Family, friend, co-worker—to all, Terry is remembered for many admirable character traits. Perhaps the greatest of these was his ability to endure the difficulties of being disabled with extraordinary inner strength and courage, every single day for 40 years of his life.
Yet, in spite of these challenges, Terry worked tirelessly and without bravado, to help ease the lives of the disabled through his involvement as President of Abilities in Motion.
Remembering Terry with a legacy created in his name, we seek to continue his commitment to helping others who are disabled and in need, and honoring a life so well lived.
Terry Graul was born on October 28, 1955, in Reading, PA, the 2nd oldest of 6 children. Throughout his school-age years, he was very athletic and while he enjoyed participating in all sports, he excelled at football. After lettering all 3 years playing football at Reading Senior High School, he made the decision to attend Shippensburg State College.
Terry’s life was forever changed in 1976 when, while working at an industrial plant during his college break, a forklift fell on him, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Never one to feel sorry for himself, Terry worked relentlessly on his physical rehab and within 2 years, relocated to attend the University of Houston. Terry eventually joined the Univ. of Houston Wheelchair Basketball team and rekindled his love for athletics!
Upon returning to his hometown of Reading in 1986, Terry joined his father’s insurance business, American Insurance Management, eventually becoming its President.
Feeling the need to assist those with disabilities throughout the greater Berks County area, Terry stepped into a large advocacy role by becoming the President, and eventually Chairman of the Board, of the Berks County Center for Independent Living. He also became the President of Abilities in Motion, a position he held for 20 years until his passing in 2017.
Terry’s Legacy was formed to honor the many efforts of Terry Graul to assist the disable community. As his long-term advocacy taught him, Terry knew the needs of those with disabilities were changing and required forward-thinking.