UPDATE: Funeral Wednesday for beloved SW La. weatherman

Ben Terry, beloved morning and midday KPLC-TV meteorologist died Sunday after a years-long battle with cancer. He was 40. Visitation has been set. The funeral service will be livestreamed.

When Laura Heller, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Communications Office, was asked for a timeline of Ben Terry’s treatment after receiving results from his colonoscopy in 2020, she suggested a better way to remember his life, to pay respect, to honor his legacy.

“Get the colonoscopy, get the breast exam. That’s what Ben would want, to continue to touch lives and save lives long after he’s been gone,” she said.

Ben Terry had the best interest of others at heart, people he would never meet in person, and he was grateful for their trust, according to Heller.

She said his zealous forecasting during Hurricane Laura was because he “wanted to get the word out to everybody, so nobody would get hurt.”

She called him a “George Bailey,” wonderful life kind-of-person, the richest man in town because of his circle of family and friends.

Britney Glaser met Ben Terry in 2012 when she returned as co-anchor on 7News Sunrise. (She is now with Calcasieu Parish School Board.)

“It didn’t take long to move from colleagues to friends — and then to family,” Glaser said. “One of the biggest challenges working in the news industry is the demanding hours and working many holidays. John Bridges and I always made sure to have an open seat at our families’ tables. Our families embraced Ben like he was one of us, and he embraced them right back.”

Glaser said Terry had an “unbeatable work ethic” and “tireless commitment to the community.”

When asked why so many in the community expressed their love and admiration of Ben, even before he made his battle with cancer public, she said it was because “he was unapologetically and authentically Ben. He shot you straight but with compassion. He had his own style of delivering the forecast, and he was fiercely loyal to this community that became fiercely loyal back to him.”

He was somebody who could be trusted, she said, no frills, no agenda, just Ben.

She described his faith in God as “unwavering.”

“He faced many trials, but he never faced them alone,” she said. “He faced them with hope that God would use his story for His glory.

“While we all would have loved to have more time with Ben on this earth, we trust – and so did Ben – that God is sovereign,” she said.

About the many prayers offered up for Terry’s healing, she believes those prayers were answered. So does the Rev. Johnny Dammon, First Baptist Church.

He prayed with Terry many times for “God to raise him up from his sickbed,” Dammon said. Each prayer ended with the acknowledgment of God’s sovereign will.

“Even when people are healed, and have more time here on earth, at some point they will have to die. Ben was healed in the way God saw fit to heal him. It was the ultimate healing, no more sickness, no more sorrow,” Dammon said.

“If prayers alone could have saved him, he would be alive right now,” Heller said. “I will miss him for the rest of my life.”

Local mayors expressed their condolences Sunday.

Hal McMillin said he quickly bonded with Terry, and claims that Terry might have saved his life. McMillin and his wife Sue decided to evacuate before Hurricane Laura made landfall only after hearing the urgency in Terry’s plea to do so.

Mayor Mike Danahay called Terry, “as fine a gentleman you could have ever met, professionally in a class of his own.”

Mayor Nic Hunter said Ben Terry will always be remembered. He made this city a better place.”

Funeral arrangements were announced Monday. A visitation will be held at Johnson Funeral Home  from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. On Wednesday,  visitation will begin at noon at University Baptist Church and a funeral service will begin at 1:30 p.m. Because capacity is limited, KPLC-TV will livestream the service on its website, Roku and Facebook page.

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