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Teresa Barley was born and raised in Vieux-Fort, St. Lucia on March 4, 1955. Teresa grew up in a big, loving family, with her parents Agnita and Francis, who she adored. She graduated from the Vieux-Fort Senior Secondary School at the age of 17, and started her first job as a teacher at the Vieux-Fort Infant School shortly thereafter. She enjoyed teaching, and went on to study at the St. Lucia Teacher’s College to become a qualified teacher at the tender age of 22. The hope and promise of America beckoned a year later, and Teresa took the plane ride to join some of her other siblings in New York City. In America, she wasted no time in chasing the American dream – she enrolled at Medgar Evers College to pursue a degree in Accounting, while working a full-time day job. She began work as an Accountant for the New York State Kingsborough Psychiatric Center in 1982, and worked there until she retired 32 years later.
Teresa lived a full life and had great success in everything she touched. She was dedicated to her family, serving as the matriarch when her mother passed away in 2005. She was a loving and giving sister and aunt, caring deeply about keeping her family together. Food was her passion, and her cooking and baking simply magical – her dream was always to return to her homeland St. Lucia to open a restaurant. Her Papa built her the restaurant facility and equipped it for business, but God had other plans. There were always tantalizing food aromas coming from her kitchen – the taste of her big Thanksgiving, Christmas, and any given Sunday dinners lingered in the mouth and on the brain, cooked with her special ingredient, LOVE.
Teresa leaves to mourn her siblings: Duncan, Agnes, Sullivan, Agnes, Cecelia, Juliette, Archie, Clement, Alexander, Selwyn, Shirley, Jackie, Baldwin and Skeeter, many nieces and nephews, sisters-in-law, and other family and friends. She is now with her creator, where her spirit roams free; no more doctors’ appointments, no more suffering, no more pain, no more hospitals. We take comfort in knowing that she is in the company of angels and that God has assigned her to the elite cooking and baking team in Heaven, and we would like to believe that her restaurant is probably open for business up there, serving up fish caught by her Papa. She fought the good fight and has finished the race. She will live in our hearts forever.