Anna Theresa Cornelis 86, passed away peacefully at her home in Southbury on January 2nd after a long illness.
'Terry’ as she liked to be called was the beloved wife of the late Francis Graham Cornelis. She was born February 29, 1932. Terry enjoyed being a leap year baby frequently joking she only aged once every 4 years which made her only ‘21’ at the time of her death.
Terry was the only child of the late Impi Syrja and Paul Westerberg. Her birth parents were immigrants from Finland and she found great joy exploring her native roots. Theresa was adopted by the late Anne and Walter Corrigan of New York and was also raised by her grandparents, the late Anna and William Mcgrath. Theresa was blessed to have reunited with her birth mother who became a very integral part of her and her children's life. Theresa was raised in New York City, Elmsford and White Plains, NY. She met her husband Francis and was married June 25, 1950 they resided in Briarcliff Manor before finally settling down in Brookfield, CT with their 5 children. During her career she worked as a switchboard operator for Readers Digest, was a psychiatric nurses aide at Fairfield Hills, provided administrative assistance for several physician offices, but she was first and foremost a mother, wife and homemaker. One of her greatest accomplishments was opening her own baby boutique in Brookfield Center.
Theresa was actively involved in the Catholic Church as a Eucharistic minister at St. Josephs In Brookfield and St Teresa’s of Woodbury and most recently was a parishioner at Sacred Heart in Southbury. She was a ‘friend of Bill W’ for 43 years and took great joy in sponsoring her many ‘pigeons’.
Theresa enjoyed traveling, knitting, rug hooking, dancing and playing bingo. She was very competitive and got a thrill out of challenging her children to various board games and corn hole. Her happy place was Newport, RI where she created many memories with her brother in law Robert and his wife Laura. Theresa’s greatest trip of her life was when she traveled to Finland to meet her many relatives.
Theresa was a loving and dedicated mother and grandmother who was happiest spending time with her children and grandchildren.
By joining her late husband of 60 years, she leaves behind her daughter Christine Staskiewicz and husband Tom of Newtown; son Graham of Ridgefield, son Tim and wife Jane of New Milford, daughter Lauri Bates and husband Dan of Southbury, daughter Katie Cornelis of Southbury; her grandchildren Trevor and Tristan Cornelis, Gabriella and Haley Bates and Casey Graham Cornelis,and two nieces. Visiting hours will be Monday January 7 from 5 to 7 pm at Munson Lovetere, 235 Main Street North, Southbury. A mass of christian burial will be at Sacred Heart Church, 910 Main Street South, Southbury at 10am on Tuesday January 8th. Burial will immediately follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Watertown. Donations to Terrys favorite charities, St Judes Children's Hospital in Memphis, TN or Graymoor Franciscan Friars of the Atonement in Garrison NY are appreciated.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Graymoor Franciscan Friars of the Atonement
40 Franciscan Way, Garrison NY 10524