Published: 1:28 pm, Sun. Nov. 25th, 2018Updated: 1:26 pm
A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, at Robinson & Fuller White Hall Funeral Chapel in White Hall, Ark., for Lt. Col. Andrew L. Terpening (U.S. Air Force, retired).
Terpening, 85, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, at his home in White Hall with his wife by his side.
Full military funeral honors will be rendered by the Little Rock Air Force Base Honor Guard.
To family and friends, he was known as “Andy” and was born June 2, 1933, in Artesia to Henry and Rita (Stanley) Terpening. He graduated from Artesia High School in 1951. While in high school, he excelled in sports. He made All-District in football as a fullback and punter.
Andy was offered a football scholarship to the University of New Mexico. Again, he excelled at football, especially punting. He was awarded a trophy by the NCAA for the best punting average in college football in 1954.
Upon graduation from UNM in 1955, he received an Air Force commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. Andy served the next 22 years in the Air Force, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
He received his pilot’s wings in 1957 and was a superior pilot. Andy’s flying skills earned him the honor of teaching as a flight training instructor for three years. He accrued more than 3,500 hours of flying time and flew numerous aircraft, including the T-33, F-84 and F-100.
His greatest joy was flying the F-4 Phantom Jet Fighter. He excelled at flying the Phantom, where he logged most of his flying hours. Andy’s skills were such that he became a flight instructor, teaching others to fly the Phantom. His “call sign” was “Rawhide.”
During his Air Force service, Andy served in Turkey, Germany, Korea and Vietnam. He had a distinguished Air Force career and was awarded numerous medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star and Air Force Commendation Medal. He received other medals for his service in Vietnam and Korea, including the Vietnam Service Medal and Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Andy was proud of his service to his country and retired from the Air Force Jan. 1, 1977, at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, Texas.
He then began his second career, working for the HEB Grocery Company in Texas. Andy’s people skills, military training, and experience allowed him to excel in the grocery business. He was quickly promoted at HEB, working in several stores in Austin. He retired, again, as a store director in 1996.
While living in Round Rock, Texas, he met Johanna Bouillon Shugart in 1982. Andy asked Johanna out on a date, but she could not go due to work. She was not able to get time from work, but Andy was determined. More obstacles came up, and Johanna could not go due to her daughter and grandson visiting her. No problem for Andy. He simply invited all three of them out to dinner and the Ice Capades. Andy and Johanna were married Sept. 19, 1982.
The couple moved to Fairfield Bay, Ark., in 2000. Their time there were wonderful years for them. Andy became an avid golfer and described their new place in Fairfield Bay as a “dream home.” He could step out of the screened back porch of their home, walk about 20 yards, and be on the No. 2 fairway of Mountain Ranch Golf Course. For Andy, that was pretty close to paradise, and he golfed almost daily. They made many friends, and Andy and Johanna both became active members of the VFW. Andy was a lifetime member of the VFW and American Legion.
Andy and Johanna moved to White Hall in 2017. Still active, they wanted to live closer to kids and grandkids. His golfing years behind him, Andy continued to be active and loved to watch professional golf on television. One of the last things he told Johanna was he wanted to play golf again. She talked about joining him.
This was the life of Andy Terpening. He loved and enjoyed life and was a fiercely patriotic American. He lived his life with integrity and honesty. He loved Johanna. He was devoted to her and his family and was the bedrock of his family. He will be greatly missed.
Survivors include his sweetheart and loving wife of 36 years, Johanna Terpening; daughters Kristin Terpening and Shannon, and Kelly Gurley and Greg; son John Terpening and Sebrina; stepdaughters Mary Murdock and Gary, Betty Ray, and Joann Wessels; several nieces and nephews; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; six step-grandchildren; six step-great-grandchildren; and brother Lyle Terpening.
He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter Kathy Hejl; brother John Terpening; nephew Lynn Terpening; sister-in-law Mary Terpening; step-grandsons Spencer Wessels and Kyle Barber; and step-great-grandson Jonathan McCollum.
Arrangements are under the direction of Robinson & Fuller White Hall Funeral Chapel. Condolences may be expressed online at RFWhiteHall.com.