Theresa Marie Baptiste died peacefully on April 29 at her Lake Tashmoo home. She was 91.

She was the wife of Herbert Lester Baptiste Sr. and a well-known and beloved lifelong Island resident.

She was the eldest daughter of George Packish and Annie Amaral Packish, and a dedicated and admired part of a large Portuguese American family and community. She grew up in Edgartown as one of 11 siblings. Her family eventually moved to Oak Bluffs, where she attended school and helped raise her many brothers and sisters.

As a hard working, family-oriented person, Theresa held many jobs throughout her life, including caretaking and working at the Art Cliff Diner. There she met her future husband, Lester Baptiste Sr., who had been honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps. In 1954, they married and moved to the Baptiste family home on Oak Hill avenue in Vineyard Haven. She continued caretaking until 1970 and then became a cook at the Tisbury School. She was an active and well-known member of the community, involved with many events at St. Augustine’s Church, the American Legion Auxiliary Post 257 and the Portuguese American Club.

In 1967, she and her husband moved to their longtime home on Lake Tashmoo. The Baptiste home became a popular destination for “Tashmoo turnouts,” New Year’s Eve and summer parties where friends and family could enjoy music and good tidings.

She was known for her love of gardening, bird watching, home-style cooking, arts and crafts and animals, including her longtime beloved Yorkshire terrier Bibi. She was a dedicated and loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was indescribably generous, sincere and honest.

She was predeceased by her husband Herbert Lester Baptiste Sr. She is survived by her daughters Sheila DeCosta and Diane Estrella; her sons Lester Baptiste Jr. and Kim Baptiste; and many other members of a beloved family including her sisters Mardell Francis and Emily Frank, brother George Packish, and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.

A funeral mass was held on May 4 at St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven, with interment at Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven.