Photo: Dave Terry passed away on Sunday. He had many friends in the communitiy – Picture courtesty of Facebook.

An influential Fort St. John aboriginal leader has passed away, leaving a large gap in the community.

41 year-old Dave Terry passed away on Sunday after completing his four day spiritual fast in the Lillooet area.

Terry suffered a heart attack while making his way down the mountain from the gathering area. He is orginally from the St’at’imc reserve in the Lilooet area.

Long-time friend Kimberley Beauchamp describes Terry as a happy person who held his head up high, and tried to get people to be true to themselves. She says Terry helped everyone he met.

One time, at a grocery store, Terry gave his money to a woman who was distressed after losing her home.

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Terry worked at North East Native Advancing Society as the Employment Assistance Officer. Beauchamp says he wore many hats at his workplace, but never complained.

In fact, on Terry’s Facebook page, one of the last posts he made was “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life!”

Beauchamp says it will be hard to find someone to take Terry’s place at NENAS.

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Before he passed away, Terry had added a quote to his Facebook page, which he seemed to live by every day:

“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.”

The funeral will be held in the Lillooet area, and the time will be posted here when it becomes available. The date of the memorial service in Fort St. John will also be posted when it becomes available.