Terry McPhee – Longtime Sault Personality Passes

Terry McPhee has held a number of important positions in his career, but he was probably best known for being a local DJ / Host in the 1970’s and 80’s.

McPhee died December 29th. He was 68.

“His laugh would be among the very first things most would recall as well as the good nature behind it. Terry’s smile, radiating a genuine ‘great to see you,’ was sincerely welcoming and helped start up what always would be a fun, enlightening and sincere conversation.” said Art Osborne, local broadcaster.

Terry listed with fellow broadcasters on a Dec 23, 1974 CJIC radio music chart

“Terry’s start in broadcasting, where I first met him, was in the production part of CJIC-TV and I hired him in the mid-1970s for weekend radio work while he was in high-school. Terry was well suited to a microphone with his blistering fast wit, enthusiasm, and his love of the music and of his audience. All those who worked with him enjoyed his company and his zest for fun.”

Osborne worked with McPhee on many telethons over the years. “Our times together – and with many others – on the Rotary Club Easter Seals Telethons were a joy, working on-air blessed with a terrific production crew, but especially because we had the opportunity to interact with of the stars of the shows, the children, youth, their parents and families. Decades later, some got together online in a message group and called themselves “Terry’s Kids” to keep in contact with him, demonstrating just how much he meant to them.” Osborne said. “His ad lib talent was spectacular and was known in Easter Seals circles around the province as legendary along with his extraordinary giving nature and Terry was recognized with Rotary’s highest award.”

Terry and Lou Turco, 1986 Superthon

Osborne publishes a tribute site for area media and broadcasters. ” There’s a tribute list of Sault and area broadcasters who’ve left us known as “Sky Studio,” and now Terry steps into that world adding a very bright star and leaving us all a glow of fond memories and friendship forever.”

Jacob Woods was the Easter Seal “Timmy” in 1986. “I have vivid memories from my childhood regarding my friend and one of my heroes- Terry McPhee. As a child every March, I was always a part of The Easter Seals Telethon. After our segments us Easter Seals kids always wanted to stick around, not because we wanted back on TV necessarily, but it seemed to me that Terry was like Robin Hood. ” said Woods, ” I don’t mean to say we stole anything…but he and a few others, Frank Gardi, Lou Turco, Art Osborne, Jill Braido, Jim Cronin and all the others plus, the production crew led by Jerry MacDermid, who made it all work. To me and all the ‘kids’ it seemed like there was magic in the air. Terry knew how to gently insist without being too pushy or offensive. Even after two long days…Terry would thank each one of us for coming down.” continued Woods, “Terry…you’ll be very missed I’m sure, by many people…I love you my friend, RIP…keep the fireside burning on the other side…I have many stories to tell.”

Jacob Woods with Art Osborne, Terry McPhee and Lou Turco (Top) On the set of the Easter Seals Telethon (Bottom)

McPhee was no stranger with being in the public eye, whether it was on radio, television or on the stage. He was heavily involved in local theatre including the Sault Opera Society and the Musical Comedy Guild.

For over 20 years he was the main host of the Rotary Club Easter Seals telethon that earned him the Paul Harris Fellowship Award for years of dedicated service to the Rotary Club in which he was a member. Terry was also involved in other service clubs locally such as the Kiwanis Club and The Masonic Lodge. He also found time to be a member of the Sault Navy League and the Sault Twirlettes & Drum Corp.

With broadcast colleagues and friends: Jerry Penny, (Terry), Joe Petrolo, Bill Allard

Following his broadcast career at CJIC and CKCY radio, McPhee went on to be the local General manager for Coca Cola and Marketing manager for the Ontario Lottery Corporation and then General manager of the OLG Sault Charity Casino.

McPhee suffered from many illnesses over the last several years including diabetes and Kidney disease.

Terry was survived by his wife Jill and Father of Riley and Grandfather of Madison Hope.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date

Images courtesy Art Osborne

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