Joseph Bodine Terbell, Jr.

Born: June 16, 1941
Died: April 15, 2018

Joseph Terbell was born in Greenwich, Connecticut, son of Joseph B. Terbell, Sr., Yale 1928s and Merna Pace Terbell. His uncle, Thomas G. Terbell, was Yale class of 1932. He came to Yale from Cate School in Santa Barbara, California.

Joe was a member of Jonathan Edwards College, on Dean’s List and a political science major. He served in the Army Reserve 1963-1969. He obtained his M.S. in 1979 from Columbia University.

Joe had a series of careers in business before finding his true calling in education. In our 25th Class Book he wrote that he had “a laundry list of positions in industry (American Express, Cheseborough Pond) and consulting organizations in the field of human resources in general and international compensation in particular from 1962-1983.” From 1983 to 1988 he and his wife Harriette bought and operated a specialty retail food store in Westport, Connecticut, “World of Cheese.”

In 1988, he began his career in teaching, as a prep school math teacher, at St. Mary High School in Greenwich and then at St. Luke’s School in New Canaan, Connecticut. In 2002 he added college counseling as an Associate Director to his math classes. “College counseling,” he wrote in 2002, “was a calling that I really like, has some true meaning and makes me ‘of use’ to use the phrase of the wonderful Dr. Lark in The Cider House Rules.” His only regret was that he had not yet gotten any of his students into Yale. “This is my major ambition for the near future.”

After his retirement from St. Luke’s, Joe continued his vocation part-time as a consultant in his company, Education Advisors, LLC.

Joe married Harriette January 2, 1983. She was a private equity investor and a 1966 graduate of Elmira College. Together they had 3 children, Jill, Susan and Jonathan. He and his wife were longtime residents of Westport, Connecticut.

Joe was a Yankee fan and followed Yale football and hockey. He was a voracious reader (mysteries, spy novels and histories), an avid Scrabble player, lover of classic rock and a dedicated gourmand. He was known for his kind demeanor and insightful wit.

Joe courageously battled Parkinson’s disease for 16 years, but ultimately succumbed to a sepsis infection. He is survived by Harriette, his wife of 35 years, his children, Jill S. Terbell of South Orange, N.J., Susan Terbell Jacques of Pittsburgh, and Jonathan Terbell of Boston, and his sister Susan T. Hersey of Petaluma, California, and his brother Lawrence of San Diego. He had 3 grandchildren: Anna (age 19), William (age 15) and May (age 8).

A memorial service was held April 22, 2018 at the Yale Club in New York. The family requested that in lieu of flowers contributions in his memory be made to the Yale Alumni Fund to support future scholarships at Yale.