BARRY’S BAY – Many remember Barry’s Bay resident Terry Dombroski whizzing by on his electric bicycle with a smile everywhere he went.
He was usually running an errand for someone, or heading to one of his many odd jobs around the town.
But on February 10, the usually energetic man was transported to St. Francis Memorial Hospital, after suffering a stroke. He experienced a second and was rushed to Pembroke Regional Hospital.
It was there that 64-year-old passed away, on February 15 at 7:35 a.m.
He leaves behind many family members and even more friends. And as they explain, there was much more to the man than the electric bicycle.
Terry was born at his aunt’s house in Killaloe on February 25, 1947 to parents Helen and Peter Dombroski. He was the fifth child out of six for the couple.
When he grew up, he relocated to Oshawa for a while, where he fathered two sons, David and Michael. It was there that he was injured on the job and had been experiencing life-long complications as a result. Some time after the accident, Terry relocated back to Barry’s Bay and lived with his mother for many years.
He eventually settled at the senior’s apartment buildings on Stafford Street, across from the Legion.
HEART OF GOLD
It did not take Terry long to make life-long friendships with his 39 or so neighbours.
“He was the man with the electric bicycle and an electric personality,” neighbour Charles Belair said.
His neighbours gathered in the meeting room at the senior’s apartment complex on the afternoon of February 10 to talk about their dear friend.
“He was a very, very good man,” Sally Norlock recalled. “A very good neighbour.”
Norlock was the one that had called the ambulance for Terry on February 10. She had suspected something was wrong when she had not seen Terry in a few days. When she had rapped on his door, it took him several minutes to answer.
Rose Marie Kuiack is Terry’s neighbour and second cousin. She said she last saw Terry on February 8.
“He could hardly walk,” Kuiack said.
It was such a change for the man that always flirted with the women and joked with the men in his building.
“He really liked everybody,” Belair said. “He was very good to all of these ladies here and the gentlemen of this building. He done everything he could and then some.”
Terry spent most of his time helping everyone in his apartment complex. He had problems walking long distances, so he enlisted the help of an electric bicycle to get him around town.
It was that bicycle that hauled dozens of prescriptions, groceries, and other necessities to those in the senior’s building that needed it most.
“He would go to the drug store to pick our pills up,” Norlock explained. “He would put our air conditioners in and take them out.”
“He was the one that always did all of the work,” Belair added.
It was a lot of help, especially for those in the building that could not walk to the drug store or lift a heavy appliance. What’s more, he would always do his chores with a smile on his face.
“What he could do, he did,” Helen Smaglinski, a long-time friend, said. “All of the things he done, he done well.”
He always liked to tease his buddies, Belair added. Every time he would be walking up the road, Terry would toot the horn on his bicycle. Belair would jump every time.
This story continues in the February 23, 2012 issue of The Valley Gazette.