theresa decaria
Theresa V. DeCaria, 61, of Weirton died Tuesday June 4, 2013, after an eight month battle with pancreatic cancer. Born on July 16, 1951 in Steubenville, OH, Theresa was the daughter of the late Fortunato and Virginia Lattanzio DeCaria. Theresa was a nurturer and always felt happiest when helping and caring for others. After graduating from Duquesne University, Theresa accepted a teaching position at her alma mater, Weirton Madonna High School. There she taught and was the Department Chair of English and Mathematics. She also served as the guidance counselor. After receiving her Masters Degree from the University of Dayton, Theresa was named the Principal of Weirton Madonna High School. She took pride in the developments of her students and remained close with many throughout their lives. After leaving her position at Weirton Madonna, Theresa joined the Steubenville City School System, as a special education teacher and guidance counselor. She then served as Treasurer of the Steubenville City Schools, a position she held until her retirement. Theresa also acted as caregiver to each of her parents, a role she cherished. Throughout her life, Theresa and her mother cooked side by side as a means of expressing love and bringing others together. Theresa worked diligently over a number of years to capture her mother's knowledge and family's memories in a cookbook, The Table My Mother Set. Her dream of publishing this book was realized through the support of the Pittsburgh Art Institute in 2008. Since being published, this award-winning cookbook has sold over 5000 copies. This memoir reminds all who read it that the recipe for happiness is tradition, simplicity, and togetherness. Theresa was a member of Saint Joseph the Worker Roman Catholic Church, Weirton. Her faith in God was absolute and she accepted her diagnosis with grace and love. She continued to spend her time doing what made her most happy: sharing memories with loved ones over good meals, attending courses at the University of Pittsburgh, establishing dual citizenship in Italy, learning Italian, and visiting beautiful places. Theresa is survived by her three brothers, Frank O. DeCaria of Hawaii, her twin, Anthony V. DeCaria (Mary Lynn) of Pittsburgh, PA, Vincent B. DeCaria (Marsha) of Weirton, WV; her beloved nieces and nephews, Tirzah DeCaria, Olivia DeCaria, Danny DeCaria, Dr. Maria DeCaria, Dr. Chetta DeCaria Lupa, Rita DeCaria, Esq, and Bruno DeCaria; and cousins and friends. Visitation will be 2-4 & 7-9 PM Friday, at the Greco Hertnick Funeral Home, 3219 Main Street Weirton. Funeral Liturgy with Mass will be celebrated 10 AM Saturday, at Saint Joseph the Worker Roman Catholic Church, Weirton. Interment will follow at Saint Paul's Cemetery, Weirton. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her memory to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the American Cancer Society, or the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

Memories Timeline


  1. Dear De Caria family, Theresa was a kind, amazing and wonderful woman. Her smile was infectious and her love of family unconditional. We are sorry for the loss of this special lady. God Bless all of you and we send our sympathy

  2. Dear DeCaria Family, I can’t tell you how saddened I am to learn of Theresa’s death. We shared so many memories that I will always cherish: student, colleague, friend. Theresa was always there when I came back to Weirton. We tried twice to have a last visit –neither worked out. I had two rides set up to come to Weirton to visit..but it was not to be. Please know I send my heartfelt sympathy to all the family and especially to “her boys” Frank O, Tony and Vincent. Know that I am thinking of all of you and sending heartfelt condolences. I only wish I could be there in person. With deep sympathy, Gail

  3. Tony and Vince I was shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of your sister Theresa. You are in my thoughts and prayers at this time. I have been having some health problems,but I am hoping to make it to the funeral home to pay my final respects.

  4. Frank,Tony and Vince, you have my deepest sympathy on the loss of your sister. I remember her well and have fond memories of Theresa from high school days. God Bless, Nick

  5. I was quite saddened to learn of Theresa’s death. Losses are never easy to reconcile. Her faith was strong, she is in the hands of our Lord and Savior. My thoughts and prayers are with the family, another of our generation gone too young.

  6. To all the decaria family, I will be out of town so I won,t be making a visit, but please accept my deepest sympathies. She was a great lady.

  7. Theresa was a wonderful person with a glowing spirit. She will be missed and cherished by many. Please accept my sincerest sympathy.

  8. Besides having a cool car (Lavender colored AMC Javelin) she was my Math, English, and Freshman Home room teacher. She was a Saint.

  9. We are shocked and saddened to hear of Theresa’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. With our deepest sympathy

  10. DeCaria Family: Please accept my sincere condolences on Theresa’s death. I was her student during her first year on the faculty at Madonna. She was an excellent example of what makes a great teacher. Later I had the privelege of teaching a niece and nephew in medical school, using many of the techniques I learned from her example. When she was in Morgantown at a craft show selling her cook books, she and I had a chance to spend the afternoon sharing stories and laughing. When my Dean showed up, she quickly pointed out that she helped to provide my ‘teacher training’ at no extra charge. He bought several of her books! May she rest in peace.

  11. DeCaria Family, Theresa influenced and helped many people during her life. Steubenville City Schools was able to build a new elementary and remodel three existing buildings because of her dedication as a treasurer. She will always remembered for her hard work, and her loving heart. I am out of town and so saddened that I won’t be able to attend the funeral service. She is among the angels now.

  12. We loved Teresa and May she rest in Peace. She was an inspiration to all-She loved her family and her faith in God was great!! We will miss her very much.

  13. Dear DeCaria family, My heart goes out to all of you. I will keep you in my prayers and trust that God will bring you comfort in the days ahead. You have my deepest sympathy. Diane Berardinelli

  14. Dear DeCaria Family, I am very sorry to hear about your loss. Theresa was one of those teachers that you never would forget. Educator and at the same time, friend, who managed to teach you so much more than the subject matter in the class. She will be greatly missed.

  15. This world has one less wonderful, caring woman and heaven gained a new beautiful angel. God bless all of you and may she RIP

  16. Theresa was a wonderful warm person with a beautiful smile. I will cherish her book and think about the family whenever I look at “THE TABLE MY MOTHER SET” We send out heartfelt sympathies to the De Caria family Love Lois and John

  17. Theresa was one of the best teachers I have ever had. She had a gift of seeing a student’s gifts and nurturing them to their full potential. I am who I am in large part because of her. Although I left Weirton after high school, I enjoyed seeing her at the few Madonna reunions I could attend. I pray for God’s healing and comfort for the DeCaria family.

  18. To the DeCaria Family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of sorrow with the passing of Theresa. May God bless her soul and welcome her to heaven.

  19. Beautiful words. She will truly be missed. Love to everyone. I wish we could be there to hug you all.

  20. Condolences & prayers to the DeCaria family. Fond memories of Theresa as a student. A beautiful person, so caring, intelligent and creative. Memories of so many wonderful DeCaria students during my years at St. Joseph’s and MHS. You are in my thoughts as I remember Theresa. Truly, may she be embraced forever in God’s loving care. Sr. Noreen Twomey, csjp Bayonne, NJ

  21. My sincerest sympathy for the loss of. Your sister. Even though it has been years since I have seen you all, the memory of the DeCaria family love remains deeply seated in my memories. I wish you peace during this time of sorrow.

  22. Truly shocked and saddened by Theresa’s passing. My heartfelt sympathy to her entire family. May God bless you with courage, comfort and peace.

  23. I will also remember Teresa and her beautiful smile – she always was so kind and sweet. I know Teresa has joined her loving parents who she missed so much over the past years May you find peace in knowing she is with them and no longer has pain My prayers to all of you Laura Newcomer & Nathan Shirley

  24. My sympathies to the DeCaria family. I met Theresa about 6 or 7 years ago at the University of Akron. I was working for a local school district in Canton and was at a meeting at the university. Theresa was there for the same meeting. In one of the sessions, each person had to say where they were from. Theresa said Weirton, of course, and at the end of the meeting I had to meet the person who lived close to my home town (I am originally from Mingo). From that day on, Theresa and I would greet each other every time we attended other meetings. I loved to talk to her. I was thrilled when she wrote her cookbook. My sister got the book for my birthday and I love to make her Chicken soup. Maybe Theresa and your Mom are making the soup for God right now. She was a lovely person.

  25. To the DeCaria Family, I would like to express my deepest sympathy with the loss of Theresa. I was privileged to know her as a teacher during my time at Madonna. She was always ready to help, and had such a wonderful smile. God bless your family.

  26. Theresa was such a lovely and loving person. Her smile lit up rooms wherever she was. My heart and sympathies go out to Anthony especially, but to all her family. She was a very special person who will be missed greatly. RIP, Theresa. Save me a seat, ok? Fran Fusiek Taylor MHS Class of ’69

  27. Dear Decaria family,I grew up in a very blessed family that Thresa was part of.All the best memories of holy day feasts with her,her Mother and Nato and all Decaria family.Im so thankfull she did her cookbook which always takes me home.God Bless and keep her.My heartfelt sympathy and love

  28. My heart aches for the DeCaria family. I attended St. Joseph the Worker grade school and was in the same class as Theresa, Vince and Tony. What a great family. Rest in Peace Theresa.

  29. Theresa was always an excellent student and she made her students the best they could be in the classroom. Every picture she and I ever took together she was always standing behind me, we joked about how I had to carry her , I hope our Heavenly Father is carrying her now. I just had knee surgery so I will miss the funeral. My sympathy to all of the DeCaria family.

  30. I am so sorry for the loss of this wonderful compassionate woman. She was a wonderful teacher and person. May God Bless

  31. We are deeply saddened for the lose of our cousin Theresa. Our times with her were a fulfillment of joy, laughter and excitement. Her kindness, love and appreciation for family will always be treasured. We will miss her dearly. Families of Vito and Annemarie Vetro, Maurizio and Anna Vetro-Futia, Anthony and Karen Vetro and Frank Vetro

  32. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Theresa. She was not only a great teacher who cared about all her students but a wonderful person & friend. She will be truly missed by all of her students, friends and family. May God be with all of you at this time & know that she is no longer in pain. God has a new angel sitting with him watching over all if us.

  33. Keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers! TD signed a copy of her cookbook for me in the St. Joe’s parking lot after mass one day….will be cooking from it in her honor this weekend!

  34. My sincere condolence go out to all who knew Theresa. She was always so kind and caring to all.

  35. To the DeCaria Family, We are so sorry to hear of Theresa’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  36. Dearest Theresa, I’m so thankful we had such a nice talk just a couple of days ago, and we planned our upcoming visit………you weren’t supposed to leave yet….but, as we both often said, it’s all in God’s hands. And you were very much at peace with that – one of the many qualities that made you such a special person. As a teacher – superb. As a friend – loving and devoted. As a fellow “paesana”, you made our family feel so loved. We will miss you dearly, and we treasure every happy and festive moment we were so fortunate to share with you. We know you will be there at the ones to come – there is no doubt. And we know you finally got to go to San Francesco di Paola, only in a place way better than Calabria. Please pray for us, as we continue on our journey here, until we meet again. Our most heartfelt condolences and prayers to our beautiful friends of the DeCaria family.

  37. So saddened to hear of Theresa’s passing. She was a special person and a great teacher. Her classes at Madonna were not only informative, they were fun. Theresa had an ability to really connect with her students. She will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to know her. Jim Mazzone MHS 1981

  38. Dear Decaria Family, We are saddened to lose our colleague and friend Theresa. Theresa contributed much in her tenure as a Steubenville School employee . Her thirst for knowledge transferred to her students . Theresa was co author of many grants as a counselor including “SHS Helps” ,service learning, and “BIG RED WORKS”,a student employment program. As treasurer, Theresa was instrumental in funding our school rebuilding program at no additional cost to taxpayers and keeping us fiscally sound. She did all this while caring for her parents. Theresa left a positive mark on Steubenville . May God Bless her and may she rest in peace with her radiant smile brightening Heaven. Rich Ranallo Retired Superintendent Steubenville City Schools

  39. Dear Decaria Family, We are saddened to lose our colleague and friend Theresa. Theresa contributed much in her tenure as a Steubenville School employee . Her thirst for knowledge transferred to her students . Theresa was co author of many grants as a counselor including “SHS Helps” ,service learning, and “BIG RED WORKS”,a student employment program. As treasurer, Theresa was instrumental in funding our school rebuilding program at no additional cost to taxpayers and keeping us fiscally sound. She did all this while caring for her parents. Theresa left a positive mark on Steubenville . May God Bless her and may she rest in peace with her radiant smile brightening Heaven. Rich Ranallo Retired Superintendent Steubenville City Schools

  40. Loving, caring, teaching, that was the best. But smiling every day, rain or shine was above the rest. Your kindness and generosity was above all. You will be missed forever, for your heart you touched us all. We can all feel better knowing you’re out of pain. Again, that smile we won’t soon forget. We’ll remember it again and again. You’re an angel now, one we can pray upon. Your time on Earth too short. We all must go on. For everyone who knew you will miss and always love you. And with you looking over us now, We can feel a little safer because of you. As we shed the tears and wonder how and why, We can now say a prayer and look up to the sky. Knowing you’ll be looking down on us Even with a cloud in the sky With the rain from above And tears from our eyes We will remember you now You will always be our angel with a smile we will never forget.

  41. Dear DeCaria Family, I was tremendously saddened to hear that Theresa had lost her brave and prayerful fight against cancer. Due to some medical problems, I won’t be able to pay my respects at the wake but hope to attend her funeral mass tomorrow. My love and prayers to all of you, Sharon

  42. To all the DeCaria family, When you grew up in St. Joseph and Madonna the DeCaria family almost feels like an extended family. If you didn’t have a DeCaria in your class (I did!) you had a sibling or relative or friend who did. It is with great sadness that I extend my sympathies to you all. Theresa was every positive word in Webster’s dictionary. She was so full of life and lived her life to the fullest. You all have such wonderful memories of her, as noted in her cookbook. Cherish them. God bless you all and He will uphold you during this difficult time. Jody Trupiano

  43. DeCaria Family: We are so sorry for your loss, she touched my heart with her dedication to her parents. One time, she commented that she loved being able to care for her mother. She will be greatly missed by all. God bless

  44. Both the DeCaria family and the Madonna family have lost a treasured member with the death of Theresa. My sympathy and prayers for your loss. I will prepare a meal from her cookbook for guests this weekend.

  45. My sister and I met Theresa at an event in Steubenville several years ago. Theresa brought her beautiful mom with her and we witnessed her loving, caring nature towards her. Theresa won our respect and admiration from that day on. God has truly blessed us with the privilege of knowing Theresa. She will be missed.

  46. To the DeCaria family, Don and I would like to express our sympathy for the loss of Teresa. We are out of town and unable to attend any visitation but are thinking of you all during this difficult time. You are such a close knit family and I know this is a great loss for you all.

  47. To the DeCaria Family, I want to tell you how saddened I am to hear of Theresa’s recent passing. Besides being a gifted teacher and administrator, I will remember Theresa for being one of the nicest and kindest individuals I have ever known. I am sure that Theresa faced her cancer with the same grace, dignity and humor that she displayed throughout her accomplished life. My prayers and thoughts are with all of you during this difficult and sad time.

  48. Dear DeCaria Family, Theresa was a great friend to so many of us. We were supposed to have lunch next week with Carol now that I am out of school. I will really miss those times we shared. They weren’t many but when we got together it was memorable. I am sure she is resting in the arms of Jesus and at peace. My prayers are with you during this time. God bless you all.

  49. Theresa taught us so very much by her thoughtful actions, ready smile, love of family, and her deep faith. Many gained so much by her life.

  50. To the DeCaria Family: We are deeply saddened by the loss of Theresa. Her unconditional love of family, friends, students, and colleagues was her greatest gift to us all. She worked tirelessly in and out of the classroom and in particular on our theatrical productions at Madonna. Often, on friday evenings in our home we shared food, a little wine, and lots of laughter with her, Walter Wieloh, and Tom Shelton as part of her extended family. Today, our daughter, Gretchen, and two sons, John and Nick share, as do we, recipes in her cook book and the memories of her family. Over the years we were able visit with her in Pittsburgh when chance allowed. Our short visits only reminded us of how much we missed her then and how much more we will miss her now. Your loss is surely great and so, we feel, is ours. You have our deepest sympathy and our prayers are with you. May God bless and comfort you and may she rest in his peace. Michelle and John Gardner

  51. Very sad to hear of Theresa’s passing. She was a shining light of goodness, and always had a kind word and a smile for everyone. So many fond memories of our time together at St. Joe’s and Madonna. Know she is smiling down on us all from heaven.

  52. Dear Family, We are saddened to learn of Theresa’s untimely passing away. Please accept our deepest condolences. She will not be forgotten for all the good things she has done on our community. May you feel the Lord’s presence as you go throught the difficult time of grieving. Sincerely, Stan and Fran Sagan

  53. So shocked and saddened to hear of Theresas’ untimely passing. Always a friendly smile and a genuinely happy person. My sympathies to the entire DeCaria family. Rest in Peace Theresa.

  54. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of a wonderful person and educator. She had a lasting impact on my life and I will never forget her. My prayers are with her family and I am sorry for your loss!

  55. Dear DeCaria Family, I just wanted to extend my deepest condolences for your loss. You’re in my prayers. Deemer

  56. To the DeCaria Family, We were out of town when we learned of Theresa’s passing. Our deepest sympathy to all of you. Theresa was such a kind & loving woman who touched the lives of many with her generous nature and beautiful smile……..she will be missed by all!

  57. Our condolences to the DeCaria family. I know Theresa will be greatly missed! Anne and Brad Wheeler. Sister and brother in-law to Maurizio Futia and Anna Vetro-Futia.

  58. I am so sorry for your loss. I knew Theresa through my sister Carol, as they were very good friends for many years. May your sorrow be soon replaced by happy memories of the time you knew Theresa.

  59. So very sorry to hear of Ms. DeCaria’s passing. She was such a part of Madonna High School – she will be missed.

  60. So sorry to hear of Theresa’s passing. She always had a wonderful smile and a kind word to say. She will be missed.

  61. Dear DeCaria Family, My deepest sympathy to all of you. Theresa was just the best–teacher, friend, listening ear, and of course, wicked amazing chef! I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like at our next reunion (MHS Class of 1979) without her being there to welcome all of us back and to tell and re-tell the stories that helped shape our young lives. (Like a fine Italian red, the stories got better and better over the years!) For sure, Theresa is with the angels now and cooking contentedly in heaven’s kitchen.

  62. To The Decaria Family, I’ve known Theresa since first grade and as my Madonna classmate. She was always such a kind and caring girl, couldn’t ask for a better person. Loved her cook book that I bought for a gift to my mother. I will always remember her as a great fighter against her illness. My prayers to all of you!

  63. To the DeCaria family, i am so sorry for your loss. I will always cherish my memories of our years as roomies at Duquesne and our continuing friendship throughout the years, if only of Christmas letters and birthday wishes, and yearly luncheons that brought us together the past couple years. She will be missed.

  64. I,m truly sad about hearing the passing of Theresa,she was a wonderful person and a friend.I knew Theresa when she worked at Madonna High School where I was aslo employed.She was always very friendly andwould help you if she could.Also send prayers to the family, may god and all his angels wrap there arms around her in heaven god bless Bradley tronsgard

  65. I just saw this and am so saddened by Theresa’s death. She always has held a special place in my heart and was more than a teacher to me. She was a mentor and a friend. My condolences to the DeCaria family.

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