Tue, 03/06/2018 - 3:41pm admin
Teresa (Terri) Yonkee Harris went home to Jesus, Saturday, March 3, having completed a courageous seven year long journey with cancer.
From the beginning, Terri did things in her own time, and she was even three weeks late for her own birth on Oct. 29, 1958. She began her education with her older sisters in a one-room school house in rural Powder River County. In the third grade, she started “town school” in Broadus, Mont., where she began cultivating friendships that lasted a lifetime.
Terri was academically gifted. Even if she put a term paper off until the last minute, she still excelled. She was sharp and articulate enough that she could dictate an entire term paper off the top of her head while one of her friends typed it. Terri enjoyed playing in the band, was active in 4-H, and enjoyed managing various sports teams. Even as a teenager, she was compassionate and empathetic. Many in the “Class of ‘76” continue to be impacted by her friendship.
Terri graduated from Montana State University in 1981, majoring in range management. She became a highly respected rangeland management specialist with the United States Forest Service-National Grasslands in Wall. She was extremely knowledgeable, and a car trip with Terri often became a running analysis of grazing practices.
As much as she enjoyed her career, the role most important to her was that of “Mother Teresa” to her beloved boys. In recent years, her five granddaughters became her best medicine. She loved hosting tea parties at the special “tea party” table, complete with an elegant sterling silver tea service.
Terri also had an indelible impact on the communities of Quinn and Wall. She openly shared her faith with the youth of St. Patrick’s Church. She instilled in them to always “trust in Jesus.” Terri selflessly supported many during their personal trials in ways both seen and unseen. She was also visible at every sporting event her boys participated in, as a fan, in the concession stand, or on the clean-up crew. Another beloved cause of Terri’s was the formation of the Support Our Troops group in Wall. She made sure that local residents who were deployed felt honored and remembered.
Unfailingly courageous to the end, she considered her cancer a gift. She treasured her trips to the Mayo Clinic with her mom and sisters since it provided an opportunity to spend time together.
Terri is survived by her five sons. Beau Yonkee, Daniel (Noelle) Yonkee, Kyle, Cody and Luke Harris; granddaughters, Terryn, Tenley, Kambrey, Denali and Oaklee; mother, Nancy Yonkee; sisters, Linda (Bob) Carey, Carol Yonkee and Lisa (Rod) Cline.
She was preceded in death by her father, Fred Yonkee, Jr., daughter, Maria Ann, and grandson, Trey Yonkee.
A visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Thursday, March 8, at Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in Wall, with a vigil service at 7:00 p.m. with an all night wake to follow.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m., Friday, March 9, at the church with Father Tim Hoag and Father Tyler Dennis, concelebrants.
Interment will be at Mt. Hope Cemetery near Quinn.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the National Grasslands Visitor’s Center, Box 425, Wall, SD 57790 or St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Wall in order to enhance the garden area that Terri enjoyed. We also invite guests to wear purple in Terri’s honor.