Teresa Mary (Fazekas) Rhoades, 87, of Parks Township, PA, passed away January 24, 2020 at UPMC Presbyterian with her daughter, Mary Jo, by her side.
She was born to the late Ben J. and Johanna “Helen” (Pasterick) Fazekas on March 3, 1932 in Parks Township. Teresa was a 1950 graduate of Vandergrift High School where she was a member of the Photo Club as well as President of the Library Club.
Teresa met her true love, the late Stephen R. Rhoades, a native of Columbus, Ohio while working as a phone operator for GTE in Vandergrift. Stephen, a marine stationed at Quantico, VA, placing a call home, met Teresa during this call. Stephen ultimately traveled to Vandergrift to meet Teresa where they fell in love and after a short courtship the couple was married on November 4, 1961 in Winchester, VA. The couple moved to Columbus, Ohio for a short time and later to Freeport, PA where they lived for eight years, until Stephen’s job with the Federal Government would take their family to Chicago, Illinois, Durham, North Carolina, Lompoc, California, Petersburg, VA, and various cities in Pennsylvania until Stephen’s impending retirement would bring them back to Parks Township.
Teresa is survived by her three loving daughters and her “son”, Mary Jo and Jeffrey Knabb of Parks Township, Susan Rhoades and Lisa Rhoades also of Parks Township, who resided with their mother. She is also survived by a sister, Joan (William J., deceased) Slanders, of Aspinwall, PA; nieces, nephews, many cousins and friends. Teresa was predeceased by her loving husband, who passed away on November 4, 2002, their 41st wedding anniversary. Teresa’s eldest sister, Patricia A. George, predeceased her in 2005.
Teresa, known as the original photo bomber and prankster by her daughter, Mary Jo, loved to laugh, and enjoyed taking photos of her family and friends of whom she had many. Teresa greeted all with her beautiful smile and shy hello. She cherished every card and letter she received as well as her many collectables through the years, especially her favorite frogs. She enjoyed reading, shopping, traveling, listening to the Irish singer, Danny O’Donnell and the occasional casino trip. Teresa cherished all her relationships with family and friends and her daughter’s three dogs that she referred to as her “Grandchildren.”
A devout Catholic, Teresa believed in the power of prayer and that life’s challenges were God’s will. This belief held true throughout her life as she cared for her family, but mostly how she cared for her two, blind and intellectually disabled daughters, Susan and Lisa, and her husband who passed in their home. Teresa Mary, named for Saint Therese of Lisieux and the Blessed Mother, lived her life in the words of Saint Therese, “Love proves itself through deeds.”
The family wishes to extend their appreciation to the physicians and staff of UPMC Saint Margaret 4A and UPMC Presbyterian 3F, for their compassionate care.
Friends will be welcomed by her family on Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Clawson Funeral & Cremation Center, 170 Main St., Leechburg (724-842-1051). Parting Prayers of Transfer will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30, at the funeral home, followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. at Saint Gertrude R.C. Church, 303 Franklin St., Vandergrift , with Rev. James H. Loew, O.S.B. as celebrant. Entombment following at the church cemetery mausoleum.
Memorial contributions in Teresa’s name may be made to Saint Gertrude Church or charity of one’s choice.
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