At the age of 66, he passed away last week. His wife Alice and daughters Fiona, Carrie and Betsy announced his death today. “After living with metastatic prostate cancer for two years, Terry passed away on Friday, October 20th, 2017, of complications related to his condition. He displayed his characteristic optimism, wit, and passion for life — and swimming — until the very end. Our family is in mourning and we ask that we be given time and space to grieve a beloved husband and father privately.”
While he was a prolific marathon swimmer (2002 and 2006 Manhattan Island Marathon Swims, 2010 Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim, and Strait of Gibraltar) between the ages of 51 and 62, he is best-known and left a legacy in the pool swimming, triathlon and open water swimming worlds with his Total Immersion concept, business model, books and DVDs.
Brian Suddeth commented on his passing, “A giant has passed from among us. My mentor and swimming fairy godfather is gone.”
David Barra, who swam with him in New Paltz, New York, said, “Terry was a good friend and a consistent swim buddy for many years. We have hundreds of miles logged together literally shoulder-to-shoulder, stroke-for-stroke. That was the game we played. That was the goal…to make every moment in the the water meaningful and challenging. A focused moving meditation in sync. Locations changed, conditions varied, as would swimmers in attendance, but it always ended the same way: A grinning Terry would sincerely declare, ‘That was the best swim I ever had.’ And it was … until the next one.”
“”He attracted, educated and inspired an untold number of people to the pool and open water. Many of these people may have not ventured beyond the shoreline without Total Immersion,” said Steven Munatones. “He gave these adult-onset swimmers as he called them, the tools in an easy-to-understand and easy-to-implement language that provided them a new-found confidence to swim comfortably.
Generations of triathletes and many others took his system, were energized by the information presented to become not only water-safe, but they also became very good swimmers in their own right. Of course, he also coached many competitive swimmers and collegiate swimmers to their career bests. He most definitely made the world, especially the aquatic community, a better place.”
Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association