Terry Niel Ekberg, 78, passed away September 6, 2023, after a courageous battle with cancer and other health issues in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

Terry was born in Salt Lake City on March 24, 1945 to Oscar Fredrik Ekberg and Lucille Marie Pearson. Terry served an LDS mission to Sweden and later earned multiple degrees and certifications in Education from Brigham Young University, University of Utah, and Utah State University. He taught Honors and Advanced Placement Biology at West High School and was instrumental in introducing the International Baccalaureate Program to the school. He loved to teach his students and instill his love for science, wildlife, and plants to everyone around him. He married his wife Norma Loraine Briggs in Salt Lake City on June 6, 1968.

Terry loved visiting the National Parks and cruising all over the world (South Pacific, South America, Alaska) with his dear wife Loraine. He was a master gardener and took great pride in growing exotic non-native trees and plants in his indoor greenhouse and home. He enjoyed watching movies, playing overly competitive ping pong and croquet, playing early morning church basketball with his sons, going to the family cabin in Island Park, Idaho and taking day trips into Yellowstone National Park.

Terry was a retired Master Sergeant and Medical Supplies Technician with the Utah Air National Guard.

Terry is survived by his 4 living children and their spouses, 11 grandchildren, 1 great grandson, brother and sister. He was proceeded in death by his wife, his parents, his oldest son and daughter-in-law.

A viewing and service will be held at Memorial Mountain View Cemetery in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

Services

Viewing

Friday, Sep. 15, 2023 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Mountain View Memorial Mortuary
3115 East 7800 South
Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121

Graveside Service

Friday, Sep. 15, 2023 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Mountain View Memorial Mortuary
3115 East 7800 South
Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121

Services Handled By

Memorial Mountain View Mortuary & Cemetery
3115 East 7800 South
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Life Story Info

Post Date

Sep 12, 2023

Personal Info

Age

78
Concerned about this Life Story? Please let us know.
NEXT Sheryl Lynn Greene (Danforth) Winsor Sheryl Lynn Greene (Danforth) Winsor

Guestbook

He was my favorite teacher, my mentor, and my friend. I used to eat lunch in his room when I was so anxious and upset and he would kindly pretend he didn’t see me crying and bring me a cool leaf to cheer me up when I started to pull myself together.

I’ve looked up his name so many times trying to figure out how to get a message to him so I could tell him what he meant to me. I majored in Biology and married a Marine Biologist and now I’m a nurse and All of those lines go straight back to Mr. Ekberg.

I still have all my AP Biology assignments with his notes scribbled all them, stapled together in endless drafts until I finally figured out the nuance he was looking for.

I will remember him forever.

Emily McConnell Deckenback, class of 2003

Honors Biology

AP/IB Biology

4 years of Math and Science Club (I was the President my senior year)

4 years of Science Olympiad (I was Team Captain my senior year and we got the best overall score we’d ever had in the history of the school)

Emily Deckenback , San Diego, CA, US Oct 08, 2023

He was my favorite teacher, my mentor, and my friend. I used to eat lunch in his room when I was so anxious and upset and he would kindly pretend he didn’t see me crying and bring me a cool leaf to cheer me up when I started to pull myself together.

I’ve looked up his name so many times trying to figure out how to get a message to him so I could tell him what he meant to me. I majored in Biology and married a Marine Biologist and now I’m a nurse and All of those lines go straight back to Mr. Ekberg.

I still have all my AP Biology assignments with his notes scribbled all them, stapled together in endless drafts until I finally figured out the nuance he was looking for.

I will remember him forever.

Emily McConnell Deckenback, class of 2003

Honors Biology

AP/IB Biology

4 years of Math and Science Club (I was the President my senior year)

4 years of Science Olympiad (I was Team Captain my senior year and we got the best overall score we’d ever had in the history of the school)

Emily Deckenback , San Diego, CA, US Oct 08, 2023

What an amazing teacher he was. Terry Ekberg taught me to love science. I took honours and IB Biology from him. He taught us how miraculous life is. I never really thought I was particularly good at science before I took his class and I didn’t really understand how to be a good student either. He taught us how to study how to reason and think critically. I frequently think about his classes and sitting among the jungle of his plants learning because now I am a molecular biologist working in cancer research. And I really wouldn’t be doing what I am doing now if I hadn’t felt so inspired in his classes. I even saved my assignments from his classes because they were so much work. I still have them 25 years later. One day when I too pass to the other side I hope that I can have the opportunity to thank him for changing my life.

Patricia Eror Barnes , St Albans , Hertfordshire, GB Oct 07, 2023

What an amazing teacher he was. Terry Ekberg taught me to love science. I took honours and IB Biology from him. He taught us how miraculous life is. I never really thought I was particularly good at science before I took his class and I didn’t really understand how to be a good student either. He taught us how to study how to reason and think critically. I frequently think about his classes and sitting among the jungle of his plants learning because now I am a molecular biologist working in cancer research. And I really wouldn’t be doing what I am doing now if I hadn’t felt so inspired in his classes. I even saved my assignments from his classes because they were so much work. I still have them 25 years later. One day when I too pass to the other side I hope that I can have the opportunity to thank him for changing my life.

Patricia Eror Barnes , St Albans , Hertfordshire, GB Oct 07, 2023

Mr. Ekberg was one of the hardest, most memorable, and best teacher I had at West High. I took honors biology from him my freshman year, and AP biology from him my senior year, and I still remember quite a bit because of how much he drilled us.

Thank you, Mr. Ekberg.

West High, Class of 1999

Dylan Zwick , Ogden, UT, US Sep 28, 2023

Mr. Ekberg was one of the hardest, most memorable, and best teacher I had at West High. I took honors biology from him my freshman year, and AP biology from him my senior year, and I still remember quite a bit because of how much he drilled us.

Thank you, Mr. Ekberg.

Dylan Zwick , Ogden, UT, US Sep 28, 2023

Mr. Ekberg was my most influential teacher in high school. I loved his class and his teachings so much that I chose to major in Biology in college and got my BS degree. I was the first in my family to graduate high school, let alone college. I owe all of this in part to teachers like Mr. Ekberg, who made staying in school easy. And who recognized my personal struggles and was always willing to help.

Jennie Burns , Boulder, CO, US Sep 24, 2023

Mr Ekberg might have been one of the toughest teachers I had, but his enthusiasm for Biology always had my attention. I would never have gotten through college without his lessons on note taking and lecture based learning. I'm sure he saved many kids like me. He was the best. My condolences to his family.

Andrea Moulding , Portland , OR, US Sep 24, 2023

Mr Ekberg might have been one of the toughest teachers I had, but his enthusiasm for Biology always had my attention. I would never have gotten through college without his lessons on note taking and lecture based learning. I'm sure he saved many kids like me. He was the best. My condolences to his family.

Andrea Moulding , Portland , OR, US Sep 24, 2023

Rest in paradiddles Mr. Ekberg. I admired and respected your vast knowledge/intelligence when it came to horticulture and biology. And thank you sir for being a great teacher and mentor along with complementing and encouraging me regarding my drumming skills when I was attending West High School.

Craig Perry

WHS class of 1988

Craig Perry , Salt Lake City, UT, US Sep 23, 2023

Rest in paradiddles Mr. Ekberg. I admired and respected your vast knowledge/intelligence when it came to horticulture and biology. And thank you sir for being a great teacher and mentor along with complementing and encouraging me regarding my drumming skills when I was attending West High School.

Craig Perry

WHS class of 1988

Craig Perry , Salt Lake City, UT, US Sep 23, 2023

Mr. Ekberg was my Utah Wildlife teacher and I admired him greatly.

Kent Hunt... Class of 1977

Kent Hunt , West Valley City, UT, US Sep 12, 2023

Mr. Ekberg was my Utah Wildlife teacher and I admired him greatly.

Kent Hunt... Class of 1977

Kent Hunt , West Valley City, UT, US Sep 12, 2023

Timeline


  • 2020
  • 2023

    I was an AP biology student. He was the hardest teacher I had in high school, but I respected him immensely for it. He prepared me to do well at Stanford, which almost seemed easy by comparison to his class.