Obituary: Terrence Michael Nordquist Aug. 5, 1957 – July 28, 2021

Terrence Michael Nordquist died peacefully in his sleep on July 28, 2021 at his home in El Rancho, NM.

Terry was born on August 5, 1957 in Milbank, SD. He graduated O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls, SD in 1975, and attended college at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. In 1980, he enlisted with the US Army, and proudly served his country until 1984.

After living in Colorado and Arizona, Terry came to Santa Fe, NM in 1989 to help open Babbo Ganzo Trattoria in Downtown Santa Fe. Over the next years, he was a fixture as a bartender or server in many Santa Fe restaurants: The Palace, Diego’s, Bagelmania and Dr. No. In 1998, he traveled to Beijing, China to help open a restaurant and bar.

Terry married the love of his life, Heather Shelburn, on July 19th, 1998 in Santa Fe, NM. He lived there for the remainder of his life, with the exception of 5 years they spent in Vienna, Austria, where he made many special friends. 

There was never a situation that Terry could not make funny. Even through a hard battle with cancer and its invasive treatments in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic, he used his humor to inspire everyone around him. 

He enjoyed fishing, golfing, bowling and softball in his free time. He enjoyed attending and following professional sports teams, even attending a Viking game in London while living in Europe. While at home, you may find him watering his garden or amusing himself by watching the many hummingbird feeders he kept full on his property.

Terry was an avid cook, and could be found grilling and smoking meat in the summers, baking cookies for people he loved, or making large batches of hot sauce in Austria to help alleviate a spicy food shortage. He enjoyed making food for a local homeless outreach program, and delivered sack lunches to the homeless just days before he passed. 

Above all, Terry loved to make people laugh, and he was the master at wit and humor. Whether introducing his “future ex-wife” or playing practical jokes, he had a natural way of disarming those around him, and his vast network of friends across two continents was the result.

Terry was preceded in death by his father Arnold Allen Nordquist of Milbank, SD, his beloved baby sister Julie Van de Voort (Nordquist) of Devils Lake, ND, niece Sarah Nordquist, sister-in-law Sharon Nordquist (Daggett), brothers-in-law Charles Brust and Michael Pellet. He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Heather Nordquist (Shelburn), his son Andrew Nordquist of Mitchell, SD, mother of Andrew, Pam Nordquist (Kapfenstein) of Wagner, SD, mother Dolores Nordquist (Toutges) of Milbank, SD, siblings Diane Englund (Nordquist) and husband Rick of Hopkins, MN, Jo Anne Stanage (Nordquist) and husband Tom of Yankton, SD, Colette Brust (Nordquist) of Gig Harbor, WA, Christie Callaghan (Nordquist) and husband Mike of Yankton, SD, Tim Nordquist of Nininger, MN, Theresa Helseth (Nordquist) of Milbank, SD, Barbara Wilber (Nordquist) and husband Bob of Sioux Falls, SD, Todd Nordquist and wife Teri of Tampa, FL, brother-in-law Chris Van de Voort of Devils Lake, ND, in-laws Jack and Stella Shelburn of El Rancho, NM and brother-in-law Brent Shelburn and wife Risa Roybal of Albuquerque, NM. He is also survived by numerous nephews, nieces, grand-nephews and grand-nieces, a great grand-niece and many cousins.

Services to be held in El Rancho, NM on August 5, 2021 at the home of Rudy Vigil at 4:00 pm. Future services to be announced in Milbank, SD and in Vienna Austria for his many friends across the globe. In honor of Terry and his loving and generous nature, you may donate to his birthday fundraiser on Facebook benefitting the Downs Syndrome Foundation, or to Compassion Through Action-New Mexico where he donated his time and talents toward helping the local homeless population. Go to to donate.