Ronald L. Terjung, PhD, passed away on Jan. 9, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia, at the age of 80. He was born on July 5, 1941, in Lincoln, Illinois, the son of pastor George and Martha Terjung. He spent his formative years in Akron, Ohio.
He graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois. It was there that he met Carol Preedy. They were married Aug. 25, 1962. He earned a master’s degree from San Jose State in 1965 and a doctorate in physiology from the University of Iowa in 1970. During that time, a daughter, Kathryn, was born. He completed a postdoctoral program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.
Terjung dedicated his long and distinguished career to a vast amount of specialized physiology research along with teaching first-year medical and veterinary students. He began his career at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. During that time, the Terjungs’ son, Steven, was born. The family moved to Syracuse, New York, where Terjung was a professor of physiology at the State University of New York’s Health and Science Center for 20 years. In 1997, the Terjungs moved to Columbia, Missouri, where he was a professor and the associate chair of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Biomedical Sciences. He also served as the associate dean for research and graduate studies at the CVM. He was also professor of physiology at MU School of Medicine and a senior research investigator at the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center.
Terjung had conducted research with the Polish Academy of Science. In addition to several other awards and honors throughout his career, he was presented with an Honorary Doctorate at the Medical University in Bialystok, Poland in 1993. He was invited to lecture at numerous universities, conferences and symposiums across the United States and the world. In addition to being actively involved in the American Physiological Society and the American College of Sports Medicine, he served on an Olympic committee, the Gatorade Sports Science Institute Board and the National Institute of Health as a grant reviewer. He wrote and edited many books and manuscripts.
He enjoyed sponsoring many special students, postdoctoral fellows and sabbatical visitors. He loved mentoring and engaging with these people and his colleagues over the years.
He retired to Atlanta to invest more time with his grandchildren. He delighted in taking family water skiing, tubing behind his boat, and making homemade ice cream.
As a lifelong athlete, Terjung enjoyed sports of all kinds. He played football at Wheaton College and was on the team that went undefeated in 1961. He was also an avid cyclist.
He is survived by his wife, Carol, and their two children, Kathryn (Weir) Kary and husband, Jason, and Steven and wife, Missy, along with their children Ellie, Audrey Kate, and Mason; sisters Joyce Mugg and Joan (Mark) Denholm, and brother Dale (Gayle) and their families. He was preceded in passing by his brother, Russell, brother-in-law, Jim Mugg, grandnephew, Benjamin Mugg, and son-in-law, Chuck Weir.
Written condolences may be left for the family at www.TitusFuneralHome.com.