Terry L. Grosz

June 22, 1941February 5, 2019

Terry Grosz peacefully passed away on February 5, 2019 at Life Care of Evergreen. He was preceded in death by his father, Ernie Grosz; his mother, Alberta (Dresden) Barnes; his step-father, Otis Barnes; his sister, Nancy (Grosz) Barbea; and his adult son, Christopher Grosz.

Terry was born in Toppenish, Washington on June 22, 1941, but moved early in his childhood to the little California Sierra Mountain community of Qunicy with his mother and younger sister. It was in Qunicy that Terry gained his respect and appreciation for the outdoors. He relished being in the outdoors, the change of the seasons, hunting, fishing, and often times providing needed meat for the table. Until his step-father entered into their lives, Terry, his mother, and sister lived in poverty. From the age of nine, he spent his summers and weekends looking for jobs to help earn money to give to his mother to help her pay their bills.

It was in eighth grade that Terry met Donna who was to become the co-author of his life little more than eight years later when he took Donna’s hand on February 3, 1963.

In high school, Terry played football, baseball, and track at a very high level. Additionally, he played the trombone in the dance band and was the student body president his senior year. Further, Terry worked in the logging and lumber industries and fought wildland forest fires in Plumas and Sierra counties during summers to earn money for his college tuition and expenses.

Terry graduated from Quincy High School in 1959 and attended Humboldt State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife Management in 1964 and his Master of Science Degree in 1966. He was a California Fish and Game (now Fish and Wildlife) Game Warden from 1966 until 1970, based first in Eureka and then in Colusa, California.

He was hired by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Sports Fisheries and Wildlife in 1970, first serving as a U.S. Game Management Agent and later as a Special Agent in the Bay area and then in Colusa County until 1974. Terry was promoted to a Senior Resident Agent who was responsible for the supervision of special agents and field enforcement of federal wildlife laws in North and South Dakota.

In 1976, Terry was promoted to a Senior Special agent position and was transferred to Washington D.C., where he served as the Endangered Species Desk Officer and Foreign Liaison Officer until 1979. He represented the U.S. Government in travels to Great Britain and Southeast Asia.

In 1979, he was promoted and transferred to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he served as an Assistant Special Agent in Charge.

In 1981, Terry was promoted and transferred to Denver, Colorado, as the Special Agent in Charge of Region 6 which was a resource-rich, eight-state region encompassing more than 750,000 square miles encompassing North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana. He remained in this position until his retirement in 1998 after a 32-year career in state and federal wildlife law enforcement.

In 1999, Terry began his second career as a writer with the publishing of his first wildlife law enforcement true-life adventure book, titled "Wildlife Wars". Since then 13 additional wildlife law enforcement adventure books have been published. In addition to his recently released book titled, “Buck Snort” Toni and “Wind Horse”, Mountain Men, Terry wrote eleven Mountain Man and Western historical novels. He had a two-hour movie film credit on the reality-based TV series of Animal Planet titled, “Wildlife Wars”, filmed in 2003 and released nationwide, based on a number of his true-life wildlife law enforcement adventures involving his very active career as a state and federal wildlife officer.

Terry earned many awards and honors during his lengthy career which included, but were not limited to:

- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Meritorious Service Award in 1996;

- The first federal employee to be honored with the “Guy Bradley Award” which was presented by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in 1989 for excellence in the field of wildlife law enforcement;

- The Humboldt State University Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1995; and

- An Honorary Doctorate Degree in Environmental Stewardship from Unity College in Maine in 2002.

Terry is survived by his wife, Donna, to whom he was married for more than 56 years. His North Dakota family is his elder son Rich (Bismarck), granddaughter Amanda (Grosz) Vetter, great-grandson, James Vetter (Dickinson) and granddaughter Katelyn Grosz (Bismarck). His Colorado family includes his daughter-in-law Lisa Grosz and granddaughter Laurel and grandson Gabriel, all of Centennial. His Arizona family includes daughter Kimberlee Jackson and granddaughter Bria and grandsons Bryce and Bryant of Chandler.

We, his family, fondly remember his love of hunting and fishing, barbecuing, being creative in the kitchen, storytelling, his knowledge of the “critters”, his patriotism, love of history, his sense of humor, and deep faith in God.

In lieu of flowers or plants, Terry asked that memorials be made to St. Jude’s Children Hospital.

We wish to extend our gratitude to the staff of Life Care of Colorado of Evergreen and Mount Evans Hospice for their care and love to Terry in the last days of his life and to our friends who have supported Terry and us every mile of this long journey to eternity.

Farewell for now, dearest husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. How well you have loved us all!

Rejoice In Paradise!

A Celebration of Terry's Life will be held on Friday, February 22, 2019 at 10:00 am at Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church, 9444 Eagle Cliff Rd, Conifer, Colorado 80433. A private family committal service will occur at Olinger Mount Lindo Cemetery, Morrison, Colorado.


22 February

Celebration of Life

10:00 am

Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church

9444 Eagle Cliff Rd
Conifer, Colorado 80433


Terry L. Grosz

have a memory or condolence to add?

The Lawman

February 21, 2019

Forever and a Day

Jerry Apker

February 20, 2019

I met Terry for the first time shortly before the San Luis Valley “raid”. I had been the DOW Wildlife Officer whose intel gathering helped lead to the undercover FWS officer working the historic poaching problems in the Valley. Terry was at once intimidating and at the same time comforting for an officer as young as I. I never knew that his periodic guidance and suggestions would endure in me throughout my career in the DOW. Whenever I called or got to drop in his office Terry took the time to treat, listen, and confer as if nothing was more important than what I had on my mind. I became a better officer and manager because of Terry’s subtle and at times not so subtle advise. I surely needed it. I hope to make it to Conifer to say howdy and adios. But in the event the snow won’t allow me to make it across South Park. So long Chap. I will see you again someday in that place of His glory.

John Wrede

February 19, 2019

As a young and relatively inexperienced State Wildlife Officer, I was privileged to meet and work with Terry for the first time during a multi-state road check in South Dakota that I helped to organize just outside Wall, SD. I was impressed and gratified by Terry's support and encouragement for all of us that had not been, until that time, confronted by some of the more politically powerful and intimidating people who hunted the open spaces of Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Under the guidance and leadership of both Terry and Monty, we navigated through some difficult circumstances and verbal confrontations during that Road Check that revealed, for this young officer, the obvious reality of this nation's Wildlife Wars. Terry was a warm, confident, and caring leader during those times and throughout his life that I was able to follow and I'll not ever forget his demeanor and mentor-ship. He, among others, taught me that it was noble and right to stand up to wildlife abuse and wrong doing no matter the status or social position of the offender. I purchased his book, Wildlife Wars and learned along with aspiring to do better as an employee and as a person. I was last able to speak with him briefly during a book signing in Chamberlain, South Dakota during our State's Wildlife Society annual meeting in the late 2000's. He delivered an inspiring message to our Chapter that year that emphasized the importance and responsibility of wildlife law enforcement within the larger scope of the profession. Even though he did not immediately recognize or remember me, he remained the strong and gracious gentlemen that I remembered. My library still contains most of his books and I re-read passages now and then to help remind me of my history. I regret not keeping better track of Terry and his family during retirement but I'm grateful for making his acquaintance and secure in the knowledge that he leaves a legacy of excellence and value for future generations.

Owen Meadows

February 19, 2019

I, Owen Meadows, represent the retired Game Wardens of South Dakota and any currently active officers who may have known Terry. My son in-law Brad Merrill is a Special Agent for the USF&W in western S.D.
All of us wish to convey our sympathy and prayers to Terry and his family.
Many of us enjoyed the direct contact while working with Terry. In mid 1970's he spoke to our officer's association during our summer meeting. We all need inspiration now and then Terry certainly delivered on this need for us.
In 1984, a S.D. state trapper and I were on the trail of a buyer transporting illegal bobcats to a fur auction in Denver. Terry accompanied us to a ware house where the auction was to take place the next day. The man in charge was asked if we might browse through the bobcat furs for the illegal cats from South Dakota. The man told us we were not welcome and that his answer was no.
That answer turned to yes when Terry said "fine as long as you are okay with not having an auction because I am shutting this whole operation down now and then we will return with a search warrant".
We seized the furs and later successfully prosecuted the defendant in S.D.
I can still see big Terry calmly explaining the options as the man in charge eyes grew larger and larger.

Dave Croonquist

February 17, 2019

I had the pleasure of working with Terry during his 17 years in Denver. His love for our nation's fish and wildlife resources was only exceeded by his love for his family and friends.

“When you remember me, it means that you carried something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. It means that even after I die, you can still see my face and hear my voice and speak to me in your heart. For as long as you remember me, I am never entirely forgotten.” - Buechner

Terry left his mark across the country and around the world of protecting our fish and wildlife resources. He was a gentle, but tough, giant in fish and wildlife law enforcement. I treasure the time I was able to spend with him protecting our shared fish and wildlife resources. Judy and I will remember our last visit with Terry and Donna and the memories we shared. While he is gone, he will never be forgotten.

Donna, Rich, Kimberlee, Lisa and families - you are kept in our thoughts and prayers.

Dave and Judy

Steven Cordes

February 16, 2019

I just heard of Terry's passing ... I wish to extend my condolences to Donna and the rest of the Grosz clan. I'm sure Terry and Chris are enjoying their reunion and are working their best to make it the place we dream of ... Rest in Peace Terry ... looking forward to seeing you again!

Omer "larry" LaRochelle

February 14, 2019

Terry and I arrived at the Wash,D.C. Office in 1976. He as LE, Endangered Species and Cites Desk Officer and I with similar duties as Deputy Chief of the Federal Wildlife Permit Office. He came from SRA North and South Dakota and I from the Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge near Toppenish,Washington, ironically, the very place where Terry was born. We quickly became fast friends and professional associates and addressed contentious issues of the day in the office and field,some of which are detaild in one of Terry's books. Incidentally,Terry sent me every one of his books,personally inscribed with his witty comments. They are some of my most cherished possessions.
After he left DC,I visited Terry in my travels. In Minnesota,he proudly showed me his 600 pounds of cast iron cookware. In Denver, I stayed at his home and met his wonderful wife,Donna ,and his two boys. Just before I left ,he "gifted" me several items for my briefcase and shuddered to think of the consequences should they be discovered. When I arrived at the Airport and headed to check-in, I was approached by Security who said Mr. LaRochelle, you are cleared for boarding! Terry,at his most devilish, had planned it all.
I have many fond memories of Terry and Donna but none greater than those expressd in Donna's message following Terry's passing. Til we meet at the Great Rondevous in the Sky! Love Larry

Don Wiseman

February 13, 2019

Terry and I shared adjacent office suites at the Lakewood Federal Center for over 13 years. Those years were the most rewarding and exciting period of my governmental service, largely because of Terry. His experiences, insight, reflections, and camaraderie enriched my life immeasurably. He will be eternally missed by friends and loved ones but will always reside in the hearts of those fortunate enough to have known him. Deepest sympathy to Donna and his family . Rest in peace my good friend. Don Wiseman, former SAC, Office of Inspector General, US Department of the Interior.

Gary Young

February 13, 2019

I met Terry in the spring of 1993 when I went to work for the USFWS. My initial assignment was in Region 6 working for Terry. It was my honor and privilege to work for him and along side of him protecting our Nations precious natural resources.

Sean Dugan

February 12, 2019

I met Terry because I worked with his son Chris, for 10 years. Chris was this gentle giant of a man, with manners befitting a gentleman, and the giant heart of a warrior, just like his Dad. We lost Chris in 2005, and that is when I got to know his Dad, Terry, and his wonderful wife Donna. I learned that Chris came from good stock. There are no words that I can find to describe what it had to be like for Donna and Terry to lose Chris so early and unexpectedly at the age of 35. Their pain was our pain at Littleton PD, and they were part of our family. We stayed in touch over the years. I am sorry for the Grosz' family loss, and especially you Donna. Terry was special and had a remarkable life. We are all blessed to have known him. Our world, and The World, is a lesser place without him. My love, thoughts and prayers are with you, Rich, Lisa, Laurel, Gabriel and the entire Grosz family during this difficult time.