It is with deepest sadness that the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation must relay that Prairie Band Health Center staff, Dr. Terry Harter passed away at his home yesterday afternoon, Tuesday, April 21, 2020.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this difficult time.
HOLTON – Dr. Terry Lee Harter, 62, of Holton, beloved husband, son, brother, and uncle passed away peacefully at his home on April 21, 2020 after a brief illness. He was born in Humboldt, Nebraska on June 17, 1957, the son of Eugene and Sally (Anderson) Harter.
He attended elementary school in Onaga and Westmoreland, graduating from Westmoreland High School in 1975. Following high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he developed a passion for the healing arts serving at Naval hospitals in Oakland, CA, New Orleans, LA, and Norfolk, VA. Upon discharge he returned to Kansas, enrolling at Kansas State University, Manhattan. He graduated with honors with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry with Honors in 1983 and was accepted at the University of Kansas Medical School, graduating in 1987 with his Doctorate. Dr. Harter served family practice residencies in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the University of Kansas Medical School. Upon completion of his residencies he joined West Side Family Practice in Holton where he served, until he found his true calling as Medical Director at the Prairie Band Potawatomi Health Center near Mayetta in 2005 where he continued to work until his death.
Dr. Harter was appointed the position of Health Officer on January 1, 1996 for NEK Multi County Health Department by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. Since that date, Dr. Harter was a part of the health department by functioning as either the health officer or the medical consultant. He was currently Medical Director for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Fire Department since the inception of the PBPN advanced life support ambulance service in July of 2000. He worked closely with the staff, he approved the ambulance service medical protocols, supported the EMS training program and oversaw the patient care quality assurance system for the department. Dr. Harter made sure the Prairie Band Nation’s Paramedics and EMTs had the right procedures, training and oversight to provide the high-quality medical care expected of them. His easy-going pragmatism coupled with his vast medical knowledge enabled him to cooperatively guide the ambulance program to the exceptional service it is today. He was also a life member of the Kansas State University Alumni Association.
Terry enjoyed living life fully. He cared deeply for family and friends no matter how they entered his life. That compassion extended to friends and most especially to members of the Potawatomi Nation who he served faithfully and cared for as if they were family. All who knew him will miss his quick smile and hearty chuckle; both of which he shared often.
On June 2, 2018 he married his soulmate Tamah Boyce in Valley Falls. She survives of the home. Other survivors include his parents, Eugene and Sally (Anderson) Harter of Westmoreland; three brothers, Jerry Harter (Karen) of Salina, KS; Garry Harter of St. George, KS, Barry Harter of Philadelphia, PA, one sister, Kerri Ebert of Lawrence, KS; two nephews, Ryan Harter (Allison) of Castle Rock, CO, Nicholas Harter (Kylie) of Colorado Springs, CO; two nieces, Christine Ebert of Lawrence, KS and Monica Ebert of Cape Town, South Africa; step son, Craig Gunther of Lawrence, KS; father and mother-in-law, Wilbur and Mary Boyce of Valley Falls, KS; brother-in-law, Mark Boyce of Valley Falls, KS; sister-in-law, Sharon Ramsey (Rich Heuertz) of Valley Falls and her daughters, Lacey Darveaux, Sarah Jones (Jett) and four great nieces, Lillian, Isabella, Gretchen and Dahlia.
He was preceded in death by an infant brother, Perry Leslie Harter; his maternal grandparents, E.A. and Mildred Anderson and his paternal grandparents, Howard and Sylvia Harter.
Memorial Graveside Service will be at a later date at Valley Falls Cemetery. A guest book will be available at the Mercer Funeral Home in Holton. Memorials may be given to the Terry Harter Memorial Fund to be designated at a later date towards the benefit of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation. Due to the critical situation our country is in, please remember the families during this difficult time and consider sending a card of condolence or posting on our website. Mercer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 270, Holton, KS 66436. www.mercerfuneralhomes.com.
- Courtesy of Mercer Funeral Homes