Affable, polite, caring, and larger than life.
Those are the words that Dave Ellard said best described his late business partner, Terrance Elder.
Elder, 55 of Stoughton, died Friday afternoon after his 1987 Buick Regal crashed into a tree in the area of South Avenue in Attleboro. Chief Scott Lachance said the vehicle was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the scene of the crash. Elder was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ellard and Elder were the co-presidents of Triple Play Car Wash, with one location in Attleboro and another in North Attleborough.
“It was a shock,” Ellard said of his friend’s passing. “He was a wonderful person.”
Ellard said he first met Elder in 2006 at a car wash auction. The two expressed their shared passion to own and operate a business–namely in the car washing industry.
“Both of us were looking for a new adventure,” Ellard said. “We met at that auction and we joined forces.”
When Triple Play Car Wash was first opened in Attleboro in 2007, Elder and Ellard faced many challenges during their 15-year partnership. These ranged from the 2008 recession to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, Triple Play Car Wash opened a second location in North Attleborough.
Ellard said that despite turbulent times and a growing business, Elder was overjoyed to open the business and help customers and staff alike.
“I think it was a lifelong dream of his to own a business,” he said. “When we finally got through with the economy, finance, and construction, I don’t think I’ve seen a human being as proud of his accomplishments as him.”
When he was not helping customers, Elder would be a common figure at the Mass FOP Lodge 30 Wing Fling at the Attleboro Elks Lodge where he and Ellard would raise money for the local police union.
“We thought it would be a good charity to do for the community,” Ellard said. “We participated three to four times.”
Two types of memorials were held in Elders honor. One was virtual and the other was held in-person. The in-person memorial was held in Attleboro on Monday. A photo of Elder surrounded by flowers and candles was placed at the site of the accident.
The virtual memorial was held on the Triple Play Car Wash’s Facebook page, where employees and friends offered kind words and memories.
“He was such a great man,” wrote Suzanne Vierra. “We looked forward to seeing him every morning at Dunkin’ Donuts. We will miss him deeply.”