Peter J. Terry

02/21/2012 2:15 PM |

Peter J. Terry died Feb. 18 at his home in Greenport. He was 87.

Peter J. Terry

He was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1924 with the surname Tischler. His family escaped Austria in 1940, following the Nazi annexation during World War II, and moved to London. He enlisted in the British Army at the age of 17 and was selected to join the British Commandos’ X Troop. This elite group of German-speaking Jewish expatriates formed in June 1940 at British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s request for a force to carry out raids against German-occupied Europe. All members had to adopt British names and falsify their personal histories. This secret and highly specialized troop spearheaded amphibious assaults, including the D-Day invasion of Normandy in June 1944.

Following World War II, Mr. Terry attended Oxford and Cambridge universities and graduated with a master’s degree in history. He married Elizabeth Browne, a model and movie star, in 1951 in London. He moved to New York City in 1963 and worked as an executive in the screen-printing industry. In 1972, he was one of the first businessmen to open up Asian markets to midsized businesses, creating a global market for companies that had been focused solely on national sales.

He loved to travel, visiting over 100 countries, according to family members, and was fluent in five languages. He retired to Bridgehampton in 1995 and moved to Greenport in 2010.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, of Greenport; his sons, James, of Chicago, Ill., and Stephen, of Northport; and three grandchildren.

Arrangements were private and handled by Horton-Mathie Funeral Home in Greenport.