Terrence George Driscoll, known as Terry, passed away on April 2nd, suddenly due to complications resulting from COVID-19. Born June 2nd, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan to Justin and Esther Driscoll, an Irish cop father and a Swedish/Norwegian mother, he inherited his father’s sparkling Irish spirit, and his mother’s even Scandinavian temper. He split his youth between Detroit and Marenisco, MI, a small town in the U.P. and always considered himself a Yooper at heart. He attended high school at St. Mary’s of Redford in Detroit but graduated from Marenisco High School. He studied architecture at Wayne State University before being drafted into the United States Army in 1952 where he met his future wife who was also serving, Dorothy “Dixie” Little. Tall, dark and handsome, Dixie was quickly smitten with Terry and the pair married in 1953 and enjoyed a 60-year marriage. They briefly lived in Ironwood, Michigan where Terry worked at White Pine Copper Mine before eventually putting down stakes in Detroit where he joined the Detroit Police Department in 1956. He spent over 39 years as an officer, retiring as a uniformed Lieutenant at DPD’s 6th Precinct. Never a gruff or mistrusting leader, he was a father figure to “his coppers” and well loved by all who spent time working with him. His commitment and loyalty to his work was never outshone by the love he had for his family, however. He and Dixie raised five children in the Grand River, Greenfield neighborhood on the Northwest side of Detroit, and then later, Plymouth, Michigan. The household was an animated Irish Catholic one with no shortage of shenanigans, laughter, tears and love. He was adored by his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and all who knew him for his strong faith, incredible kindness, innate ability to listen and understand, and his commitment to what is good and moral. Whatever vehicle he owned always ended up smelling like his favorite Spearmint chewing gum. His eyes crinkled deep around the edges when he laughed, and he had a natural knack with handy projects. If he didn’t know how to fix something, he would teach himself how, a testament to his persistence and work ethic. In life he enjoyed his family, some solitude, Mexican food, and good humor. We take solace in knowing that he is being reunited with all his loved ones, including his beloved wife Dixie.
He is survived by his children Kelly Ratliff, Kevin, his wife Lori, Kathleen Dornan, her husband Garrie, Maureen Poss, Patrick Driscoll and his fiancé Jimmie Ellis. He was a loving grandfather to Justin (Jennifer) Ratliff, Jordan (Lindsay) Ratliff and Sarah (Michele) Ratliff, Brighid, Brendan and Liam Driscoll, Ashlinn Dornan, Patrick Poss, Kellie (Miles) Moya, Connor and Collin Driscoll, and Gage Ellis. He was a proud great grandfather of Charlotte and Caroline Ratliff, and Michael Moya. Terry also is survived by younger brother Dennis, and nephews James and Timothy Isakson and niece Jackie Reini. He was preceded in death by his wife Dixie and granddaughter Amanda.
A celebration of Terry’s life is planned for a later date, following COVID 19 restrictions. Burial will be at Great Lakes National Cemetery.