Teresa Mary Gazda “Terry” was born on April 22, 1929 and passed peacefully in her sleep on August 18, 2022. She was also affectionately known as “Bonner,” a nickname her first grandchild bestowed on her early on. Born and raised in the town of Tramore on the southern coast of Ireland, she immigrated to the United States in 1955 and worked as a nanny in Washington DC. She later received her certification as a beautician.
She married the love of her life, John Gazda in 1957. The couple settled in Bowie, Maryland in 1962 and raised two children, Colleen and Joseph. Two peas in a pod, Terry and John were inseparable. You rarely saw one without the other as they did everything together. He often referred to her as his boss. She enjoyed traveling with her “Gazzy,” taking numerous vacations, day trips or just going for a ride in the car. But her true passion was her family. She always put them first and would stop what she was doing if anyone needed her. She was a loving mother, grandmother, wife, sister, and friend.
Terry was a homemaker who was known for helping others. She was a caretaker by nature and was quick to help those who needed her when their health was failing. She was a skilled seamstress and could always be counted on for precision tailoring jobs and quick clothing repairs. She loved to be outside and was an avid gardener. She kept her yard looking impeccable using only her own labor well into her late 80s. She would, without being asked, help other neighbors with raking leaves or shoveling driveways. She also loved to paint and could finish a room at lightning speed.
A devote Catholic, her and John were fixtures at the 7:30 mass on Sunday mornings for decades. She contributed much of her time to the St. Pius X Church; painting the entire convent on her own was just one of her contributions. She also tended to the altar, keeping its linens spotless and pressed and laundering the priests’ garments. She also took care of the sisters who were assigned to the church, to include driving them to their out of state retreats and other destinations.
Teresa is survived by her daughter and son-in-law Colleen and Timothy O’Hara, her son and daughter-in-law Joseph and Deanna Gazda, grandchildren Christine Shuttle and husband Eugene, James Gazda and wife Briana, Emily Gazda, and Kathryn Kerrigan and husband Matthew. She leaves her sister Anne O’Brien, sister Kay Hannigan and husband Nicky, sister Maire Burns and husband John, sister Bernie Butler and husband Paddy, brother Tony and wife Josie, sister Noeline and husband Jim, and sister-in-law Stella Turowski. She also leaves numerous extended family members in Ireland and the Philadelphia area.
Teresa is predeceased by her husband John Gazda, parents James and Mary Walshe, sisters Philomena Walshe and Vera Walshe, stepmother Alice Walshe, brother-in-law Matthew Turowski, brother-in-law Walter Gazda and wife Delores, and brother-in-law John O’Brien.
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