Terry L. Mullins, Oak Ridge

Terry L. Mullins, age 70, of Oak Ridge, passed away Saturday, December 30, 2023, at Methodist Medical Center. He was born October 2, 1953, in Detroit, Michigan, to parents, Ben & Ruth Mullins. Terry was a long-time member of Robertsville Baptist Church, dating back to when his family moved to Oak Ridge in 1962. He graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1971 and began working at Oak Ridge Tool-Engineering while attending the University of Tennessee College of Engineering. Upon graduating with his degree in Mechanical Engineering, Terry continued working at Oak Ridge Tool-Engineering and took over as co-owner with his brother, Steve, in 1985. Terry took great pride continuing his father’s legacy at ORTE and keeping it a successful, family-run business.

From his early years in Detroit and throughout his life in Oak Ridge, Terry loved being surrounded by a large family and making life-long friends. He cherished his family trips, being close to his family & friends, and learning the value of hard work from his father. Of all things, he valued his relationships the most and strived to treat people as he wanted to be treated. Terry loved his community and was a long-time supporter and sponsor of the City of Oak Ridge, including many local businesses, Oak Ridge Schools, and the Boys and Girls Club of Oak Ridge.

Terry was always a dreamer and a thrill-seeker and had a true need for speed as a racer. He began boat racing in the 1980s, winning over 25 national events and setting the Hydroplane world speed record. His love for racing then led him to drive Alcohol Funny Cars, where he enjoyed his most success as a driver. He was a 6-time NHRA Division 2 Champion and was inducted into the IHRA Hall of Fame in 2005. For the last 5 years of his racing career, he raced Top Fuel dragsters alongside the best in the sport, routinely topping 300 MPH in the quarter mile.

Outside of his career, Terry enjoyed many hobbies, which included golfing, boating, water skiing, SCUBA diving, and his love for aviation. He was a pilot for more than 40 years, including single and multi-engine aircrafts, as well as helicopters. Terry participated in the non-profit organization Angel Flight. In his later years, he was happiest at Lake Tansi with his family and grandchildren, where he continued many of his life-long hobbies. Lake Tansi was a special place where Terry loved the community and the friendships he made.

Terry was proceeded in death by his father, Ben Mullins. Survivors include wife of 35 years, Deborah Mullins; son, Alex Mullins (Meghan); daughter, Melissa Jay (Terry); grandchildren, Oliver (age 6), Madeleine (age 4), Nellie (age 3) and Henry (age 2); mother, Ruth Mullins; brother, Steve Mullins (Ashley); sisters, Pam Mullins and Sherry Mullins Menefee; as well as several other relatives, friends, and loved ones.

The family will receive friends from 5-7 pm Thursday, January 4, 2024, at Robertsville Baptist Church. Funeral services will follow at 7 pm with Dr. Brian Scott, Senior Pastor, and Dr. Paul Dixon, former President and Chancellor of Cedarville University in Ohio, officiating. Family & friends will meet at 10 am Friday, January 5, 2024, at Oak Ridge Memorial Park for interment. Online condolences may be left at weatherfordmortuary.com.

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