Voice of local sports is quiet

If you are a fan of local sports and didn’t know Terry Sisisky, you at least knew his voice. But on Thursday, July 22, 2010, Terry’s voice fell silent. Terry Robin Sisisky died  after a brief illness at home with his family and loved ones around him.

Terry, 58, affectionately known as the “T-man,” spent 35 years broadcasting high school, collegiate and tournament sports in Richmond, Petersburg, Hopewell and Colonial Heights. He was the voice of VCU Men’s Basketball for 27 years, VCU Women’s Basketball and VCU Baseball games for 15 years, as well as Petersburg High School Basketball. For 16 years, Terry broadcasted the Boys Invitational Baseball (BIB) Tournament for the Colonial Heights Optimists on local radio station WGGM. Terry also wrote a number of articles for the Village News.

Terry was inducted into the Richmond Broadcasters Hall of Fame in May 2006. He received the Frank Soden Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the VCU Athletics Hall of Fame, as well as the VCU Baseball Hall of Fame.

Cavell Phillips, general manager of WGGM, located in Chester, said fans from all over the country were calling the station on Friday.

“You expected Terry to be around forever,” Phillips said. “You’ll never meet another man like him.”

This writer knew Terry as a gregarious, self deprecating and lovable character, and his entrance into a room was felt by everyone there.

Terry lived with his wife, Sandy Greear Sisisky, and daughter, Samantha, in the Stony Glen neighborhood for many years before moving to Richmond’s west end in 2007, but Terry remained a regular in Chester. His roots ran deep locally. His father was U.S. Rep. Norman Sisisky, who represented the Fourth Congressional District before Randy Forbes took office.

He is survived by his wife of 21 years and daughter, as well as his three brothers and their wives: Mark and Susan, of Richmond; Richard and Kimberly, of Jacksonville, Fla.; and Stuart and Lorraine, of Miami Beach, Fla. He has left behind many nieces and nephews, and an especially devoted sister-in-law, Amy Greear Rudd. Terry graduated from Petersburg High School and Jacksonville University.

Terry’s love of sports shined through every broadcast. In 2006, upon being inducted into the Richmond Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Terry told the Village News, “It doesn’t matter how many people are listening, I prepare as hard for one as I do another.”

According to Phillips, future Petersburg High School games and BIB Tournament broadcasts will be handled by other local broadcasters, but it will never be the same.

“We have a couple people to fill the space, but no one will ever take his place,” Phillips said.

Funeral services were held on Sunday, July 25, 2010, at Bliley’s-Central Chapel, in Richmond. Interment will be in Richmond Beth El Cemetery. Contributions in Terry’s memory may be made to Congregation Brith Achim, P.O. Box 1507, Petersburg, VA 23805 or The Terry R. Sisisky Fund for Sports and Communications, c/o The Community Foundation, 7501 Boulders View Drive, Suite 110, Richmond, VA 23225.

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