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Posted By Whitney & Murphy On September 2, 2018 @ 1:10 pm In Obituary | 8 Comments


Theresa Erlinda De La Cruz, 76, born in Santa Maria, CA, went to be with our Lord on August 31, 2018.

Tessie was a vivacious woman full of selfless love for her family and her community. She was a devout Catholic that attended Holy Spirit Church in Tempe every Sunday and loved her Savior Jesus Christ with all of her heart. She had a passion for sports, and never missed a ball game, loudly cheering on her husband, children and grandchildren. Her vibrant spirit and contagious smile brought life to every room. Tessie served The Phoenix Elementary #1 School District for 26 years as a school secretary. She volunteered at Andre House for over 15 years and spent time with Hospice patients for the past five years. She was also a philanthropist that donated to multiple charities. Her presence will be missed by many.

She is preceded in death by her mother, Chonita Lonergan, her father, Joe Nunez, her brothers, Joe Nunez and Timmy Nealis. Tessie will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 55 years, Julian De La Cruz, and her children Annette Nelson (KC) and Michael De La Cruz (Kristiana). She will also be fondly remembered by her grandchildren Thor (Ashley), Alexis, Daniella and Jacob, and her great grandson, Thorbeck as well as her brothers, Tommy Nunez (Mary Anne) and Steve Nealis, her sister Lollie Stayer and numerous nephews, nieces, friends and relatives.

A Viewing and Rosary in memory of Theresa will be held on Thursday, September 6, 2018 from 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. with remembrances following, at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. Her Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, September 7, 2018 at 10:00 A.M. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 1800 E. Libra Drive, Tempe. Interment will follow at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery, 2033 N. 48th Street in Phoenix with a reception following back at Holy Spirit Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Companion Hospice, 1930 S. Alma School Rd #A103, Mesa, AZ 85210.

Condolences for the family of “DE LA CRUZ, THERESA ERLINDA”

Condolence from Brent Byerly on September 3rd, 2018 5:34 pm

Mike and family I can still hear your mothers voice at the games. The weight of her loss must be so heavy. I am sorry. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints / godly ones”. Psalm 116:15. He is mindful and attentive to her. Love Brent ‘86

Condolence from Yolanda Gutierrez on September 4th, 2018 11:46 am

Our sincere condolences and loving thoughts for each of you! Tessie will remain in our hearts! Her smile and caring heart fills many of our memories. Thank you for sharing her with us! Ann Ott kids were lucky to have the best secretary in our school! May she rest in Paradise! Our love and prayers to Mr. De La Cruz, Annette, Michael and the entire family! God Bless

Condolence from Richard Gutierrez on September 4th, 2018 12:46 pm

She was like a bug sister to me when I was in grade school at Ann Ott. She always called me by name and she recently refered to me as Nichie, which was my Nick name and I haven’t seen her in years. After all this time she found a way to make me feel special. Because of that, I will never forget how special she was. May my father treat her family as she has treated ours.

Condolence from Dee Dee Sandoval (De Sena) on September 4th, 2018 6:27 pm

Julian, I so remember Tessie when I was visiting my Aunt Bucky when she was suffering … she would come by & visit while waiting for her grandchild to be picked up at school … my dear aunt loved her being there, as I was always comforted by her visits … love you

Condolence from Marilyn Jacobo on September 5th, 2018 10:54 am

I’m so sorry to hear of Tessie’s passing. She and my late husband, Louis Jacobo, went to high school together. Whenever there was a class reunion, I loved listening to the stories they would share about one another. She was always very gracious and friendly with me. My heart is saddened.

Condolence from Catalina D. on September 6th, 2018 10:41 pm

With a heavy heart, I am wishing you strength and The Peace that only our Heavenly Father can grant you. I miss my Dear and supportive Friend. Always encouraging her bowling league Friends!!!

Condolence from The Whitmans on September 9th, 2018 12:10 pm

Julian, Annette, Michael, Tommy, Colleen and Family,

We are so sorry to hear of Tess’s passing. We will always remember her sweetness and vitality and hope that in time your tears will turn to smiles as you remember her. God Bless.

The Whitmans – Ann, David, Mary Lou, Kathy, John and Jane

Condolence from Michael Pounds on October 11th, 2020 11:29 am

I’m Michael aunt tessie’s nephew son of her brother Tim nealis I’m sorry that I haven’t got to know y’all or her any better than I have but I’m curious about that side of my family my number is 8705424264. I’m going to be coming that way see her grave in my daddy’s grave hopefully and find bits and pieces of the family to find out a little bit more about me

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