Joseph L.S. Terrell, Outer Banks mystery novelist, dies at 92

Joseph L.S. Terrell, of Point Harbor, North Carolina, passed away peacefully on October 18, 2021. He was 92.

He was born in Burlington, North Carolina, on October 13, 1929, to Marvin Clayton Terrell and Imogen McCullers Scott and raised in Raleigh. He was a proud graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a degree in English.

He was one of five children in a loving family. Joe was predeceased by his four siblings: Jane, Gretchen (“Peggy”), Marvin (“Laddie”), and Frederick William (“Billy”). Joseph was also predeceased by his first wife, Frances Fuquay Terrell, and his second wife, Faye Trolson Terrell. As Joe once put it: “I’m the last man standing!”

Joseph was, at heart, a writer. and was inspired at an early age to write after reading Emerson’s essay on “Self Reliance.” For him, “that was the only thing I’ve ever really wanted to do since that day.”

And write he did: 15 books. His most prominent were the Harrison Weaver mystery novels set on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

He is survived by four children, Michael Terrell of Goode, Virginia (Jenny); Emily Terrell of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania; Jennifer Terrell Faircloth of Point Harbor, North Carolina; Christopher Terrell of Atlanta, Georgia (Laura); 10 grandchildren; and 11 great grandchildren.

A memorial service celebrating Joe’s life is being planned by the family.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made directly to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

Twiford Funeral Homes, Outer Banks is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences and memories may be shared at