Theresa Stewart, animal caregiver, seamstress

By on January 12, 2012

Beloved mother and grandmother, Theresa "Teri" Stewart (Meissner), 61, of Denver, died unexpectedly on New Year’s Day, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012.

Born in Terre Hill, later living in New Holland and most recently Denver, Teri was the daughter of Donald and Helen Huyett, of New Holland.

Caring and nurturing, she could not fathom the mistreatment of any living soul. Teri was a champion for abandoned cats and a foster parent for abandoned Golden Retrievers. Much to the chagrin of her family, Teri always put the needs of her animals before her own. Thankfully, Teri was able to pass on her love of nature and animals to her grandchildren, Jack and Grace McCarty. She fostered in them an understanding of the importance of tending to those unable to care for themselves. Being able to spend time with her grandchildren was her greatest gift. A phone call from the grandchildren exclaiming that they just spotted a new bird at the backyard feeder was especially dear to Teri. "Grammy" will be deeply and profoundly missed by Jack and Grace.

Teri was incredibly creative in many ways. With the example of her beloved Grandma Showalter, Teri became a creative seamstress who could turn a piece of fabric into anything from clothes to flower sculptures. Teri’s creativity was especially evident in her decorating ability; Goodwill was a treasure trove to Teri as she could make something extraordinary out of the ordinary. A talented photographer, her walls were filled with photos of pets, family and flowers. Teri also enjoyed cooking for her family – they always knew to take an extra-large container to her house to take home the inevitable chicken potpie that was a family favorite.

Teri considered her greatest accomplishment in life to be "raising two beautiful, amazing daughters who had wonderful husbands to spend their lives with"; she knew she didn’t have to worry about her girls as they were made of "strong stuff," a trait, by the way, they inherited from their mother. Stubborn and of strong opinions, Teri made her way through life mostly living it the way she wanted to. Teri felt truly blessed with the life she had been given.

She will be remembered for her generous, nurturing heart; her boundless love for her animals, friends and family; her amazing strength; her fierce will for independence; and her creativity. Those who knew Teri know that she enjoyed the simple things in life: the color yellow, noodles, being warm and toasty, doing laundry, music, watching the birds at the feeder, passionately discussing the events of the day with her Aunt Adele, visits to Longwood Gardens with her sister, joking with her brother, lunches with her dad, watching the soaps with mom and of course, most precious, spending time with her girls and grandchildren.

Teri is survived by her children: Toni, wife of Tim McCarty, and Tami, wife of Stephen Thompson, both of New Holland; her beloved grandchildren: Jack and Grace McCarty; and two siblings: Ted Huyett, of Wisconsin; and Staci Huyett, of Phoenixville.

She is preceded in death by her brother: George L. Meissner.

Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorials or donations may be made to The Humane League of Lancaster, 2195 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, PA 17602 or visit

Arrangements were made by Beck Funeral Home, New Holland.

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