Friends celebrate late Theresa Fitzpatrick’s life

Julia Perkins

Kindhearted. Optimist. Fighter.

These are the words that the friends of sophomore Theresa Fitzpatrick use to describe their late friend, who passed away from cancer in her home in Cheshire on June 30.

Fitzpatrick battled a rare form of cancer called Sarcoma for nearly three years, ever since she was diagnosed in the beginning of her junior year of high school, according to sophomore Taylor Strange.

Cancer did not slow Fitzpatrick down, Strange said. Fitzpatrick loved to ski, go to the beach and listen to Taylor Swift. She was the captain of Cheshire High School’s soccer and tennis teams her senior year and participated in intramural tennis and intramural volleyball at Quinnipiac.

“Theresa never looked an opportunity down,” Strange said. “Her friends and family came first and she was always up for anything. We would go hiking together at Sleeping Giant and she always let me drag her to the gym.”

Haley Payne, Fitzpatrick’s friend from Cheshire, said that Fitzpatrick was an optimist.

“She was always smiling, no matter how sick she was or how upset she was,” Payne said. “She was the most genuine person I have ever met. She was nice to everyone; never judged anyone. She loved being around others, and laughing hours on end. She was simply a joy to be around, and her heart was bigger than anyone I will ever meet.”   

Fitzpatrick was close with her family, according to Strange. Fitzpatrick called her mother very often while she was at school and she had a special relationship with her older brother, Joe, a senior at Union College.

Instead of using social media, the two sent letters back and forth to each other.

“Joe would have her checking her P.O. box all the time, and when that letter from him came, her day became even better,” Strange said.

Fitzpatrick never wanted to wear nice outfits and would rather wear UGGS to Toad’s Place on cold nights, Strange said. Strange loved the opportunity to dress Fitzpatrick up.

“The thing I loved most about her is that she didn’t care what people thought of her,” Strange said. “Not like she had to though, because everybody loved her. Theresa was one who wore running shorts and a T-shirt every day, and let me tell you, she rocked it.”

Sophomore Bridget Puhala cherishes the time she spent with Fitzpatrick, remembering funny moments, like when Fitzpatrick would leave crumbs all over Puhala’s chair when she ate.

Puhala’s favorite memory is of the time Fitzpatrick went to a dinner for Puhala, even though she was not feeling well.

“She still found the strength to make it to my dinner just for me,” Puhala said. “It meant so much to me because many people would have stayed behind… I applaud her for her strength because many people, including myself, complain over certain things that are minuscule.”   

Fitzpatrick touched the lives of many, Payne said.

“She truly was an inspiration, and she will be missed by everyone,” Payne said. “However, her memory will live on through the stories we tell and the pictures we share.”