Terry Lee Zellers, 62, of Indianapolis, died Nov. 7, 2023, surrounded by loving family.
Terry was born April 23, 1961, in Vincennes to Leland D. and Shelba Jean (Bailey) Zellers.
His early years were spent in Robinson, Ill., until his family moved to Greencastle as he started kindergarten. Terry graduated from Greencastle High School in 1979 and went on to attend Ball State University.
Since 1996, Terry worked for Wheaton World Wide Moving of Indianapolis. For 27 years he was a valued employee, serving as the company’s safety coordinator.
Terry enjoyed studying architecture and history and had hoped to restore old houses in his retirement. He was especially drawn to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and visited many of the houses Wright designed. He enjoyed learning and sharing stories about the history of Indianapolis neighborhoods, noted persons and historic structures. The keeper of his family’s genealogy records, Terry could rattle off stories in minute detail about family histories that stretched back generations.
Active participation in charitable organizations was central to Terry’s adult life. A patient at Shriners Hospitals throughout his childhood, Terry generously donated to them in appreciation of what they had done for him and their mission to aid children with birth defects. He was also a founding and active member of the Sovereign Imperial Court of Indiana, a diverse group that welcomes everyone and whose mission is to conduct projects of public service or charitable nature. Terry and his partner, Kevin Densmore, were also supporters of Indiana Youth Group, an organization dedicated to supporting the needs of LGBTQ+ youth in Indiana.
Terry is survived by his parents, Leland and Jean Zellers of Greencastle; his sister, Sheri Roach (Tom) of Greencastle; nephews Alex Roach Beckley (Lindsey) of Franklin and Adam Roach (Amy) of Danville; and great-nieces and –nephews Nora Beckley, Claire and Lillian Roach and Hayden Bilsky of Plainfield and Austin and Jenna Negrete of Lutz, Fla. Terry loved the kids in the family, was generous with gifts and always bought the newborns the largest stuffed animal he could find.
He was preceded in death in 2020 by his partner, Kevin Densmore, whom he described as the love of his life. Also preceding him were life partners Michael Cain in 2015 and Steven Kelso in 1996; his beloved grandparents, Elmer and Dale Bailey of Palestine, Ill., and Golder and Exie Zellers of Annapolis, Ill.; and his uncles, Keith Bailey and Howard Zellers.
Terry’s death was the result of cancer, an illness he kept private for months in the hope he could achieve remission and not have to worry his loved ones. After a brief remission, the cancer returned and rapidly stole him away. Terry’s family deeply appreciates the care he received at Life’s Journey of Avon.
A celebration of life will take place at the Helton & Harris Funeral Home in Danville on Saturday, Nov. 18. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon with the celebration of life at noon.
Terry made all of his end-of-life decisions and chose a green burial out of concern for the earth. His burial will be a private ceremony in Oak Hill Cemetery in Crawfordsville.