Welcome to KORU Cremation | Burial | Ceremony

Therese Marie Pante 

(nee Reilly)

October 5, 1940 – August 14, 2022 

With sadness and thanksgiving for the end of a long journey with Alzheimer’s disease, we announce the death of Therese, beloved wife, mom, nana, sister, aunt, neighbour and dear friend to many.

Therese is survived by her husband Mario, children Michelle (Eric and Tecla) and Mario (Jodi, Mia and Luca), twin sister Anne, and many extended family members and friends.

Funeral mass on August 30, 11:00 am, St. Stephen’s Catholic Parish, 1360 E. 24th St in North Vancouver.

There will be a Viewing in the Church from 10:30 am onwards to support you with your grieving and healing.

Directly following the mass, everyone is invited to join our family in remembering Therese Pante at a luncheon reception where we will share a short slideshow of images and music from the story of her life.

The reception venue is Lynn Valley United Church, 3201 Mountain Highway, which is a 3 minute drive north from St. Stephen’s Church.

We are grateful for support received from Berkley  Care Centre, Willow End of Life Education & Planning, KORU Cremation | Burial | Ceremony and St. Stephen’s Parish.

EULOGY

 

Thank you for being here to honour this milestone in the life of Therese Marie Pante. 

Therese, also known as Mom, Nana, Teresa, Tess, and Thez, took her last breath on Sunday, August 14th in North Vancouver at Berkley Care Centre. This was her home of the past 9 years and where she shared a room with our dad, Mario. She died at age 81 from the end stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  

Mom and her twin sister Anne, were born in Blackrock, County Dublin, Ireland on October 5, 1940. Mom was 1 of 6 kids in a devoutly Catholic family. Though she was bright and a fast learner, her school days were not easy. She was taught predominantly in Irish, a language she barely knew and she was independent-minded and outspoken in a time when these characteristics were not nurtured in children.  

She grew up during World War II rationing and often told the story of the day her mom excitedly proclaimed that the twins were so lucky, they were going to get a ‘banana.’ Mom described herself as disgusted when the banana was presented. She, always the big dreamer, was convinced her mom had promised them a piana. 

Mom completed her schooling in grade 10 and before she married and had children, she worked as a clerk in a butcher shop, a dental practice and a realtor’s office. When we were young adults Mom returned to the paid work world with a part-time job at Zellers. She was an excellent provider of customer service. 

When we think about mom’s curiosities and aptitudes, we can imagine her having a career as an operating room nurse, a geriatric specialist or an engineer. In our family, mom was the one who used her wisdom and common sense to research ailments, navigate the healthcare system, program the VCR, fix the toaster, manage the finances and keep the books for our dad’s small business. She also coordinated and drove us to our plethora of extracurricular activities … all in the days before Google and GPS. 

She told us that as a young woman she couldn’t imagine a future in Ireland and that she always knew she would marry a man named Mario. In 1965 Mom immigrated to Vancouver, following her oldest brother, Bob. She soon met our dad at a CP Express and Transport company dance and within a few short years they married, bought their family home just down the street from this church and had their two children. 

With most of our relatives in Ireland and Italy, Mom and Dad created community and connection with several families and neighbours with whom we shared many, many, many festive occasions. Mom created for herself and for us, the village she left behind in Blackrock.

Mom was resilient, kind, fiery, frugal and devoted to those she loved. She was fiercely, though quietly, proud of the dreams she fulfilled for herself. She had a beautiful home, a healthy family, and she succeeded in creating for her two children endless opportunities to learn, explore and live with the privileges she was not afforded.

Her journey with Alzheimers began more than 15 years ago. It has been devastating to witness her illness and to juggle her care with that of our own families as well as supporting our Dad’s cognitive decline in recent years. It is heartbreaking to accept that Mom was robbed of her dream to be a doting Nana to her three grandchildren, Mia, Luca and Tecla.

Alongside the sorrow we’ve lived with over the years, there have also been gifts. We have learned about the beauty and importance of moments of joy and moments of connection. We have learned to accept what is so. We have learned who and what matters most. 

Her death, dying and funeral planning has been a village-making event. Many hands and hearts have supported mom, Mario, me and our families, with Mom’s transition from her life on earth to the peace she now has. Thank you. 

Mario and I appreciate all your heartfelt condolences. The past several years have been hard. We want you to know that this final goodbye to Mom is a release. She is finally at peace. She is free.  It is with sorrow and thanksgiving that we say goodbye.

SLIDESHOW

Click here to enjoy watching a brief slideshow with an overview of Mom’s life story in pictures and song.

DONATIONS
Over the many years Mom lived with Alzheimer’s Disease, our family as a whole received remarkable support from the Alzheimer’s Society of BC and the Adult Day Program at the Margaret Fulton Centre in North Vancouver. Please consider making a donation in honour of Mom so that other families can continue to receive these essential services.
To direct a donation to the Margaret Fulton Care Centre, please use this link provided by the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation.
To make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society of BC, please click here. 

OUR PRAYER

Lord, we thank you for the life of Therese Marie Pante.
Today, we mourn the end of her life on earth and we honour her legacy of love and connection.
We are full of gratitude for her presence and the light she shone into so many hearts.
We have faith she will continue to guide us.
She is released to the Great Mercy.
May she rest in eternal peace.
YOUR MESSAGES
Please consider leaving a message or remembrance of Mom in the space below. It’s very meaningful for us to read your messages. Feel free to write anything that you are touched, moved or inspired to share: memories (funny is welcome!), lessons learned, impact, your experience of her funeral if you were there etc. Your messages support our grieving and healing process. Thanks so much.

 

Condolence Messages

  1. Wynn B Capricci

    24 September 2022 1 week ago

    We wanted you to know the profound effect your mother’s funeral had on us both.
    We were very honoured to be included in the Celebration of life. It was our privilege to take a turn carrying Tess. It was so touching, that inclusion of all of us, to share in her last visit to church.
    I will always remember Tess with a smile and treasure the few moments l had with her before her death. I thank you so very much for that. We had so many parties over the years and we miss not having her and Mario to attend. We would still like to see Mario if and when he is expecting visitors.
    Your clarity on the instructions made it easy for us, and showed us the strength that we always saw in Tess. And your words at the church were beautifully chosen and a lovely tribute to your Mom.
    Mario (JR) was so kind in his welcome and we appreciated that. It is difficult to grieve in public, but we know the value of having a celebration and grieving together. It is about gathering our loved ones close and sharing our feelings and our laughs and our sorrows.
    Love and thank you for including us in such a beautiful, moving, and spiritual sendoff.

  2. Amparo

    20 September 2022 2 weeks ago

    to Michelle, Eric and Tecla
    Although I never met your mom. I know through Michelle’s stories that she will be dearly missed. I know it has been hard for her and the family these past years, but I have faith that she is with our Lord and in a better place now.
    We are praying for her and your family.
    Lots of love
    Amparo, Philip, Vivian and Ethan

  3. Sandra Zwyer

    18 September 2022 2 weeks ago

    Dear Mario Snr, Michelle and Mario

    I am so sad to hear about the passing away of your beloved wife, mom and grandmom. I hope that the grief of Therese’s loss will be tempered by acknowledging that her death was a relief for her. May she rest in peace. I will light a candle for Therese.

    She was such a lovely person and she was the best host mother I could have had. She made me feel like family and I felt at home by Therese and Mario. I loved her stories and the irish life wisdoms and proverbs. It was always a pleasure to chat with her.

    I will keep her in my memories and my heart forever.

    My thoughts are with you in that sad and difficult time.

    With heartfelt condolence and lots of love,
    Sandra

  4. Sydney Foran

    17 September 2022 2 weeks ago

    Sending you wishes for peace and strength as you grieve the loss of your dear Mom, Michelle. Her smile and story tell me that she was a very bright light who gave of herself just as you do.
    May she rest in peace.
    Take good care,
    Sydney

  5. Lee-Anne Ragan

    16 September 2022 2 weeks ago

    Thinking of you and your family Mich and celebrating alongside you the wonderful person your mom was. I’ll always remember her kindness, genuine smile that lit up a room, and her curiosity. I always felt seen and accepted in her presence. What a gift. Much luv.

  6. Raymond Leung

    15 September 2022 3 weeks ago

    Dear Michelle, my deepest condolence to your loss of your beloved mom, Mrs. Theresa Pante. I read your mom’s eulogy. She is a great and loving person that words can not describe all her love and care to the family. The earthy years is the first step before going to the eternity with our Lord, the resurrected Jesus Christ. She is no pain and enjoying the beautiful place in heaven now. Her first step will leave the beautiful memories to you, and it shall continue one day. My prayer is with you and your family. Rest in peace Mrs. Theresa Pante.

  7. Kathleen A. Turcic

    14 September 2022 3 weeks ago

    Thinking of you Michelle and your family at this time. May your memories carry you forward and may you treasure the serenity that comes with holding your dear Mom close and dear over all the years to come…. Love, Kathy

  8. Tracy Chalmers

    13 September 2022 3 weeks ago

    Sending love and connection to all as you remember Therese and reflect on the first year since her death.

  9. Deidre Smith

    13 September 2022 3 weeks ago

    I spent many days and nights at the Pante home in my teen years. Therese always made me feel warm, welcome and included. Her gift was making people feel special and listened to. I can remember back in University when most of us did not have computers, Michelle’s family did. She offered use of it to me, but I had to work around the other’s schedules. I showed up late and worked into the night typing out my paper. Everyone was fast asleep – but it was Therese who tip toed down the stairs and brought me a tea and a snack knowing that I was under the gun! My deepest condolences to you, Michelle, Mario and your families. x0 Deidre

  10. Helen Williams

    13 September 2022 3 weeks ago

    “As people of faith and hope we are comforted by the sure knowledge that those of us who have gone from us to God are no further from us than God, and God is very near.” Edith Elliott

  11. Catriona Hearn

    13 September 2022 3 weeks ago

    Sorry to hear of your mom’s death, Michelle.

    Although I never met Theresa in person, I feel like I knew her through you — your energy, strength, positivity, and passion for the things you believe. These qualities and values resonate through what I’ve now learned about Theresa by reading your lovely eulogy.

    I hope that the grief of Theresa’s death will be tempered by acknowledging the love, care, and compassion that you and your family showed her, especially over her very challenging later years. Her legacy lives in the culture you create each day.

    Kindest thoughts,
    Catriona

  12. Helen O’Donoghue

    13 September 2022 3 weeks ago

    Dear Michelle, thank you for letting me know about your mother’s passing. My deepest condolences to you, your dad, brother and the grandchildren. May she rest in peace. Sincerely Helen (O’Donoghue)

  13. Janet Von Siemens

    13 September 2022 3 weeks ago

    I was blessed to have Tess and Mario as godparents. Our families were close since before they were married but our close connection has lasted to this day. I will always carry cherished memories of parties at the family home in North Vancouver. We always looked forward to the annual Boxing Day open house. House full of food, drink and most of all laughter. Tess had a wicked sense of humour and could make you laugh til you cried. Her stories are legendary. I miss her so much and I wish we’d been blessed with her for more years. However I’m glad she’s no longer in pain. Her passing has allowed me to reconnect with Michele and other family members with whom we’ve lost touch sadly over the years. Rest well Tess. You were one of a kind. I hope you, dad and Bill are sharing a drink and a good laugh. Much love.

  14. Brian Reilly

    12 September 2022 3 weeks ago

    Michelle and Mario, my deepest condolences to you and Uncle Mario. Auntie Tess was really the only Aunt that I knew well. I remember driving to your house for a swim and a beer. Your mom was always happy to see me. I remember that when I was little, I couldn’t believe she was my dads sister! I thought we were related to your dads side of the family!
    I wish I could be there but am unable. Rest In Peace Auntie Tess. ❤

  15. Monica Ferrigni

    12 September 2022 3 weeks ago

    Tess was an awesome host mother. Always helpful and fun. It’s been 20 years since I met her and her family and feel like it was yesterday. After my trip to Canada, they sent birthday cards for several years, it was so thoughtful from them.
    She made me feel like family and I mourn her and celebrate her life with deep love.

  16. Pat Moir

    12 September 2022 3 weeks ago

    Mario Snr, Michelle Mario
    I have just finished watching the video, Thank you Michelle for remembering me and sending me the e-mail
    I had to watch it 2 or 3 times, and I could not stop the tears from flowing ,
    I will always think of Theresa we shared some fun, and sad times together, we Scots and Irish had a lot in Common, she was a wonderful friend and neighbor to me i was so sad when I heard how her life changed so much and truly sorry I was unable to visit her being so far away the distance etc etc Thank you again for the video enjoyed seeing the Pictures but, still cant get her out of mind that she really is gone, but, at peace I am sure . Mario, Michelle , Thank You, for all your time and love and care you have shown to both your Parents,

  17. Stephanie Kenny

    03 September 2022 4 weeks ago

    To Michelle Mario and family. I was saddened to read via Google about Auntie Tess death RIP
    Auntie Tess suffering is over now and she is United with her parents along with her brothers Bob and Noel and her sisters Mary and Imelda in heaven. A.Tess beautiful picture is the way I would like to remember her. I was so happy that both myself and Barry met up with your mam and dad when they visited Ireland a good few years ago. Thinking of Uncle Mario also at this time. Ps Auntie Tess was my godmother. Take care and thinking of you all at this difficult and sad time. Regards. Stephanie & Barry

  18. Athena T.

    27 August 2022 1 month ago

    Michelle,
    Sorry to read the news of your mum. May the angels gently guide her into paradise.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Athena

  19. Pat Moir

    23 August 2022 1 month ago

    R.I.P Theresa
    No more pain and suffering praying for all of your family
    In their loss, till we meet again one day until then I have all my beautiful memories of our friendship when we were neighbours Pat

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