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Grissom-Clark Funeral Home

Mrs. Theresa M. Baptiste

09/20/1939 - 06/09/2017

Obituary for Mrs. Theresa M. Baptiste

Theresa Juanita Mellieon was born on September 20, 1939 to Susie Andrews and John Mellieon in Plaquemine County, Louisiana. On December 12, 1939, Theresa was baptized at the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Baton Rouge, LA in accordance to the rite of the Roman Catholic Church. At an early age, Theresa relocated to New York City with her parents and siblings when her father secured work with the railroad.

Growing up during this era was challenging, yet Theresa developed into a beautiful, intelligent and strong willed young woman. Upon finishing high school, she attended Brooklyn College where she obtained a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, she was a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, Omicron Chapter. As a professional, Theresa worked in the insurance industry for 29 years and later transitioned into the health care arena prior to her retirement.

On December 6, 1978, Theresa married Kelshall “Kelly” Baptiste. Married for 38 years, one son was born from this union: Michael Kelshall Baptiste. Theresa appreciated many hobbies and avocations. She loved to dance, cook and travel. She was a movie enthusiast and enjoyed staying up to date with the news and current events. She was a history buff. As a spectator as well as a participant, Theresa enjoyed sports; she was once on a swimming team and was an active member of a bowling league. Sharing her love of the theatre and the beach with Michael, she found pleasure in going to shows in Manhattan; at Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden or enjoying the cool ocean breeze at Coney Island, Riis Beach and Far Rockaway Beach.

In August 1988, the Baptiste Family relocated from Brooklyn, NY to Decatur, Georgia where Theresa resided until her passing. In this new community, she participated as a team mom for Michael’s Little League team and often served as a voting official during state and national elections. Most significantly, Theresa was passionate about her relationships with family and friends. Birthday celebrations were important to her and visiting and staying in contact with others was part of her regular routine. Those who love her knew her to be a most loving, bright and generous individual with a very warm and friendly disposition, even while preserving through adversities. The addition of a precious daughter-in-law and subsequently two grandchildren to her family made her life complete and added immense joy to her later years.

On Friday, June 9, 2017, Theresa went home to rest with the Lord. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers: Enoch Smith, Alfred Smith, Milton Smith Jr., Tyrone Mellieon and Carver Mellieon. Left behind to cherish her memory are her husband, Kelly; her son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Tameka Baptiste (Charlotte, NC); her grandson and granddaughter, Taurence and Monét Baptiste (Charlotte, NC); her sister, Mildred Smith Joda (Centennial, CO); her niece, Kateri (Dwayne) Williams (Centennial, CO) along with a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, and beloved friends. Theresa was greatly loved and will be deeply missed.

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