Teresa Barsdis Boothe, who was raised in East Hampton, died at the Aurora Senior Living of Manokin in Princess Anne, Md., on May 29. She was 90 and had been ill.
Mrs. Boothe, who was known as Terry, considered herself first and foremost a child of God, said her family, who remembered her strong religious faith, moral ethics, and inner strength. “All that was good in her life, she always gave thanks and credit to God,” they wrote, adding that her “ability to love, to forgive, to be grateful, enjoy life, and smile are just a few loving attributes she gave to all that knew and love her.”
She was a member and fund-raiser for Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in East Hampton, where a Mass will be said on Tuesday. She was also a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Norfolk, Va., St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Chincoteague Island, Va., and St. Francis de Sales Parish in Salisbury, Md., where she moved later in life.
She was born Teresa Eva Barsdis on June 27, 1928, at Southampton Hospital to Anthony Edward Barsdis, who escaped Lithuania at 15 and served in the United States Army in World War I, helping to liberate France, and the former Sophia Dysken. She grew up on Fredericka Lane in East Hampton, where she loved working outdoors with her father in his garden and helping her mother with everything from tending to the vegetables and chickens. As a child, she walked the railroad tracks with a bucket collecting coal that fell from the trains to heat their house.
Mrs. Boothe attended East Hampton High School, where she participated in golf, archery, a theatrical group, and was captain of her basketball team four years in a row. She loved music and played the viola, cello, drums, and flute and sang in the chorus. She graduated alongside her best friend of 86 years, Irene Strong Kuhn, who now lives in Hudson, Fla.
At 16, she won the bathing beauty contest title of Miss East Hampton for 1944. She had been one of five finalists from a sizable pool of contestants, The East Hampton Star reported then.
She went on to work at the Bulova watchcase factory in Sag Harbor and worked for the Bernstein Sewing Factory in Chincoteague Island, Va. Her family said she was one of the top female life insurance sales agents at the John Hancock Company in East Hampton in 1977. “During hard times when some of her clients could not pay their premiums Terry would pay them out of her own pocket so they wouldn’t lose their family coverage and everyone paid her back in full,” her family said.
She married Charles Boothe Sr., whom she had known since she was a girl, on Dec. 30, 1951, at Most Holy Trinity. He was a Navy submariner and Korean War veteran and the couple moved around quite a bit. After he died in 1977, she moved back to East Hampton.
She also worked as the boutique manager at the Montauk Yacht Club and retired as the boutique manager for A Little of What You Fancy in East Hampton. “Her unquestionable work ethics and cheerful personality established her as a highly regarded and sought-after employee,” her family wrote. She, her bosses, and her co-workers “shared a mutual love and respect for one another and stayed in contact throughout the years.”
A self-taught artist, she specialized in portraits, pets, wildlife, and landscapes in the mediums of oil, watercolor, pastel, and charcoal. She was a member of the Attic Artist in Salisbury, Md.
Her children remembered her as a wonderful Cub Scout den mother who knitted many mittens, toboggans, booties, and baby blankets. She also taught herself how to play the piano and enjoyed singing.
In her later years she wrote short stories for her family’s enjoyment. She loved nature, science, and politics and enjoyed a good joke, they said. She loved to fish, but the rule was, “no talking while she’s fishing.”
She is survived by four children, Charles Boothe Jr. of East Hampton, Brian D. Boothe of Salisbury, Md., Diane Boothe of Princess Anne, Md., and Daniel Boothe of North East, Md., and her sister Catherine Babcock of East Hampton. Five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, along with several nieces and nephews, also survive. Her sister Antoinette Barsdis died before her.
A Mass will be said at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church on Tuesday at 11 a.m., followed by burial at the church cemetery on Cedar Street in East Hampton. A Mass had also been said at St. Andrew the Apostle on Chincoteague Island.
The family has suggested donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105 or to a local food pantry.