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Terrence Mathew Nagorski

February 13, 1949 ~ January 31, 2020 (age 70)


Terrence Mathew Nagorski, Longville, formerly of Big Lake from 1949-2007, died Friday, January 31, 2020, at CRMC Care Center in Crosby. He was 70.

Terry was born February 13, 1949, in Monticello, to Stanley and Helen Nagorski, and grew up near Orrock.

Terry graduated from Big Lake High School, Class of 1967. He was a member of Saron Lutheran Church, Big Lake, and then Salem Lutheran Church in Longville. He dedicated more than three decades of his career to Sherburne County – first in the assessor’s office from 1971-1993, and then as county commissioner for three terms from 1995-2007 before retiring. He was a certified real estate appraiser, specializing in appraisals for both residential and commercial properties.

Grass never grew under Terry’s feet, although vegetables flourished. To explain, Terry was always on the go – he worked hard, some days from sun up to sun down. He spent countless hours advocating for the citizens of Sherburne County. During his time as commissioner, he was instrumental in the inclusion of Big Lake in the Northstar Commuter Rail project; the construction of the Sherburne County Jail; and the land acquisition and building of the current location of Options, Inc. He traveled most every road in central and northern Minnesota as a real estate appraiser. Even at home, he worked hard – cutting wood, tending to his yard or garden, or plowing snow. He also played hard. He loved fishing and hunting, and enjoyed many fishing trips throughout Minnesota and Canada with friends and family. Perhaps, his greatest pastime was spending time with his family. He was a cherished grandfather and uncle to his many “chicken wings”, and always could be counted on for a root beer float, ice cream sundae, or anything that satisfied his insatiable sweet tooth. Whether working, playing, or telling stories, one had to work hard to keep up with Terry. He had unmatched energy, was a loyal, generous and trusted friend, and was the best storyteller – known for an occasional bit of exaggeration as well as a lot of humor. He loved sports and enjoyed coaching his son’s teams, as well as many Big Lake Little League teams.

He had a heart of gold and demonstrated his love and compassion through gifts. A friend or family member could not stop by his home without leaving with a bounty from his garden, such as his homegrown potatoes, raspberries, sweet corn, or tomatoes. He often could be found on his four-wheeler delivering produce to his neighbors.

Through his example, he taught his sons and grandson a strong work ethic and a formidable appreciation for the outdoors. Terry’s favorite sidekick was his grandson, Silas; Terry and Silas negotiated who would fish and who would net and in the end Grandpa served as the best netter on their fishing adventures.

Beginning in October 2016, Terry courageously battled cancer.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Jean, who was his high school sweetheart; two sons, Dean (Danelle Dean and Alysha, Samuel, Jackson, and Delanie Schroer), of Andover; and Dan (Julia), of St. Michael; one grandson, Silas; seven brothers, Stan (Mary), David (Rebecca), Ted (Kris), Dennis, Jeff (Sue), John (Lori), and Tom (Kim); two sisters, Annette (Mark), and Mary Ann (Bruce); and a brother-in-law, Don Holt (Elizabeth); and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, James and Stephen; sister-in-law, Joan Nagorski; and his in-laws, Don and Lucile Holt.

In lieu of flowers, memorials received will be donated to the Longville food shelf.

Due to the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 virus the Celebration of Life for Terry has been postponed, details will follow in the near future.   Thank you.



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