CHIPLEY – Washington recently suffered the loss of a man who has been called one of its greatest assets, Public Works Director Tom Terrell.

Terrell passed away on June 8, from complications from pneumonia.

He came to Washington County in 2013 with his life partner, Cheryl Pingitore, after retiring from the City of Fort Lauderdale as Facilities Manager for 25 plus years in 2011.

The couple lived a couple of years in North Carolina when they happened to find Washington County after being invited to a Christmas party in the area. They fell in love with the area and for the first time felt they were at home.

“When we moved here it was like a huge weight had been lifted," said Pingitore. "We could breathe; we were home."

Pingitore states Terrell loved the journey and the adventure, and when he became Public Works Director here, there was no challenge to great.

Those who worked with him state that in the short time Terrell was employed by the county, many grew to love and respect him.

“The county has lost an outstanding leader with the passing of Tom Terrell," said former County Administrator Hank Hamilton. "Not only was he a close friend, he was a tremendous asset to our community. He leaves a huge void. He will be truly missed,”

A cedar tree was recently planted at Mud Hill Public Works facility in Terrell’s memory, a nod to Terrell’s love of Christmas.

“Tom was my prince and there aren’t many that can say they found theirs, let alone had 24 years with them,” said Pingitore. “Our journey was an amazing adventure, and I am blessed to have shared it with him.”

As Pingitore said to him shortly after they began dating, "May the adventure continue, Tom."