Obituary: Bruce Terpening
December 25, 2023
Bruce J. Terpening, 78, of Maddock, N.D. passed away Sunday, December 17, 2023, at his home surrounded by his loving family, under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley. A Celebration of Bruce's Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to: the Maddock Community Foundation, P.O. Box 342, Maddock, N.D. 58348.
Bruce was born December 28, 1944 to George and Edrie (Overdick) Terpening of rural New Rockford, N.D. He received his education in Tiffany Twp. Rural School and later from New Rockford Public Schools. Upon graduation from New Rockford Central High School, he attended college at Minot State University from 1962 to 1966, studying Mineral Chemistry and graduating with a bachelor's degree in Biological Science. During his high school years, Bruce was President of the FFA, worked for a local auto dealership and during his college years, on the oil rigs in the Gillette, Wyo. area, to help pay for his college education.
Following his graduation from Minot State University in 1967, he accepted a teaching position with Harvey Public Schools as the junior and senior high school science department instructor. While there, he returned to the oil rigs of Wyoming each summer and in 1968, he accepted a teaching position at Maddock High. During his first years, the current Maddock Public School facility was constructed. Bruce was united in marriage to Wanda Schumacher on February 21, 1970, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Drayton, N.D. Together the couple raised three children, Travis Jay, Codi Lynn and Amber Leigh. In 1973, Bruce and Wanda also accepted the responsibility of raising their teenage nephew, David James Terpening. Together, they raised David through junior high and high school like their own son. David passed away July 4, 2003.
In 1973, he resigned his position as an instructor at Maddock High and started his family business construction company, selling snowmobiles, short line machinery and grain bins. Bruce began Maddock Ready Mix in 1975, and also bought out Standard Oil and the local laundry mat. He returned to teach at Drake High School in 1987 for one year. Bruce returned to local construction work in 1994 and worked with Deplazes Ready Mix. He rebuilt the family business "Terpening Construction" with his son-in-law and daughter; the legacy of construction continued until his death bed.
In the 1970's, Bruce became very interested in local economic development and city government and served in various positions with the City of Maddock, as mayor and councilman. He also became a very active volunteer with the local Area Development Corporation in the 1980's and gave his service for 43 years. Bruce was instrumental in the development of the Maddock Community Center, the Maddock Business and Technology Center and numerous infrastructure projects of the City of Maddock. He was instrumental in the development of the Benson County Job Development Authority, where he served as President for 25 years, assisting new and expanding businesses with their development. He also served in the early development stages of the CONAC REAP (Center of North American Coalition/Rural Economic Area Partnership) Zone, of which he served as President. The coalition dealt with the survival and empowerment of rural American communities, such as ours. Bruce was also very active in the North Viking Lutheran Church in Maddock, holding various positions on boards and councils throughout the years.
His hobbies and interests involved family, hunting, fishing, camping, skiing, reading, traveling, yearly sausage-making and smoking meat, watching sports, winemaking, beer-making, woodworking, wood turning and learning new hobbies to pass along knowledge unto the next generation. His favorite pastime was spent surrounded by his family. Bruce always remained a teacher and was his grandchildren's number one fan, encouraging them in their endeavors and cheering them on at sporting events. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Bruce is survived by his wife of 53 years, Wanda; children, Travis (Kerri) Terpening of Grants Pass, Ore., Codi (Curt) Olson of Maddock, N.D. and Amber (Kent) Neppl of Maddock, N.D.; nine grandchildren: Kadin, Quinn and Paxton Neppl, Madeline and Rylie Terpening, Macyn, Cambry, Bryn and Ty Olson; daughter-in-law, Argentina Terpening and son Christopher (Abby) of Las Vegas, Nev.; siblings, Eleanor (Harvey) Messner of Tolna, N.D., Joel (Bobbi) Ackerman of Dickinson, N.D. and Josolyn (Billy) Collier of New Rockford, N.D.; sister-in-law, Yolanda Terpening of Las Vegas, Nev.; numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Edrie Terpening; brother, Roger Terpening; and nephew, David Terpening.
Arrangements are pending with the Nelson Funeral Home of Maddock, N.D.