Teresa loved to dance! She made Mary Vileno promise to dance at her wake, which she did, with my dad and Teresa's son, Karl.
Actually, Teresa's husband, Carl used to sing this song to her.
We remember Teresa (Nanny, Terri, Tess) for her love of people, perhaps a natural consequence of being the youngest of 9 children. For almost 90 years, Teresa practiced her extraordinary social charms, sometimes long after much of her audience had snuck home or off to bed. Even when the evening was winding down, Terri was ready for the "afterglow".
Therese Carmel Hammerdorfer, nee Tocci, was born in New Rochelle on March 25, 1917, the daughter of Annuniziata and Cosmo Tocci. The youngest of 9 kids, Teresa was both wise and beloved. She expected a lot of attention, even/especially later in life. Her beloved husband, Carl Hammerdorfer, was known to refer to her as Rose Kennedy, a reference to her expectation of his constant attention and love. She was known to tell him "Carl, don't be fresh."
A longtime resident of New Rochelle and Pelham, Therese graduated from the College of New Rochelle with a degree in geriatric social work. She was a serious older student, in her fifties, and very proud of having gone to college. The family was proud of her too, as this was not normal activity in the 70s. She went to work in homes for the elderly and took her profession very seriously. Even in her later working years, she felt much younger than some of her charges, some of whom may have been younger than her.
Teresa was a good Catholic, and a parishioner at Holy Name in New Rochelle. She was a member of the Catholic Daughters Court Fidelis #91, and at one time served as Grand Regent and was also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. However, she made it plain that she didn't automatically accept all of the catholic beliefs for their own sake. "I'm a liberal, honey, so I can't accept when the church is unkind," she would remark.
The "Last of a Generation" she was preceded in death by six sisters and two brothers an infant daughter Sharon in 1945, and her daughter Lorelei in 2005. Although she would sometimes express sadness at having lost so many, she loved to bring them all back to life with stories that she could recount long after you, her patient listener, were ready for bed.
Teresa passed away peacefully, holding the hands of her grand-daughters, Diana Carol Hammerdorfer and Lorelei Horan, April 2, 2006 at the age of 89 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. She was such a character. And characters live on in memory and in stories. All of the grandkids still love a good Nanny story, each with at least one of her favorite sayings mixed in. These are gifts that you can't tie with ribbons and bows.
With Carol and Stevie in Connecticut
With her boy, Karl
With her husband, Carl
With her grandson, Carl
50th Wedding Anniversary
Glamorous with daughter Lorelei and grand-daughters Patti and Bobbi-Joe
Dancing with Poppy at 50th
Happiest with lot of people around!
To say that Teresa was game for almost anything fun would be an understatement. Here, my sister, Diana, has ridden the Flexible Flyer down the hill outside their cabin with a clearly delighted Te' riding in the front seat. Our equally intrepid Matthew must have raced them down, and it looks like he was sure to beat them by a few inches.