Written by Carisa Giardino Friday, 10 July 2009 00:00
At 92, Marion “Tess” Teslik was an independent, quick-witted, working woman with a flair for fashion.
Growing up in Jamaica, Queens, Ms. Teslik attended finishing school after her high school days and later enrolled at Fordham University.
She attended three years of college before meeting her husband, Alexander, Jr., while on a train traveling between New York and Connecticut. They later married and Ms. Teslik, an only child, went on to have three children, Alexander, Steven and Melanie.
With family life in full swing, Ms. Teslik never graduated from Fordham until returning to the university some 12 years ago, finally earning a Bachelor of Arts degree at the age of 80.
The couple was married 13 years before her husband Alexander’s passing; their son, Alexander, was 12 years old, Steven 4 years old and Melanie just 9 months old. Ms. Teslik endured more grief in 1995 when her eldest son died at 48 years old.
Ms. Teslik called Garden City home for more than 50 years. She worked for several law firms, including Shearman & Sterling LLP and Shea & Gould, a well-known New York firm whose clients included the New York Mets. A huge fan herself, she participated in a senior stroll at Citi Field, home of her beloved New York Mets, walking the base paths after the Mets-Braves match up May 13.
She “retired” at 72 but was never one to be idle. Living with her daughter, Ms. Teslik knew she needed to keep busy, even if it meant working part time.
That’s when Anton Community Newspapers, with conveniently located offices just minutes away, became Ms. Teslik’s home away from home. The sharp-dressed “grandma” to many at Anton, where Ms. Teslik wound up working for nearly two decades, enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the weekly newspaper world.
Typing press releases and catching mistakes sometimes gone unnoticed, she truly loved her job. Still working at 92, Ms. Teslik often said she’d rather be at the office than bored at home. No matter the weather - rain, sleet, hail or snow - Ms. Teslik showed up for work prepared to get the job done.
Though her often-sarcastic humor remained sharp over the years, Ms. Teslik had a kind word for anyone she worked with. “Hello dear heart,” “goodnight dear heart” she’d say as she passed through the editorial department.
In the end, it was Ms. Teslik’s dear heart that won over her Anton family. She attended company Christmas parties and danced with the best of them, she always offered up chocolate to satisfy a co-worker’s craving, she often asked about your life, how your newborn son was doing or how your wedding day played out. She was a people person through and through. She just loved life and saw to it to live each day to its fullest.
“She was so kind and good to everybody,” Angela Anton, publisher of Anton Community Newspapers, said. “She really will be so sorely missed.”