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Teresa Ann “Terri” Fernandez, 91, passed away peacefully on March 18 surrounded by her family in Tinton Falls. 

Terri was born in Kearny with an indomitable spirit and an all-encompassing love for those around her. A first-generation Italian American, her parents spoke little English, and it was a young Terri who translated parent-teacher conferences and made trips to the Salvation Army to help provide for her three younger sisters. (The latter was a kindness she never forgot; she spent much of her retirement volunteering at the SA and the Visiting Nurse Association of New Jersey.)

She was self-deprecating — “I always had my nose in a book,” as she was fond of saying — but Terri was as fiercely determined as they come, working tirelessly to build a life of which her loved ones are still in awe. She put in night shifts (and some quality innings on the softball field) at RCA to aid the war effort in high school, then spent more than two decades working at New Jersey Bell. 

She did it all, invariably, with a smile, and she did it all for her family — always the most important thing in her life. Thanks to a fateful encounter at a dance hall in Newark, Terri met the love of her life, Alex Fernandez, her husband of 67 years. She’s survived by him as well as their two daughters, Lola and Melanie, their son, Alex Jr., and their five loving grandchildren, who will carry with them the domino games, the Neapolitans and the sense of absolute joy and safety she provided forever.

There will be a memorial gathering from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., with words of remembrance at 8 p.m., on Friday, March 22, at Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St, Red Bank.


Bruce S. Thompson, Owner & Manager, NJ LIC #3740