The Philanthropy of Terry Peterson at Ashford Court

Terry Peterson’s adult children tell her (somewhat seriously) that they feel as if she is so busy that they need to make an appointment to see her. Terry came to Ashford Court eight years ago, moving in after a fall at home necessitated extra help with daily activities. Since being at Ashford, Terry feels that her family has grown to include her senior living friends. As for staying busy, her children will tell you that she’s always done that. 92-year-old Terry agrees that she has, in fact, had a very busy (and very interesting) life, and intends to keep it that way!

While these days Terry’s calendar is filled with activities like dancing and bingo, Terry was a real life “Rosie the Riveter” during World War II, working in a top-secret room in a defense plant. She attended USO dances when she could, listened to the big bands of the era, and even saw Frank Sinatra perform.

After the war ended, Terry found a career in real estate and land development, a passion she believes she inherited from her father Terry Parker, known in the local community as a top-notch businessman and a philanthropist. He left a legacy in the community by donating a sizable amount of land to build a school that now bears his name in appreciation for his gift to the county.

Terry Parker also gave his daughter a key piece of advice, which she took to heart as her career blossomed. Her father said, “You have to give back some of what you earn.” If you’re in Jacksonville Beach, you may see a tangible reminder of the legacy of philanthropy Terry’s father instilled in her, a Senior Bus which she donated to the Dial A Ride organization. The bus provides reliable, affordable transportation for local seniors, who see it as a blessing, and a means of retaining their independence.

Another piece of advice that was repeated to Terry often by her father: “Have patience.” She found it useful in her career as she made land transactions and met with various types of people from inside and outside her field. The advice has also proven to be valuable to Terry personally, especially after her fall at home. Rehabilitation in senior living after a fall can feel slow-going, especially for a person used to the fast pace; however, with patience and perseverance and a great therapy team, Terry can pursue the activities she enjoys at Ashford Court! Knowing her talent for staying busy, perhaps an appointment book may be a good idea after all!


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