lenawee County Catholic Youth Organization (board member and football and baseball coach), the Monroe County United Fund (chairman), the United Way of West Michigan, the Coffee Dunkers of America (Grand Rapids Chapter), the Salvation Army of Kent County (as a bell-ringer), Meals on Wheels of Western Michigan (as a volunteer driver), Northview Rocket Football (as a coach) and countless others. Many will also recall Terry and Carol playing the role of Santa and Mrs. Claus at community events all over Grand Rapids and North Fort Myers.

Music and the arts always played a major role in Terry’s life. In high school, he played in the Walkerville High Marching Band, ultimately rising to the rank of drum major. As an adult, he sang and played the upright bass for over a decade in his and his friends’ band, “The Rhythm Kings.” Terry loved the stage and the theatre and appeared in leading roles in countless community theatre productions with the Monroe Community Players (where he also served on the Board of Directors), the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, and Circle Theatre Grand Rapids. He was a member of the Monroe Community Chorus and was active in the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA).

Terry also spent decades volunteering his time and talent for the Lowell Showboat, serving as an interlocutor and endman. He helped spearhead the successful “Keep the Boat Afloat” campaign after a major storm destroyed the original Showboat in August of 1979. For years, Terry volunteered for the Festival of the Arts in Grand Rapids, often serving as an emcee. Terry loved to sing and was always eager to entertain his friends and family with a song, whether it be a rendition of a classic standard at karaoke night at Cheers or The Sandtrap, or with a pitch-perfect a capella harmony with Carol.

Terry’s faith was the cornerstone of his life. Devout Roman Catholics, Terry and Carol were members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Monore, St. Jude Parish in Grand Rapids, and St. Therese Catholic Church in North Fort Myers. At St. Jude, Terry and Carol were constantly active in parish life and ministry. They both served on the Stewardship Committee, and Terry was a member of the Adult Choir, served as a lector, and was president of the St. Jude School Parent-Teacher Association, in addition to giving of his time, talent, and treasure to countless parish and school events and campaigns. He also served as a lector at St. Therese. Terry’s faith helped guide him throughout his life and was at the center of his 65-year marriage to Carol.

Terry loved the great outdoors and was an avid sportsman and hunter for many years. His favorite pastime by far was the game of golf, and he passed along his love of the game to his children and grandchildren. There was nothing Terry enjoyed more than a game of golf with his friends and family. When he wasn’t playing golf, he loved following the PGA Tour on TV, cheering on his favorite golfers, and marveling at their talent. The good Canadian that he was, he was also an avid hockey fan and always cheered for his beloved Detroit Red Wings.

Terry and Carol’s marriage was the embodiment of “living life to the fullest.” They loved to travel and visited countless states and countries while traveling with friends and family throughout Terry’s life. They were always the “life of the party,” and many of Terry’s friends and family will recall memorable evenings at their home on Keeweenaw Drive which lasted until the “wee small hours of the morning.” Terry epitomized the “people person,” and he loved making new friends and meeting people. He and Carol were known to make new friends wherever they went, and many of those encounters evolved into lifelong friendships.

Terry was preceded in eternal life by his father, Stephen, his mother, Catherine, and his granddaughter, Erin Marie Greene. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Carol Ann Fenech (Hempenstall), and his two brothers: Stephen (Janet) Fenech of Washington Township, MI, and Thomas (Cheryle) Fenech of Windsor, ON. He is also survived by his three children: Michael (Jane) Fenech of Coopersville, MI, Todd (Laura) Fenech of Rockford, MI, and Shannon Fenech-Greene (fiancé David Ambrose) of Grand Rapids; eight grandchildren: Stephen Fenech of Coopersville, MI, Scott (Lindsey) Fenech of Atlanta, GA, Stepfanee (Brent) Dubay of Rockford, MI, Sierra Fenech (Marcus Martinez) of Allendale, MI, Matthew (Grace) Fenech of Walker, MI, Lauren Fenech of Grand Rapids, MI, Emily (Chris) Melnick of Milwaukee, WI, Benjamin (Taylor) Greene of Grand Rapids, MI; ten great-grandchildren; and countless other friends and family members.

Terry’s family wishes to thank the staff at Care Cardinal of Kentwood and Interim Hospice for the loving care provided to him, especially as he neared the end of his journey on earth.

A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Jude Catholic Church (1120 Four Mile Road NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525) at 11:00 am on Friday, June 2nd, 2023, with Father Ayub Francis presiding. The family will receive visitors at the church prior to the funeral service beginning at 10:00 am. A luncheon will follow in St. Jude’s Brophy Center. All are welcome to attend.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that those who wish to express sympathy make a contribution to the Grand Rapids Kiwanis Foundation. For more information, please contact foundation@kiwanisgrandrapids.org.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Terrence Anthony Fenech, please visit our floral store.


June 2, 2023

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Jude Catholic Church
1120 Four Mile Rd NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Guaranteed delivery before the Visitation begins

Mass of Christian Burial
June 2, 2023

11:00 AM
St. Jude Catholic Church
1120 Four Mile Rd NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Guaranteed delivery before the Mass of Christian Burial begins


© 2023 Ofield Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility