Tributes have been paid to popular Eastbourne businesswoman Teresa Fusciardi who lost her long battle with cancer last week.
Teresa died in St Wilfrid’s Hospice on Thursday morning of last week surrounded by her family. She had just turned 65.
She was described this week by her family, friends and business associates as a kind and loving person who was devoted to her family and friends and loved her time at the helm of the Fusciardi’s Ice Cream Parlour.
A service will be held at Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Church at midday on Tuesday September 17 and afterwards Teresa will be taken to her native Italy where she will be buried with her parents in the small village of Casalattico in the Province of Frosinone in the Lazio region.
Born in Italy, Teresa was the youngest of six children.
She was educated in Italy and Ireland, studied languages and international business studies and spoke Portuguese, Spanish, French, English and Italian.
As a young woman she moved to Eastbourne and worked for the family business Fusciardi’s in Marine Parade, which was run by her brother Antonio and his wife Anna.
She took over the running of the ice cream parlour in the mid 1980s and she remained the driving force behind it up until her recent retirement when the business was taken over by her nephew Marino.
This week Teresa’s sister-in-law Anna, nephew Raymond and his wife Maria were among those paying tribute to her.
They said, “Teresa was a fun and generous person, a real people person who loved her family, loved socialising and was very driven. She also did a lot of work for charity.
“She had great business acumen, loved the business community and always wanted to know what was going on in the town.
“She fought the cancer and we just want to say thank you to her doctors, everyone at St Wilfrid’s and Macmillan Cancer Support staff for everything they did for Teresa.”
Teresa was well respected within the business community in the town and won countless awards for her contribution to commerce and industry.
In September 2010 she was presented with the Judges’ Special Award at the Southern Business Awards in recognition of her work within the community.
Family friend Nigel Greaves said, “Teresa was always interested in the progression and development of Eastbourne and helped me during my chairmanship of the Eastbourne Marketing Group in the 90s.
“She was always keen to lend a helping hand in so many ways.
“I will always remember her for her constant enthusiasm regarding the well being of Eastbourne and in particular her friendly welcome and cheery attitude to the thousands of tourists who visited her superb ice cream parlour.”
Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce boss Christina Ewbank said, “Teresa will be sadly missed by all of us in the business community. She worked hard for Eastbourne and contributed a great deal as both a chamber member and a member of the MP’s Commission.
“She was stylish, generous and a beautiful woman inside and out. She helped me through a difficult time with my own health problems and was an inspiration. I will miss her.”
Former mayor Carolyn Heaps also paid her own personal tribute to Teresa.
“I have considered it a pleasure and a privilege to have known Teresa Fusciardi as a friend. Teresa was one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I have ever met. She and I hit it off at a “do” when we sat together and by the end of the evening we both knew we had found a good friend in each other.
“She was amusing and fun loving and adored her family and friends with a passion which is innately Italian.
“During her illness she remained positive and immensely brave, despite difficult treatments and setbacks.
“I felt compelled to write to say that Eastbourne has lost a beautiful, very special woman but the memories we keep of her will always remain true.
“May God bless you Teresa. I will miss you so much.”
Above: Teresa pictured with her nephew Marino.