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Obituary for Therese Marie Shepetuk

Therese Marie Shepetuk was born on February 27, 1926 to Joseph and Henrietta Martin, the youngest of eight children, having four sisters, Anna, Margie, Etta, and Mary and three brothers, Joseph, Thomas and William. In the summer of 1945, Therese met the man of her dreams, Al, and several months later they married in the dead of winter on January 19, 1946. Together they had three children, Al, Diane and Raymond and were living a blessed and happy life when the love of her life passed away on February 14, 1955 at age 32. Left with three young children age 7, 5 and 2 at the tender age of 28, life suddenly changed as Therese became a single parent. Therese rose to the challenge and dedicated her life to raising three children alone while holding down a job to provide for their needs. She succeeded in her efforts raising three successful and grounded children and although some might think she did it all alone, she would tell you it was her faith in God and the spiritual support of her husband that engendered the strength she needed and had to complete the mission God had given her. Several years after her husband passed, Therese had to undergo a serious operation and when asked if she was afraid for herself and her children, she would answer simply no because she was in God’s hands, as were her children, and she was at peace with whatever God willed – so strong was her faith. It was that undying devotion to God, her husband and her children that kept her going through all the good times and bad times of her 91 years. Remarkably fit for a woman of her age, she would enjoy her walks and the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful sunset. Therese would marvel at the artistic painting skills of our Creator as the clouds lit up on the horizon in a most beautiful array of colors which were reflected in the shimmering waters of the Hudson River surrounded by beautiful lush green foliage leaving her wondering what could be more beautiful? But then Therese would remember the passage from 1 Corinthians 2:9 “Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, what things God has prepared for those who love him” and know there is so much more waiting for us all in Heaven than what this life could ever offer. To those who had the pleasure of knowing her, she was a sweet and charming soul who, while quiet and reserved, sought to help others in her own way, whether it was providing bags of groceries to the Church Pantry for the needy every week or holiday meals for the Sisters, staff and patients at Hawthorne Rosary Hill Nursing Home or giving what she could from her meager funds to numerous and various worthy causes, such as the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where she was a charter monthly giver. She was blessed with three grandchildren and now a great granddaughter. However, as much as she loved her family, her life remained incomplete because her husband and soul mate, Al, was not with her to share and enjoy it. She never took her wedding ring off and still gently weeped every time she visited her husband’s gravesite some 62 years after his death. Nonetheless, Therese did everything to keep herself healthy and strong and was determined to reach her 100th birthday but God had other plans and after a brief illness that caught all by surprise, God called her home to finally be re-united with her dear husband, Al. While those who knew her, know she is now happy in heaven with her beloved Al, they are also broken hearted over the loss of her endearing loveliness and personal warmth and love for all she met and her undying devotion to her family. Her absence from her family will be sorely felt for the rest of their lives. She will forever remain in their hearts, their minds and their very souls…

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