By Kayla Victor

Terry Dean Call, escaped this mortal realm on August 9, 2020 at the age of 74-years-young, just eight days shy of his 75th Birthday. We think he did it on purpose to avoid having to make a decision in the pending presidential election.

Photograph of Terry Call, Courtesy of Jorge Humberto Martinez Duran.

Terry leaves behind a loving husband, his beloved dogs, and many friends.

Most would say, Terry was a man for whom an obituary says nothing. He fell into no stereotypes. He definitely was not afraid to tell you how he felt about whatever it is y’all are talking about. He seized life by the horns. This world will miss his leaving. The next will rejoice in his arrival.

Terry Dean Call was Born August 17, 1945 in South Bend, Indiana to parents Helen Frances Spencer Call and William C. Call. He attended Clay High School, South Bend, Indiana and went to Harold Washington College in Chicago, Illinois.

Looking back, he spent his early career working in retail at F. W. Woolworth as a store manager in Chicago, IL, he then moved to work for Lord and Taylor department store Oakbrook, Ill., and he moved again to work for Bergner an upscale Department Store in Peru, IL., as the operations manager. He also worked at variety of retail operations before moving to El Paso.

One of his greatest accomplishments was the tireless work he did as an AIDS Crusader for 10 years as Executive Director of the Southwest AIDS Committee at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Terry was instrumental in opening the Carnell Hospice Center which was completed in 1989 and help care for many AIDS patients over the years. Terry received many awards for his work as an AIDS Advocate including the Jefferson Award for the American Institute of Public Service.

On December 23, 1993, he married Jorge Humberto Martinez Duran. They renewed their vows on July 26, 2013 in Mexico City, Mexico.

He called El Paso home and his favorite past time was sitting in his beautiful front garden enjoying the majestic sunset. He took great pride in his garden and loved watch the new blooms with his husband by his side. One of Terry’s favorite movies was “Imitation of Life.” He loved attending the Symphony and enjoyed the culture in El Paso.

He embraced Seniorhood with a passion and followed the path of his adopted grandmother Charlotte Harrison by taking after her and taking up Tai Chi up at 60-years-old and at 70 he added Yoga to his activities and then took dance lessons.

Some of his fondest memories are the time he spent with his husband, training dogs, dancing, making Christmas cookies with friends and laughing. He loved music and his favorite song was, “We’ll Sing in the Sunshine,” by Gale Garnett.

One of his favorite quotes, “That’s All.” The original talk to the hand, before emojis!

Terry will be remembered for his amazing meals.  He was a master cook and made a delicious fried chicken, biscuits and gravy and his famous flan. And most importantly he always made sure there was a proper butter knife on the table.

Terry is survived by his loving husband Jorge Humberto Martinez Duran, his sisters Jennifer (Jenny) Khan, and Kathryn (Kathy) Kapusta and nieces and nephews. He is preceded in his death by his mother Helen Frances Spencer Call and Father William C Call, loving companion Douglas Carnell and brother Robert Call.

Terry was one of the sweetest, loving, friendliest and crankiest old men you’d ever love to know. All whom loved him dearly and will never forget his tenacity, wit, charm, grace (when pertinent) and undying love and caring for them.

Please share you memories of Terry Call.

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3 replies on “In Memory of Terry Dean Call”

  1. Terry was a friend and a mentor. He gave me a job when I moved back to El Paso after I left the United States Marine Corps. He took care of me and ensured my success at SWAC. He was a big part of my life and helps shape the man I am today. I will never forget you Terry Call.

  2. Terry was my boss at SWAC. He had a vision for what people who were positive or had AIDS needed. He was funny, loved life, and cared deeply for his Humberto and his dogs. May he Rest In Peace, knowing he made a huge difference for the HIV/AIDS community!

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