Theresa Fiore Freer Brown of Sylva, N.C., passed away peacefully on Sept. 20, 2021.
She was born in Millbrook, N.Y., to the late Filomena and Joseph Fiore. Theresa was previously married to the late Neil A. Freer of Santa Fe, N.M., and the late Anthony E. Brown, Cullowhee, N.C.
She leaves five children: Joseph Freer and wife Susanne, Bermuda Run, N.C.; Monica Painter, Sylva, N.C.; Peter Freer and wife Gwen, Asheville, N.C.; Paul Freer, Yadkinville, N.C.; and Tom Freer, Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Her sixth child, Miriam Freer, Sylva, N.C., passed away in 2016. Theresa also leaves two sisters, Sue Massarella, Quartz Hill, Calif., and Constance Kirwin and husband Ralmond Burgess, Antrim, N.H.; three grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Theresa graduated in 1949 from Millbrook Memorial High School. She earned a BS in music in 1953 from Saint Rose College, Albany, N.Y. She taught music at Millbrook Central High School and the Dutchess Day School. She also earned a MS in education in 1971. She was organist and choir director at Saint Joseph’s Church, Millbrook, for 15 years.
After moving to North Carolina in 1973, Theresa continued her career in education, teaching kindergarten at the Camp Lab School in Cullowhee before retiring in 1996. She touched many lives in her career in education and will be fondly remembered as “Miz Brown.”
Theresa found respite in meditation, music and writing poetry and created a quiet space on her property where she was able to retreat and relax. She was an accomplished pianist and enjoyed travel, reading and gardening. Theresa relished lively philosophical and political discussions. She supported the arts in the area, visiting local craftspeople; the Riverwood Shops in Dillsboro was one of her favorite places.
Theresa was a beautiful loving person and tireless in sharing her life with family and friends while trying to keep her own self intact. She was mother, teacher, mentor, wife, sister and a friend — never to be forgotten.
Contributions may be made to the Activity Fund, Skyland Care Center, 193 Asheville Hwy., Sylva, NC 28779 in memory of Theresa Brown.
An online registry is available at www.appalachianfuneralservices.com.
Appalachian Funeral Services of Sylva, N.C., is serving the family.