Waltersdorf Reflects on Food Service Career; Retirement Reception to Be Held May 6
May 3, 2022
After 37 years as the director of Dining Services at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary, and 42 years in the food service industry, Terry Waltersdorf’s remarkable career is coming to a close. In a full-time capacity, anyway.
“The idea of stopping cold-turkey didn’t appeal to me,” said Terry. “I think I’d miss the kids too much.”
The “kids” Terry is referring to are the thousands of students he has had the opportunity to both serve and mentor over the course of 42 years of preparing meals for college students.
“I don’t look at my work as a job or my position as one of importance,” said Terry in an acceptance speech for the Theodore W. Minah Distinguished Service Award in 2019, one of the highest honors in the food service industry. “I look at my work as an investment in the lives of students.”
Terry handed over the reins to his successor, Tyler Hausner, just after spring break this past March. He says the transition has been as smooth as it can possibly be. Terry plans to work on a part-time basis in Dining Services for at least the next year, possibly two. He says he’ll miss having his hands in the day-to-day operations of Dining Services the most in his shift to a part-time role. His goal is to make Tyler as successful as possible in his new position.
It has been an emotional past few weeks for Waltersdorf as he concludes his full-time duties and looks ahead to Commencement ceremonies this week, when FBBC&TS will officially recognize and honor his career at Faith.
“I’ve been trying to hold my emotions in check,” said Terry. “It’s going to be difficult through Commencement. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to do over the years. We’ve gone through a lot of changes—in my life, in the school, in the facility, and in my family.”
As he reflects on his career, Terry is especially thankful that he made it through 42 years in the industry without a single outbreak of foodborne illness. He considers his legacy as one of providing good food at a reasonable price and mentoring “a bunch of kids that are in ministry somewhere.”
Terry is looking forward to more time off during the summer (and actually using all of his vacation), but he hasn’t considered any new hobbies yet.
“I’m not really a hobby person,” said Terry. “This has been my life 24/7.”
Terry and his wife, Colleen, have been married for 43 years. They have two children and five grandchildren. He says the transition to being home more often will be a new experience for him and Colleen, but a welcome one.
Faith will officially recognize Terry’s 37 years of service on Friday, May 6, 2022, during Awards Chapel at 8 a.m. The school co-dedicated the 2021-22 Yearbook to Terry on the last day of classes during the final chapel service of the school year. Following Commencement ceremonies on Friday, a reception will be held for Terry in the Benson Dining Hall. All are invited. The reception is scheduled to last until approximately 2 p.m.