Obituary and Service Information for Retired Chief Terry Saelens

Obituary and Service Information - Retired Chief Terry Joseph Saelens

On February 14th , 2021, surrounded by his family’s love and devotion, Terry Jospeh Saelens, retired Fire Chief left us to answer his final call at the age of 67.
He fought cancer valiantly and refused to submit until the very end. He will be forever loved and cherished by his devoted wife Susan of 29 years, along with his children Marcie (Marty), Bryan (Laura), Katheryn (Aaron), loving grandchildren Jaden (Dave), Meghan, Treiten, Bryson, Audrey, Evelyn and baby Rykden (on the way), great-grandchildren Brexton, Daxson, and baby Lennix. Terry will be sorely missed by his brothers Rick (Theresa), Steve (Cindy), brothers-in-law Rick and Ron (Carol) and forever loved and cherished by his mother-in-law Margaret Deli. Also survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his mother Irene (Jim), father Harry (Betty) and father-in-law Alex Deli. In 1986 Terry co-founded Royal Glass and Mirror and made many friends and earned the trust and respect of his repeat customers in the Tillsonburg community. He was co-founder of a fire extinguisher business called S & S Fire and Hose in Tillsonburg. It was later sold and now operating as Tillsonburg Fire and Equipment. He will be deeply missed by his Tillsonburg Fire Service Family. He began his Fire Service career at the age of 19 as a rookie Fire Fighter who was mentored by the “old guys.” He served the Tillsonburg Fire Service for 47 years and earned the trust, and love of the Fire Fighters brotherhood by mentoring the many Firefighters who came through the Service. He was instrumental in organizing and running the Fire School called JTAG which taught rookie Firefighters the necessary skills to fight fires safely. Terry’s respect, passion and commitment to the Fire Service lead him full circle as he completed his final goal in 2020 to be Tillsonburg’s Fire Chief. Terry and Susan fully enjoyed each other’s company and spent time together attending hot rod meets, car shows, trips, boating in Lake Erie, the Nascar races, building their collections, and following the Leafs and other sports. Terry touched many people over the years. His compassion, dedication, understanding and innate wisdom served him well in any endeavor he undertook. He was an ordinary down to earth person, facing extraordinary circumstances, demonstrating courage, honour, self-sacrifice for the good of others. May he finally rest in peace.

Friends and relatives will be received by Terry’s family at Ostrander’s Funeral Home, 43 Bidwell Street, Tillsonburg (519-842-5221) on Thursday, March 4, 2021 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm and on Friday, March 5, 2021 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm & 6:00 – 9:00 pm. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, public visitation will be LIMITED to ONLY guests that sign up for a specific time to attend. Time slots will be made available on our website or by calling 519-842-5221. Guests are asked to not attend if they are ill, have been in contact with anyone that is ill or have travelled. Guests are required to wear masks and maintain social distancing rules. Guests are encouraged to only attend when their time slot begins. A Private Memorial Service will be held in Ostrander’s Chapel on Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 1:00 pm and will be live streamed through the link provided by our website. Rev. Ted Smith will officiate. Inurnment will follow at the Tillsonburg Cemetery. Memorial donations to the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation, Kidney Foundation or Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated by the Saelens family. Personal condolences and favourite memories can be shared at