THERESA "Terry" DE SANTOS

Obituary
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Theresa De Santos, known as "Terry" to family and friends, was raised in Fresno, part of a loving, blended family. As a school girl, she was always head of her class, earning a scholarship to nursing school directly out of Roosevelt High School. She experienced the required rotation in X-ray and was instantly fascinated and smitten by the combination of science and helping profession. Terry started her career as a Radiologic Technologist as a young woman, whose work became highly sought after. When she moved to Hanford, CA, without a car and new to the area, Dr. Kerr actually sent for her, to assist with an emergency, before she was even officially on staff. She was mildly alarmed that a police car was sent to pick her up, but as in any emergency, Terry responded to the call without hesitation. Throughout the years, it was not uncommon for various physicians to call the family home directly to see if she might be interested in working for them. She was excited by what was then the new and dynamic field of radiologic technology. Throughout her career, she pursued every opportunity to hone her skills and increase knowledge. She was one of the first in the valley to train in MRI and CT, utrasonography, and mammography. Even from the start, her heart was in helping the disenfranchised, participating quietly and without fanfare in the successful campaign to eradicate TB. She used a portable X-ray machine right in the very fields to help migrant farmworkers. A life time later, when most are preparing for retirement, Terry started her own business, a mobile mammography service, traveling to rural sites throughout the valley to help underserved women. At 63, she was awarded Woman of the Year by the Soroptomist International organization, nominated for Women Helping Women. She was selected to represent the Soroptomists at the World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. She was invited to become President of the Soroptomist's local chapter. Terry was a modern woman, before the phrase was coined, balancing motherhood and career. She was a lifelong partner to her husband. Together they raised five children, encouraging and supporting their educations. She was very proud of their individual and professional accomplishments. Terry actively supported her church, involved in numerous fundraising activities and organizations, the Holy Family Guild, Catholic Daughters, and St. Vincent de Paul Society. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Margaret Rose. She is survived by her husband Rudy; son Hon. Thomas De Santos of Hanford, CA; daughter, Terese Columbus and husband Bill of Anchorage, Ak; daughter, Mary Heiler and husband Tim of Suffolk, VA; daughter, Sheryl De Santos of Fresno, CA; and all of her grandchildren, Bill, Matthew, John, David, and Julie. A Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be held at the Whitehurst McNamara Funeral Home on Thursday, May 17, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church on Friday, May 18, 2018, at 11:30 a.m, with a burial and reception to follow.
Published in the Fresno Bee on May 17, 2018