Theresa Gardner Van Horn, 84

OSWEGO, NY – The family of Theresa Gardner Van Horn, 84, wishes to announce her change of address from an Earthly one to Heaven, in care of the Good Lord.

Theresa was born on October 26, 1928, in Oswego, where she was a life-long resident.

Theresa Gardner Van Horn
Theresa Gardner Van Horn

She left high school at the age of 15 and took a job in the factory to help support her family.

She met her first and only love, Carl Van Horn, at a local diner.

Carl, a seaman on the Great Lakes, was in port Oswego and from the moment he saw Theresa he “knew I was going to be with her.” And he was right.

The couple was blessed with 67 years of marriage.

Theresa worked most of her life in area factories and retail stories. She retired in 1991 from Miller Brewery after 15 years as a tow motor operator, where she was also a member and officer of the International Association of Machinist Union.

She was a volunteer of Oswego Harborfest, RSVP and the Mayor’s Senior Advisory Council.

As a member of the Loyal Order of Moose, she enjoyed bowling in the women’s and couple’s leagues and working on any committee that would help children.

A writer’s muse, Theresa was the inspiration for a Broadway play, a New York City-based theatre company and countless stories, poems and performances.

She is remembered as a strong, sensitive, feisty woman with a wicked sense of a humor and a contagious laugh.

She lived and loved passionately and believed in God and family.

Her wit, wisdom and beauty live on in all those who were lucky enough to know her.

Theresa is survived by her loyal and adoring husband, Carl; two grateful daughters, Teresa Teifke and Holly (Ernest) Perfetti; and a whole brood of her biggest fans, including seven grandchildren, Walter (Sue Ann) Teifke, Jennifer (Jeff) Goodsell, Cynthia Teifke, Matthew (Stacy) Teifke, Darci (Adam) Michalski, Christie (Greg) Williams and Tricia (Anthony) Barone; 13 great-grandchildren who knew her as GG, they are: Shelby Goodsell, Savannah Goodsell, Carlee Munger, Carter Munger, Carson Munger, Mattlyn Teifke, Lola Teifke, Adam Michalski Jr., Anna Michalski, Isaac Michalski, Tino Barone, Giovanni Barone and Luke Williams.

She was predeceased by her mother, Evelyn Gardner Hadlow; two sisters, Dora Shear Tripp and Charlotte Sturge; brothers, Raymond Gardner and Eugene Gardner; son-in-law, David Teifke.

Funeral services will be held on Monday at 11:30 a.m. from St. Mary’s Church.

Calling hours will be held on Sunday from 4-7 p.m. from the Dowdle Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Oswego Animal Shelter, 621 E. Seneca St., Oswego, NY 13126 and St. Mary’s Church, 103 W. Seventh St., Oswego, NY 13126.