Theresa Mary Connolly was a hugely popular and well respected figure in Bournemouth.
Born Theresa Cross in East Ham, London in 1928, she trained to be a teacher after the war. Her hobby for a good while was motorcycling. It led her to tour all over Europe on her 500cc machine.
She married Terence in 1952 and in 1958 their family emigrated to Canada where Theresa taught native Americans in the North West Territories.
After returning to the UK in 1964, she taught at Boscombe Convent in Bournemouth and later became head of Religious Education at nearby St Peter's School, Southbourne, where she was known to thousands of children as 'Mrs C.'
Despite being a full time teacher and bringing up five sons as well as caring for an invalid mother, she found time to obtain an Open University degree in 1978, and also ran numerous school and family pilgrimages to Catholic shrines in Europe.
She organised a Mass in Bournemouth Football Club's Dean Court to honour the Pope's visit and was deeply involved in the Women's World Day of Prayer.
After retiring, Theresa dedicated her life to parish and diocesan affairs and the local community, and was a regular visitor to the sick at Royal Bournemouth Hospital. Last year proved a memorable one when she was presented with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal from Pope John Paul. She died suddenly at home on Easter Sunday, 31st March 2002, aged 73.
"The Requiem Mass was celebrated Saturday 6th April 2002, at 10.30 am before Father Ron Hishon and three other priests in a church packed with family, friends, fellow workers, well-wishers, and parishioners from a number of Churches - and a lifetime of happy memories.
The service lasted over 1 & 1/2 hours and was followed by interment in Boscombe Cemetery where Theresa now lies - 'united with Christ for perfect peace and lasting happiness'".
May the Angels lead you into Paradise,
the Martyrs welcome you as you draw near
and lead you into Jerusalem, the heavenly City.
May the choir of angels welcome you
and where Lazarus is poor no longer,
there may you have eternal rest.
I am the Resurrection and the Life:
He who believes in me, even if he is dead, shall live:
and all who live and believe in me, will never die.
MAY SHE REST IN PEACE