On Tuesday, September 13, 2022, Theresa Maliska left us to be with her heavenly Father, free of the lung cancer pain that she battled for six months.
Theresa (Terry) was born in Gardner, MA to Gordon and Cecile (Sirard) Bowler on April 28, 1939. She called Baldwinville, MA home for a short time before moving to Winchendon, MA, where she grew up. At the age of 19, she married William J. Maliska and started a family. They divorced five years later, after bringing three daughters into the world. Terry was a very proud mother and adored her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She will be remembered fondly by her family as someone who was always there and who would do anything to make them happy. Between lending a hand with repairs, helping with childcare and cleaning, and providing belly laughs to everyone, there wasn't much that Terry wouldn't do for her kids and grandkids.
As a young adult, Terry worked for her father at Toy Town Boats and at the Jaffrey Mills. After having her children, she worked at New Hampshire Ball Bearings. In 1970, she became a nurses' aide. She worked and trained other nurses aides at Gardner Manor and Eastwood Pines (where she trained her daughter, Kathy). She then went on to work at several factories. At MEAD Container, she was the first woman to run the conveyor belt as a pickup person. During the last 20 years of her career, she was employed at Sunnyvale Rest Home, where she was responsible for maintenance and housekeeping. She made many friends and enjoyed her time there. In 2008, Terry suffered a broken leg, which ultimately kept her out of work indefinitely.
Throughout her life, she loved to stay busy. Some of her hobbies included bowling, woodworking, and auto bodywork. Because of light sensitivity in her later years, Terry was known to be seen with a visor both indoors and outdoors. She became known as "the cute lady with the white hat," which is why the picture above is so fitting. She was a fun person who never took life too seriously, and she will be remembered by many as a strong, courageous woman whom many admired.
Theresa leaves behind two daughters, Jean Shepard and husband Leo of Marlborough, NH, Kathy Gallant and husband Dave of Gardner, MA, five grandchildren, Devin Thayer and his wife Justine, Daniel Thayer, Sarah Thayer, Kolby Kilhart and his wife Lindsey, and Karissa Kilhart, as well as two great-grandchildren, Valentina Thayer and Kolby Kilhart Jr. She also leaves four siblings, Jack Bowler, Ron Bowler and wife Sandy, Don Bowler, and Donna Mae Bowler. Theresa also leaves her beloved cat, Chloe, who is now in the care of her grandson, Daniel. She is predeceased by her daughter, Brenda Boudreau, siblings Gordon Jr, George, Cecile (Seton), both her parents, and William Maliska, the father of her daughters.
The family would like to thank Gardner Rehab and Care Central VNA & Hospice for their exceptional care. Her body is being studied at UMass Medical School per her wishes.
As she didn't want a traditional funeral, there will be a Celebration of Life gathering at Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home (343 Central St, Winchendon, MA) on Saturday, October 1 at 1 pm. A short message will be given soon after by David Thayer. All who wish to remember her are invited to attend. Since she was not a fan of flowers, Terry asks that donations be made to: Pat Brody Shelter for Cats (PO Box 142, Lunenburg, MA).
To leave an online condolence, please visit www.stone-ladeau.com
Kevin J. Mack, Walter C. Taylor and Douglas M. Stone, directors