Philip James Terni

Philip James Terni

MILLERTON — Philip James Terni, 77, a lifelong area resident, passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, March 5, 2021. 

Phil will be forever a part of Millerton. Seven days a week, he greeted countless Millerton natives and visitors from behind the counter of Terni’s Store. Always ready with a quick smile and a joke for a new face, Phil loved knowledge and took pleasure in speaking snippets of a customer’s mother tongue or in knowing something about their place of birth or heritage. 

He quietly served the community in ways large and small: whether winding the clock in the Millerton Moviehouse tower, sitting on the boards of the North East-Millerton Library and the First National Bank of America, or patiently waiting on the smallest of customers to make their penny candy selections. 

His many friends and acquaintances enlivened each of his days, and his memory is a blessing and a light to all.

Born March 20, 1943, in Sharon, he was the son of the late Henrietta (Watros) and Arthur D. Terni. Phil’s beloved grandmother, Assunta M. (Filiberti) Terni, played a loving and pivotal role in his upbringing. 

Phil attended and graduated from Webutuck High School in 1963 and received a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Boston University in 1967. 

On Oct. 14, 1972, at St. Patrick’s Church in Millerton he married Ellen Wessel. Mrs. Terni survives at home. 

Phil became the proprietor of Terni’s Store in 1971 and operated the family business until his retirement in 2020. He was also a life member of the Millerton Gun Club.

In addition to his wife of nearly 50 years, Phil is survived by his son, Lyman Terni and his wife, Kirin, of Lakeville and his daughter, Clare Terni of Charlottesville, Va.; two grandchildren, Juniper and Sora Terni of Lakeville; and several nieces and nephews and many close friends. 

He was predeceased by a brother, Paul Terni; a sister, Stephanie Erickson; and a dear friend, Harry H. Lawrence.

Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, March 9, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Terni’s Store, 42 Main St., Millerton. Funeral services will take place on Wednesday, March 10, at 1 p.m. at the Millerton Methodist Church, 6 Dutchess Ave., Millerton. Burial will follow at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Church Street, Millerton. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the North East–Millerton Library, 75 Main St., Millerton, NY 12546; or North East Historical Society, P.O. Box 727, Millerton, NY 12546. 

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Scott D. Conklin Funeral Home in Millerton. To send an online condolence to the family, go to

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