Terry Attebery

1949-2020Attebery, Terry

On December 5, 2020 Terry Attebery of Edmond joined the heavenly choir after a brief illness with Covid19. The family would like to express their thanks for all of the prayers and concerns for Terry. They also offer their sincere appreciation to the compassionate and excellent medical staff at Edmond Integris ICU.

Born December 29, 1949 in Oklahoma City, Terry attended school in Nicoma Park and Choctaw. He was the fourth child of Dalton and Edith Attebery. After graduating from Choctaw High School, he attended Central State College, now named University of Central Oklahoma. He was very active on campus, especially in the music department.

There he met his love, Missy Martin. They helped begin the show choir known as “Tunesmiths” which performed all over the state. They married in 1972.

Terry then joined the Army, serving his country in the Army Reserves until 1978. After basic training he accepted a teaching job in Blackwell, Ok. He and Missy were well loved and received by this amazing school district and town.

In 1976 the couple was offered teaching jobs in Edmond. Terry taught at Edmond Mid High followed by Edmond Memorial High School. He and drama teacher, Mary Jane Bartley, developed an amazing music/drama department. During his tenure the show choir “Act II” was created and performed extensively. Full Broadway musicals were also performed annually. The productions rivaled many professional theaters. Terry’s choirs were amazing as well, receiving “Outstanding” critiques at every contest. He was recognized in many ways as an exceptional music educator.

Locally, Terry was honored as Edmond Teacher of the Year in 1983.

Terry and Missy were the first directors of Edmond Children’s Chorus under the umbrella of the Edmond Fine Arts Institute. And yet another ground breaking accomplishment was Terry being co-director of the Oklahoma Show Choir which made eight trips to Europe as ambassadors of Oklahoma.

After retiring from public school teaching, Terry opened a private voice studio. During this time he was offered an adjunct position at Oklahoma Christian University. Terry joyfully accepted and was still teaching this year. He taught applied voice and directed the much loved musical revue “Cabaret”. They have toured for several years around the country, including a Cruise Ship. Terry absolutely loved teaching at OC and they loved him!

With all of Terry’s talents, he would say his most important gift was his relationship with God. He was a faithful servant. A member of Edmond First Presbyterian Church, he served as deacon, elder and was active in the Pilgrimage Community, serving as Moderator. He was also a well-loved choir director the last several years. Many Edmond citizens have enjoyed the full Christmas production “One Incredible Moment”.

Without a doubt he would say his treasure is his family; wife, two sons and five grandchildren whom he loved dearly. He purchased a sign that hangs in the back yard “Children are the rainbow; Grandchildren are the pot of gold”. The kids loved their Papa.

Terry was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Janie Witt and brother John Attebery and wife Gatha.

He was survived by his wife, Missy; son Brian, wife, Jennifer and children, Cannon and Caris; son, Justin, wife, Alysia and children, Mia, Owen and Evan; sister, Rachel Attebery.

His extended family includes nieces Vicki, Pam, Bert, Eddy, Misty and April; Brother-in-law Ed, Sister-in-law Kathy and several great nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:

First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, 1000 South Rankin, Edmond, OK 73034


Friends of Music at Oklahoma Christian University, 2501 E. Memorial Rd., Edmond OK 73013

Terry will be buried at Memorial Park Cemetery at a private service.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.


  1. Missy and Family
    You are in my thoughts and prayers. Terry was a fun colleague at EMHS. He will be missed.
    Jane Andrews

  2. Missy, my heart is breaking along with yours. I’m so grateful for the times we shared, especially those in Tunesmiths. What a beautiful gift Terry was to so many. His wit, his musicianship, his leadership leave a legacy that will endure. He will be missed. Know that you and your family are in my prayers, and will continue to be in the weeks ahead. Much love to you.

  3. my Mom, Barbara Tettleton thought Terry was the greatest thing since sliced bread! Besides making her laugh every day he wrote a few songs for her. He brought her daily joy. He will be missed greatly. My prayers are with you.

  4. I have always carried dearly my memories of Lyric and the many moments I shared with my buddy Terry, and our hysterical lunches. It was like my summer camp thanks to him. Now, I will cherish those moments in my heart forever. He was a true spirit that I was proud to call “my friend”. Godspeed dearest Terry.

  5. On behalf of my mother, Judith Stringer, whom I know had grown to have a great deal of respect for his talent, intelligence, and leadership in the church and choir especially. I appreciate him for looking out for my mother in the last few years. He was a fixture in the church and the community and will be greatly missed.

  6. It has been wonderful knowing you through the church. We lift you and your family in our prayers. Sue remembers your pranks while at church.
    May you rest in peace.

  7. I will ALWAYS remember the great musicals he and Mary Jane did at Edmond Memorial. May God bless Missy and the boys and keep them safe.

  8. I never met any of the Atteberys but I will always remember the first time I heard Terry Attebery sing, knowing what talented people the Atteberys were…..he came on stage at the LYRIC when it was at OCU, in THE MATCHMAKER/OR/HELLO DOLLY which is based on the MATCHMAKER….he had a wonderful fabulous voice and from then on I was an ATTEBERY FAN. My sympathy goes out to the entire family…….my son went to EMHS with the boys….they are a wonderful family. It’s Oklahoma’s loss as well as Edmond’s.

  9. Missy & family,
    Mike and I are so sorry for the loss of a great husband, father and grandfather. Terry was a great teacher and performer. He had a tremendous impact on all his students and colleagues. Know you and your family will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. Stay safe.
    Judy and Mike Duncan

  10. Missy & family ,

    We are so sorry for your loss. Our hearts weep for you and your dear, sweet family. We still can’t believe the shocking news. Terry so enjoyed life & serving the Lord through music. We will always cherish the moments we served together at FPCE. If there was ever anyone who deserved a Cursillo style send off, it’s Terry. We love you and miss you.

    Mark & Kathy

  11. Although my husband and I have been gone from Edmond for over 25 years, we remember what a joy the Attebery family was, especially during our Cursillo experience. I know that many hearts are broken since the got the news that Terry has gone to a higher calling. Terry was an original and was easy to enjoy because of his authenticity and talents. He will live in our hearts for ever.
    Keeping the family in our prayers and friends who are grieving his loss. God has placed some of those friends in our lives right here in Plano. Terry was a reluctant celebrity.

    Mrs. Sheldon Cunningham, Plano, Texas

  12. Missy, Brian, Justin & Families,
    We were shocked to hear of Terry’s death. He was an icon when it came to music but we loved his devotion to God, & his joyful presence. He will definitely be missed. We will continue to keep all of you in prayer. Take time to grieve.

  13. My brother Matthew Jones loved your family and he will miss Terry always. My try thoughts and prayers are with you and your days to come. God bless.

  14. I was blessed to have Terry as my chorus teacher in 8th grade, when he and Missy first moved down here from Blackwell. It was incredible to have him for my freshman through junior years as well. He and Mary Jane Bartley were so inspiring to us. I was able to be in Oklahoma and Fiddler on the Roof. I enjoyed seeing him at class reunions and we saw each other to often at funerals. I will always remember how he taught us to sight read using old hymnals. His passion for musical performance was so contagious that I think everyone that has been in his presence caught so of it as well. He leaves behind a huge void and a several hundreds of students that have that passion for vocal performance and appreciation. Thank you so very much for making such a wonderful difference in this world.

  15. Goodness, I’m sad at this news. To this day, I judge all musical theatre on the standard he and Ms. Bartley set in 1987 by doing the bottle dance in “Fiddler on the Roof” WITHOUT ATTACHING THE BOTTLES to hats or using straps. I’m not a theatre person, but after experiencing that, I found most productions woefully disappointing. Godspeed, Mr. Atteberry, and empathy for my fellow former students for whom his passing makes us all ponder our own inescapable mortality.

  16. I am sad to hear of Mr Attebery’s passing. I had the honor of having Mr Atterbery as my high school choir director, he always challenged us to be the best. Prayers for the family especially Mrs Atterbery, my grade school music teacher. He will be missed.

  17. Terry was my second cousin. Although, I did not know him well, because he was much older, I feel much sadness to hear of his passing. My older brother, Michael Attebery, was close to Terry while growing up. I was very close to his parents when they ran their grocery store right down the street from my house. I have very fond memories of them from my childhood. I’m very sorry for your loss.

  18. He was always hard on us guys from class of ’97, but he taught me much and open my eyes to many possibilities, and always believed in me to be something more than what I thought of myself in my freshman thru sophomore year. U were a genius and I’ll never forget you or the lessons and music I’ve learned. Rip Mr. A 🎼🎭

    – j.c

    …the woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep….
    And miles to go before I sleep…
    And miles… to go… Before I sleep…. -robert frost

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