Mrs. Frances Theresa “Terry” Margaret Calthas Fiore, 87, passed away late Friday afternoon, August 7, 2015 at her residence in Hagerstown, Maryland, following a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She is survived by her loving husband and protector of over 62 years, John N. Fiore, a daughter, Julia Marie Fiore Suffecool and husband Ron, and her chosen soul sister, Louise Bassi Pastore.
Terry was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the only child of the late Spiros and Theresa Juliet Pillar Calthas. At an early age her family moved to the borough of the Bronx and New York quickly became her adopted birth home and favorite place on all the earth. This is where Terry’s love of classical music, foreign films, the fine arts, live theater shows and big band performances originated and followed her throughout her life.
Terry attended local elementary and junior high public schools and graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1944. She went on to attend Hunter College, also in the Bronx, where she studied fashion design. Her passion for this subject, combined with her artistic talent, resulted in her creating many beautiful pencil and charcoal drawing keepsakes. These works were primarily of female forms outfitted in Terry’s own personal clothing designs. During this time, Terry’s physical beauty and petite feet caught the eye of a fashion designer who hired her to model shoes and other fashion accessories.
In 1947, Terry started as a secretary at a company located in the Empire State Building. She learned quickly and excelled and then took a position as Executive Secretary to the Chief Engineer at a company named Yardney Silvercel Inc., a firm that specialized in making high performance batteries used in air, land, sea and space applications. She remained there until 1956.
In 1951, Terry met and fell in love with John Fiore, a young aerospace engineer. They were married at Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church in the Bronx on January 3, 1953. Their wedding reception was held at the renowned Grand Concourse Plaza Hotel, frequented by many New York Yankee ballplayers as it was located near Yankee Stadium. Her fashion design talent was evident as she walked down the aisle and danced the night away at her reception in a wedding gown ensemble she had designed and had created for her special day.
For a short time after they were married, Terry and John lived in California where they joined the Sons of Italy Lodge in Anaheim. Terry, a non-Italian was unanimously chosen to be the 1959 Queen of the Sons of Italy parade. A highlight of her life, she was so elated that a child borne of Greek and Austrian parents was chosen to represent such a great Italian-American heritage organization. They returned to New York in 1960 and settled on Long Island where after eleven years of marriage they welcomed their precious daughter in 1964. In 1977, they moved to Hagerstown, Maryland.
Terry’s home was her castle and she thrived in her role as Domestic Goddess thoroughly enjoying cooking, decorating, entertaining, and being happiest when she was surrounded by family and friends. She was affectionately known as Queen Mother by all of her “adopted” children - Donna, Christal and Marcy and her “adopted” grandchildren - Lauren, Jacob and Kristen. Terry had a tremendous love for all animals, but she mostly loved dogs. She was particularly fond of an AKC dog breed called “Puli” and owned 6 in her lifetime including Che-Che, Sandor, Erika, Dixie, and Cassie. She leaves behind 9 year old Julianna, who will continue on as John’s furry companion.
Terry also found time to volunteer at Coffman Nursing Home in Hagerstown, offering comfort to its residents.
During Terry’s illness, she and the family were lovingly supported by Hospice of Washington County and they offer thanks to all of their long term hospice care providers especially Debbie, Theresa, Della, Lynn, and Father Mike. They also want to thank Mary, their supplemental care-giver. Their greatest champion, however, was Terry’s full time advocate, friend and “Angel on Earth”, Sunny, who will be forever considered a member of the Fiore family.
The family will receive friends and family at Andrew K. Coffman Funeral Home, 40 East Antietam Street, Hagerstown, MD, on Saturday, August 29th, from 12:30 until 2:00 P.M. It will be followed by a memorial service from Hospice Chaplin, Reverend Michael E. Seger, officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family desires memorial contributions in Terry’s name sent to Hospice of Washington County, 747 Northern Avenue, Hagerstown, MD, 21740 or to Lab Rescue of the LRCP, Inc., P.O. Box 1814, Annandale, VA, 22003. The website for the latter charity is: http://www.imis100us1.com/labs/.
Those desiring may offer condolences to the family at www.akcoffmanfh.com