NAPLES, Fla. - Richard Terrell, a former vice chairman of General Motors, died Monday, Dec. 4, of a brain tumor after a nine-month illness. He was 81.
Terrell started his 42-year career with GM in 1937 as a messenger for the photographic staff.
'He was an innovator and took some of the hardest jobs,' said former GM Chairman Thomas Murphy when Terrell retired in 1979. 'Significant new programs in purchasing, personnel, product planning, consumer relations (and) industrial relations were launched under his leadership.'
Terrell also was well known for helping revitalize Detroit's New Center area, the former home of GM's headquarters, and for helping prepare young people for careers.
Terrell was born and raised on a farm in Dayton, Ohio. He served two stints in the military, including one as a lieutenant in the Navy during World War II.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Marian, and by sons John and Timothy.