Obituary: Terrence Dinnan, 1950-2021 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Terrence Dinnan, 1950-2021

Artist and stonemason used his talents to build useful things in a beautiful way

Published June 15, 2021 at 6:00 a.m.
Updated June 15, 2021 at 1:43 p.m.

  • Courtesy Photo
  • Terry Dinnan

Terry Dinnan and his wife, Marty, died April 19, 2021, in a boating accident by their house on Lewis Creek in Charlotte, Vt.

Terry, son of Eleanor and John Dinnan, was born on February 22, 1950, in Meriden, Conn. Terry grew up roaming the rural Connecticut woods with his siblings and friends, laying the foundation for his love of Vermont and his home on the river.

Terry was an excellent student, good athlete and steadfast friend. He graduated from Cheshire High School in 1968. Terry began college at the University of Vermont, transferred to Boston University for one year, and then decided Vermont was the right place. He graduated from UVM in 1973 with degrees in psychology and fine arts.

During his junior year at UVM, he started a long artistic relationship with mentor and friend Paul Aschenbach. Terry was active artistically as a photographer and sculptor after college, especially in Winooski. He participated in several international art symposiums, including projects in Belgium and Japan.

Terry and Marty met working at Free Mountain Toys. They were married at their house on Valentine's Day 1986, and their daughter, Tai, was born later that year.

Upon entering fatherhood, Terry’s work shifted to stone masonry. He and his partner, Al Ulmer, purchased a quarry in Essex, N.Y., and used its limestone for their projects, which included exterior walls, patios and fireplaces. In 2020, Terry sold the quarry to Champlain Area Trails, donating his portion. The property is within walking distance of the ferry and is open to the public.

Terry thrived during retirement. He had time to do what he loved: taking as much time as he wanted to creatively solve problems and build useful things in a beautiful way. He managed the house and property and pursued personal interests, including making cheese, wine, bread and wooden bowls. Terry’s last three years were brightened by the regular presence of his grandson, whom he cared for three days a week.

Terry was predeceased by his brother, Jim. Terry is survived by his daughter, Tai Illick Dinnan (Evan Webster), and adored grandson, Lior. He is also survived by siblings Mary (Jan), Chris (Carie), Deb, and Jed (Karen), and by many cousins, nieces and nephews.

A celebration of the lives of Terry and Marty will be held on August 14 at Shelburne Farms. To learn more and RSVP, please visit

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