Theressa Jewel Cain Matzke, 86
The life that began as a blonde, long-legged, fun-loving tomboy growing up in Fort Pierce, Fla., ended Sunday morning in Winter Park, Fla., as this gentle "Southern Lady" slipped into eternity.
Her three children, Gretchen, Lise' and Tom and daughter-in-law Vine were fast at her bedside. After a long illness, she cast aside this physical body and was at long last free…
Growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, she developed a passion for nature and the great outdoors. This legacy has been passed down to her children and each of her grandchildren.
Tess, as she was fondly called, began a battle with physical challenges as early as her college years at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla. It was also there at FSU that she met the dashing young pilot, Thomas Buchanan Matzke that would eventually be her lifelong husband.
As a young mother of three in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., she stayed busy with her sorority, Beta Sigma Phi. Gregarious and quick-witted she loved cooking and entertaining. She also volunteered for many, including the Sunshine Home with mentally and physically challenged children during her life in Florida.
Tom and Tess traveled throughout the Southeast, including a cross continental trip from one coast to the other and then back across Canada. Their retirement years found them living on their "farm" in Galax, basking in the spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the deck of their home, the very homestead of Tess's childhood.
Theressa is succeeded by her three children, Gretchen Amelia Konas of Atlanta, Ga., Lise' Matzke Ruby, and Thomas Charles Matzke. Her grandchildren are Justin Buchanan Ruby of El Paso, Texas, Amanda Noel Chapman of Hampton, Ga., Joshua Thomas Matzke of Gainesville, Fla., and Courtney Marie Matzke of Seattle, Wash.
A memorial service will be held at her home church, First United Methodist Church in Galax, Va. After a private ceremony with immediate family, Theressa will join her husband and relatives (including her mother Cleo, sister Wanda, and brother George) at the Osborne family cemetery on the hill located just above and behind her Galax Osborne homestead.
Her wishes for you all are …" Via con Dios…"
Baldwin Fairchild Funeral Homes Oviedo Chapel, Oviedo, Fla., is serving the family.