Terry Anthony Corder I, affectionately known as Top Cat, bid his final earthly “later” on September 8, 2023, at Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC. Born on August 30, 1949, in the bustling city of Washington, DC, his family moved to West Virginia when he was a child. After creating a family of his own, Terry moved his family to Wilmington, NC in 1985.
He was a true adventurer and family man until the very end. Terry leaves behind a legacy that is just as vibrant as his spirit, living a life filled with adventure, family, and a touch of mischief. Quick witted and with a smile that lit up the room, he was always ready with a joke and brought laughter to every family gathering.
Terry was a man of many talents, but his true passion lied in his work as a painter at Corder’s Painting. Whether it was adding color to walls or transforming spaces into works of art, Terry’s skilled hand left a lasting impression.
Terry reveled in the joys of life. Traveling cross country in his trusty RV, he discovered new treasures around every corner, capturing scenic landscapes in his heart. Surf fishing was another favorite pastime, allowing him to cast his worries away while waiting for the perfect catch. His other passions included hunting, playing on the dart league, collecting antiques, watching NASCAR and westerns, wearing clothes as bright as his personality, and, of course, watching football; always rooting for West Virginia University’s Mountaineers or the Pittsburgh Steelers. Above all, spending time with his family gave him the utmost happiness.
Family was everything to Terry, and he cherished every moment spent playing with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He could often be found doting on them, sharing stories, and passing on his wisdom. Whether it was riding four-wheelers and golf carts around his property, gardening, or taking care of his ducks and chickens – Terry had a knack for finding joy in the simple pleasures of life and enjoyed sharing those moments with his family. His grandchildren enjoyed being given the keys to a golf cart and free rein to roam his property, and he hoped they know that they held the keys to his heart.
Terry is preceded in death by his mother Alverta Pearl Stanton, stepfather Raymond Earl Wilson, and his brothers James, Roger, and Robert Corder. He leaves behind a legacy of love and laughter, survived by his daughters Crystal Ashley (Forrest), Carrie Pate (Stuart), Czarina Corder; son Terry Corder II; brother Larry (Karen) Corder, and sister Gloria (John) Workman; granddaughters Ashley Pallang (Chris), Morgan Pate, Elizabeth Treanor, Hanna Lavezzo and Malena Lavezzo; grandsons Taylor Treanor and Jacob Lavezzo; great granddaughters Victoria and Lilliana, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Though Terry may have left this world, his spirit will live on in the hearts of those who knew him. An intimate and private family ceremony to celebrate Terry’s life will be held at a later date, allowing loved ones to gather and find comfort in each other’s presence. In his memory, let us remember to embrace our loved ones, seek adventure, and always approach life with a touch of mischief, just like Top Cat himself.
May his gentle soul find eternal peace, and may we find comfort in the beautiful memories he left behind. As Terry would say, it is never goodbye, it is simply “later” until we meet again.
Please leave memories and condolences for Terry’s family by signing the Tribute Wall below.
Wilmington Funeral * Cremation – Wilmington Chapel – 1535 S. 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099