Theresia Mae Preston - A Beautiful 100 Years
Theresia Mae Preston was born on July 18, 1920 the first of six children born to Oscar C. Buckner and Susie J. Buckner in New Kensington, PA. Though her name as recorded on her birth certificate is ‘Theresia’, most people came to know her as ‘Theresa’ and it is that familiarity that will be reflected from this point on. Theresa accepted Christ at an early age and regularly attended church services. She demonstrated leadership skills and achieved academic success that led her to pursue a college education.
She received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from West Virginia State University and worked briefly in Washington, D.C. as a teacher,
She was united in marriage to the late Joseph E. Preston, a union that would last for almost 60 years until his passing and they were blessed with two sons: Joseph Jr. and Jerold.
Having initially resided in Vandergrift, PA, Theresa and Joseph moved to the East End community of Homewood in Pittsburgh where they raised their two sons. As a parent, she enthusiastically supported their academic and extra-curricular activities, whether as a cub scout den mother or cheering from the sidelines for their sports performances.
During this time, Theresa was hired by the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare on April 11, 1955, where she subsequently built a long, successful career. She retired as an Income Maintenance Casework Manager after 33 years on December 29, 1988.
Through the encouragement and support of Theresa and Joseph Sr., both of their sons attained college educations and went on to success in their respective fields of study. Joseph graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and was later elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature where he served for 30 years. Jerold graduated from Cheyney University with a Masters in Education degree and worked as an Education Administrator in California where he was recognized for his work with improving troubled schools.
Beyond her domestic and professional life, Theresa enjoyed a variety of interests:
As an active member of Baptist Temple Church, she was the pianist and director of the Senior Choir. To broaden and build upon her musical skills, many summers she attended the Choir Directors’ Workshops held as part of the annual Hampton University Minister's Conference.
She was a life-long member of the N.A.A.C.P.
She was a life-long member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., most recently serving as Chaplain for the Pittsburgh Alumnae Chapter.
She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, Ermae 101 Chapter where she held various positions of responsibility.
She was an avid gardener who spent many hours cultivating and enjoying the beauty of nature.
Theresa also enjoyed travel excursions across the United States, as well as Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Theresa was creative, resourceful, and sensible with an easy-going nature and a kind heart. No doubt, she touched many lives during her lifetime. Theresa passed away peacefully on May 29, 2021, at the blessed age of 100 and leaves to mourn, her beloved sister, Dorothy Cooper(Barton); her Sister-in-Law, Velma Buckner; her son, The Honorable Joseph Preston, Jr.(Odelfa); granddaughters, Tina McGill, Nichol Preston, and Diana Preston; grandson, Joseph Preston III(Munirah); plus, a host of cherished family members, and devoted friends.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Theresia Preston, please visit our floral store.