Theresa Lynn Pinardi Bakas of Riverview, and formerly of Bradenton, FL, died Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at Sun City Center Hospice House, Ruskin, FL, after a brief illness. She was 56. She was born in Gainesville, FL, March 27, 1958. She is survived by her loving and devoted husband John W. Bakas, Jr. of Riverview; her parents, Norman & Bobby Jo Pinardi of Bradenton, FL; her brother Robert (Connie) and nieces Holli Pinardi (14) and Chaney Pinardi (11); mother-in-law Nona L. Bakas; stepdaughters Kelly (Matt) Williams and Jenny (Chris) Celaya; grandchildren: Jacob (6) & Nathan (4) Williams, and Marissa (4), Zachary (4) and Andrew (3) Celaya, and many relatives from both families. She especially loved the time she spent with her nieces and grandchildren.
She was a 1976 graduate of Manatee High School in Bradenton, where she was a majorette for four years, and was active in Drama, Journalism and other activities. She attended the University of Florida before graduating from the University of South Florida in 1982 with a B.A. degree in Communications with a focus on Public Relations & Journalism. Following graduation, she worked for a law firm in Tampa for many years, where she met her future husband, John. They were married on August 14, 1999 in Tampa. She continued working as a legal assistant and office manager with John in his practice for many years. She also became a li-censed real estate broker in 2005. Along with her warmth and joyful spirit, she treasured a secluded life of contemplation. On Oc-tober 22, 2006 a chance visit to Saint Leo Abbey completed her spiritual journey. She became a Benedictine oblate of Saint Leo Abbey in 2008. She worked to make the abbey better known and to assist Abbot Isaac, O.S.B., with the oblate program. In 2010 she became oblate coordinator along with John. At Easter 2011 she was welcomed into the Catholic Church. She followed the liturgical calendar with special joyful devotions in Advent, Lent, and Pentecost. She was at complete peace as a traditional Benedictine contemplative. She was devoted to Saint Teresa of Avila. Theresa will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her. The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 1, at the St. Leo Abbey Church on S.R. 52, in Saint Leo, FL, followed by interment at the Abbey Cemetery. Hodges Family Funeral Home in Zephyrhills is in charge of the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Saint Leo Abbey, 33601 State Road 52, Saint Leo, FL 33574, or to the
Hodges Family Funeral Home - Zephyrhills
36327 State Road 54 Zephyrhills, FL 33541
Published in The Bradenton Herald on May 28, 2014