Teresa Guerrero Sullivan, known to many as Tess, was born Maria Teresa Flores Guerrero in San Fernando La Union in the Philippines in 1961. Her father was in the US Navy, and they traveled to many places while she grew up, including Hawaii and Nevada. Tess had 2 sisters, Belinda and Leilani. Also, she had 2 brothers, Jason and Andrew. Eventually, the family settled in the city of Carson, CA. She attended Carson High School, the cross-town rival of Banning High School, which was her future husband’s school.
Tess was an excellent student and went to college on a scholarship. She chose accounting as her profession when she entered Loyola Marymount University in west Los Angeles. She loved choral music, and even sang for Paul Salamunovich. After college, she qualified as a CPA, and started at Deloitte, one of the “Big 8” accounting firms. She then went on to other positions and eventually worked for Technovare as the Chief Financial Officer for more than 20 years. She was a tireless worker and would spend whatever personal energy it took to get the job done.
Tess met her future husband Patrick in a church choir in Wilmington (CA) during Christmas caroling in December 1983. They dated for many years, and then tied the knot in a Catholic marriage in San Pedro in June of 1989. They honeymooned on Kauai, starting a tradition that would see the Island Girl return to the Garden Isle many times. Their only child, a son named Morgan, was born to them in 1995.
Anyone who really knew Tess knew she was a woman of incredible strength, both emotional and spiritual. She made many friends in her local communities, whether it was scrap-booking, stamping, Marriage Encounter, or one of the many choirs for which she sang – she was very passionate about her hobbies, especially music.
Tess’ time in Nevada would eventually catch up with her. She was one of the ‘downwinders’ that got caught in the radioactive aftermath of atomic bomb testing in Nevada in 1962. In January 2019, Tess became very sick and was eventually diagnosed with an aggressive form of endometrial cancer. This was her fourth and final encounter with some version of cancer. She had beaten uterine cancer the year before, but in March 2019, it became clear to her that this would be her last battle.
She passed out of this world and into her eternal reward on March 30, 2019. Those who knew her regarded her as an unbelievably kind, generous and loving person, with a perpetual smile, endless hugs and limitless energy for those she considered friends and family.
She is deeply loved and terribly missed.