Theresa was born on November 10, 1929 to Mr. and Mrs. Jacob “Jake” (Etta Thompson) Murray, both parents preceded her in death. She and her brother Herbert (deceased) were nurtured, taught the word of God, the benefits of a quality education, the importance of exceptional work ethics in a strict but very loving environment. Her maternal grandmother was Mrs. Rebecca Thompson, Sister/Cousin Dorothy Louise DeVillars (also known as Dot), childhood best friend Bernice Coleman Hyman also preceded her in death.
Theresa was educated in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System. She attended East Broad Elementary School and graduated from Beach Cuyler High School (now Alfred Ely Beach High School). She received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Home Economics from Savannah State College (now University) and certification in Elementary Education. She completed many professional development classes, Culinary courses, Tech Prep and Family and Consumer Science classes. Theresa had a beautiful soprano voice and sang in her high school chorus, St. Phillip AME church choirs (from a child to an adult) and the Savannah State College choirs. She was a loyal SAVANNAH STATE (COLLEGE) UNIVERSITY TIGER and one classy lady who showcased the “blue and orange” like the fashionista she was.
Theresa touched the lives of many young people because she taught in the Savannah Chatham County Public School System for 44 years. Theresa graduated from college and taught in the northern part of the state for a few years before returning to Savannah. After returning to Savannah, she taught at Richard Arnold High School, Johnson High School, Alfred Ely Beach High School and H. V. Jenkins High School. The state of Georgia credits her with 54 years of credible service.
Theresa was a member of her beloved St. Phillip Monumental AME church (on Jefferson Street) her entire life and an honorary member of First Congregational Church (where she worshiped with her sister/cousin Dot). She was a Life Time Member of Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. (TLOD Savannah Chapter), Top Teens mentor and she served on numerous TLOD Thrusts. She was also a member of Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., Phi Delta Kappa, The Nifty Fifty Plus, The Women’s Fellowship (First Congregational), the Georgia Educators Association (GAE), Chatham Retired Educators Association (CREA), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Savannah State University Alumni Association, Smart Seniors and the King Tisdell Cottage Foundation.
She is survived by her family, friends, church families (St. Phillip Monumental AME and First Congregational churches), Ladies and Lords of Top Ladies of Distinction Inc., Savannah State University Alumni, members of the Chatham Retired Educators Association and numerous students. “May the Work I’ve Done Speak for Me!”
Due to the COVID 19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic a private graveside service will be held. A “Celebration of life Ceremony” will be announced at a later date.
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