Terri LeAnn Vasquez (aka Fahuna or Noni) passed away on August 16th, 2023 with family by her side. Terri was born on September 19, 1965 to parents Carl and Virginia Hill. Although Terri spent her childhood as an Adrian, Oregon farm girl, she spent most of her life cultivating special friendships. To say that Terri lived life large would be an understatement. Everyone who knew her has a fun story to tell. On the farm, this meant riding snowmobiles, her horse or her motorcycle. While in high school at Adrian, her father Carl’s alma mater, Terri was voted Homecoming Queen and also served as the Queen of the Ontario Christmas parade. A Japanese exchange student spending time at Adrian high school inspired Terri to later participate in the Lion’s Club exchange program. This initiated a visit to Japan where Terri stayed with the former exchange student’s family.
Terri drove a 1967 Chevy Impala from the farm to high school and also to her job at the Steer Inn drive-in in Nyssa. It was here that Terri met Pete Vasquez when she was 16 years old, as he knocked on the drive-through window after hours to get her attention. They would eventually marry on 7-7-2007 at 7:00.
Terri spent her entire adult life partnering with her family and Adrian community leaders to grow and improve the small town. She was instrumental in the creation of the Two Rivers Park and later the park’s band shelter. She was an important organizer of the annual park celebration with its car show, raffle, and chili cook-off. When the new Adrian high school gym was built in 2017, Terri and her family donated and planted the landscaping for the entrance.
Terri received her teaching certificate from Eastern Oregon University. As a passionate and lifelong educator, Terri’s teaching career began with her student teaching in Nyssa, Oregon, followed by a third-grade teaching position in Fruitland, Idaho. After an adventurous detour to teach for a year on the Mariana Island of Saipan, Terri returned to the third-grade classroom in Fruitland. She eventually became the school’s Reading Specialist, much to the chagrin of upcoming third graders’ parents. Along the way, Terri acquired her Master of Education degree from the University of Idaho and was only 3 credits shy of her Doctorate of Education.
Terri became the beloved elementary school principal in Homedale, Idaho in 2012. Terri had a leadership style of walking alongside her staff as she gently pushed them to become more than they dreamed they could. Her ultimate goal was always the success of students through the improvement and success of their teachers. This was always a painless and stress-free process as Terri provided a never-ending supply of fun along the way. Her staff will always remember the hilarious and unexpected treats she hand-delivered around the building in her “Purple Halloween Pumpkin.” Her generosity and creativity during Teacher Appreciation weeks was unsurpassed. She was a team-builder in every sense of the word. In dire circumstances, one might borrow the voodoo doll in her office or visit one of the English Labradors that she fostered for Northwest Battle Buddies – an organization providing service dogs for Veterans.
Terri’s husband Pete obviously understood her fun-loving nature deeply as he surprised her and pulled up in front of Homedale Elementary with her new cherry red Corvette on her birthday in 2019. Terri also loved her frequent visits to the Oregon coast and always returned with Saltwater Taffy for her many friends.
Terri retired from Homedale Elementary in 2019 and returned full circle to her alma mater in Adrian as elementary principal. She was so proud of her town and school, however, no matter where Terri was teaching or leading, she never forgot a student or their family. She remained connected or she instantly re-connected with all those she taught, served, or worked with.
Most recently, Terri was working from home for the State of Oregon. This allowed her creativity to surface as she painted rocks with the boys and scattered them all over Oregon and Idaho, bringing joy to those who found these treasures from “Adrian Rocks.” Terri also spread her love with giant quantities of the holiday recipes she prepared and shared with so many. The big life, big laughs and big love Terri shared will be impossible to replace, but she leaves behind an entire harvest of relationships that will stand in support of each other with Terri as their foundation.
Terri was preceded in death by her infant daughter Madison LeAnn. She is survived by her husband Pete Vasquez, JT and Niko Seuell, parents Carl and Virginia Hill and brother Chris Hill.
Private graveside service will be held at the Owyhee Cemetery in Adrian, Oregon.
Celebration of Life for all family and friends will be at the Adrian High School gym on September 23rd, 2023.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to: Terri Hill Vasquez Scholarship Fund