Theresa Lynn Praskach died at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y., on Friday, Feb. 26. She was 57.
Teri, as she was affectionately known, was born in New Brunswick, N.J. on Jan. 26, 1959, the daughter of Robert Praskach and Jean Lyons Praskach, and grew up in Piscataway, N.J. She was a graduate of Pius X High School, held a degree from Trenton State College, and had a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y., with a concentration in silkscreening and printmaking.
She was a master gardener — having been certified through horticulture courses on Cape Cod — a flower farmer; an artist; a chef; a friend to all, especially children and seniors, dogs, cats, and all animals; a music lover; and devoted to her radio shows, especially those about gardening. The flowers she grew from seed and sold at many farmers’ markets to friends for parties, weddings, fundraisers, and occasions were famous for her distinctive yellow cans, which informed all that Teri had grown them with hard work and lots of love.
Teri was well known for her many close friendships. At age 20 she crossed the country with her good friend, Kathy Tarantola. She remained friends with Mary Powers from grade school till the present. She was a special aide and companion to Patricia Nanon of the Yard, a dance facility in Chilmark. She taught Sunday school at the Congregational Church in West Tisbury for many years. She grew her flowers for many years at Katama Farm, now the Farm Institute. Teri lived on Martha’s Vineyard for over 30 years. For the past four years she lived with and took care of Iole (Nonna) Gardella and her daughter, Nancy Gardella, in Vineyard Haven. When it became clear that Nonna had to stay in her own home, for the past year and a half Teri willingly and enthusiastically moved to White Plains, N.Y.
Teri was predeceased by her mother, Jean Lyons. She is survived by her father, Bob Praskach, and stepmother, Jane Praskach. Teri is also survived by her loving sister, Cyndy Tenaglia and her husband Alfred, brother Thomas Praskach and his wife Lisa, and niece Jamie Poore. Teri is survived by nieces, nephews, friends, and Chris and Lilly Clark of Rockford, Ill., along with her special buddies, their children Corbyn Clark-Garza and Dominic Clark. Many dogs and cats predeceased her; she is currently survived by her precious dog companions Silvio and Lil’ Bit and her cat Teddy.
Donations in Teri’s name may be made to the Farm Institute, P.O. Box 1868, Edgartown, MA 02539. Another of her charities is the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1829, Edgartown, MA 02539. The best remembrance would be to plant a patch of tulips, any color, her favorite flower, and call your new garden Teri’s Tulips.
Arrangements were made by the Selover Funeral Home in North Brunswick, N.J. There is an online guest book to send condolences.