GOSHEN — Tera Honderich, the woman behind the smile at Indiana Community Bank, will be missed.
Honderich, a 34-year-old who spent roughly half her life dealing with ovarian cancer, died early Thursday morning at home.
“We were really good friends. I was over there Wednesday for about an hour-and-a-half, just kind of holding her hand, sitting there next to her,” said Don Riegsecker, one of her co-workers. “A lot of people came in that day. She was ready to move on.”
She’d married Josh Honderich in 2004, and, Riegsecker said, “He’s an awesome guy. He’s been by her side the whole time. He’s a saint.”
Riegsecker remembered how she was always concerned for others. “It seemed like she always had a smile for me when I came in. She was always chipper, and that’s how she handled the customers,” he said.
Over the years she’d tried a variety of drugs and procedures. “When she wasn’t here, I think Thursdays she’d go to Indianapolis for her treatments, and when she wasn’t here, that smile wasn’t here,” Riegsecker said.
When Riegsecker had heart surgery recently, two days later Josh Honderich brought his wife to visit Riegsecker. “She was in my hospital room in her wheelchair and oxygen to see if I was OK,” Riegsecker said.
“She was the bravest person I know. She always kept the faith, keeping up. She was upbeat most of the time,” he said.
“I’m going to miss her, but she’s not suffering anymore. She’s fought for 17 years. I think she fought for as long as she could,” Riegsecker said.
Honderich is the second person to die from cancer at the small bank in 10 months. Doug Johnston died in December. Riegsecker said the bank had participated in a Relay for Life event to benefit Johsnton and Honderich.