Lewis Barton Terpstra

Lewis Barton Terpstra

Madison, WI – Lewis Barton Terpstra, age 77, passed away on Monday, September 23, 2019, at UW Hospital in Madison, WI. He was born in Sioux Center, IA, on June 27, 1942, to Albert and Anna (Duits) Terpstra.

His education included Sioux Center K-12 Public Schools, Sioux Center Library (he read every book in the library), Northwestern College, Orange City, IA for his B.S., and The University of Iowa for his M.A. & Ed.S. degrees. He also completed Ph.D. coursework and exams at U of I.

He lived in Germany during his military service, repairing Nike Hercules missiles on an Air Force base while serving in the U.S. Army. While serving there, he toured many European countries via his Opel Kadett car.

His career focused on education and distance education. He taught high school English at Cherokee High School, Cherokee, IA and at Dubuque Hempstead High School, Dubuque, IA. Following graduate school, he brought educational opportunities to campus learners at the University of South Carolina and Virginia Commonwealth University. He administered distance learning programs delivered via television at Iowa Public Television and via 2-way video/audio and the internet at Virginia Commonwealth University, the Virginia Community College System, and Madison College.

Lew had a ‘need for speed and adventure’ his whole life. At age 3, he went on his first travel adventure, disappearing from his family home to be later discovered in the downtown of his hometown (1/2 mile away). He was meeting and talking with merchants who saw him tricycle past and came to help. His whole life, he loved to drive vehicles, ride motorcycles, and talk with friends and family. He drag-raced his Chevy 409 in IA, SD, & MN, winning many competitions. He redesigned a panel van with a friend and made it into a camper that he and friends drove to Expo ’67, Montreal’s World’s Fair, and then along the East Coast before returning home. He renovated a hearse and used it for transportation in his hometown. Later, he worked with his team to develop engine modifications for his 1971 Triumph motorcycle and, after several attempts, set a World Speed Record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in August of 2019. He rode motorcycles with groups he joined in Richmond, VA and Madison, WI and enjoyed their comradery immensely.

He is survived by his wife, Jane Terpstra of Madison, WI; his daughters, Lydia Terpstra and Alina (Ben) Schlick; and his sister, Zeanna (Terpstra) VanEgdom of Sioux Falls, SD.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Kathleen (Terpstra) Hopkins of Holland, MI.

A celebration of life will be held at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 6021 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53705, on Friday, October 18, 2019, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Join us in person or in spirit to celebrate Lew’s amazing life!

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