Theresa Marie DRINKWINE
January 21, 1925 – December 24, 2020
Theresa Marie Drinkwine (nee Barrette), known by most as Terry, died on Dec. 24, 2020, 29 days before her 96th birthday. During the last few years of her life, she lived in group homes in Burien and Federal Way, WA. She died in Burien with one of her three sons by her side. Born Jan. 21, 1925, in Seattle, Terry lived through the Great Depression, WWII, the Cold, Korean, Vietnam, Gulf 1, Gulf 2, and Afghanistan conflicts.
Terry was the fourth of six children born to Ernest and Eva Barrette. Early in life, the family moved from the Seattle area to Grandview, WA, because Terry was diagnosed with rickets and her parents were told the abundant central Washington sunshine was needed. It worked; Terry recalled seeing a picture of herself at about three years old when her uncles from Montreal visited the Grandview home, and she was a healthy girl again.
In the memoir she wrote for family, some of her early memories include her mother baking bread, cakes, and donuts. “These donuts were the best,” she wrote. Though the family struggled, she wrote, “A clear memory is that I never felt deprived.”
The family moved back to western Washington in 1934 and Terry graduated from Redmond High School in 1943. She then enrolled in the Cadet Nurses Program. Once trained as an RN, she worked at some Seattle-area clinics. In 1949, she moved to California to help with a polio outbreak and then settled in Stockton and where she worked in a pediatric ward and eventually became the head nurse for the contagious disease ward. After a lifetime in Washington, Terry admitted the seven hot, dry, and dusty years in California were enough. She moved back to Washington and worked at what is now Children’s Hospital.
She met Harvey Drinkwine in April 1959. Both of them were older than was typical for single people of the time. “We met in April and were engaged in June,” she said. “Harvey always maintained that I was the one who proposed first,” Terry recalled the parish priest handling their pre-marital counseling said they had lived alone for too long and were too set in their ways for the marriage to be a successful union. “The opposite was true; We had become adaptable to living with different people,” said Terry. They were married on August 22, 1959, at Holy Family Church in Kirkland, a union that lasted 43 years.
The couple lived in the Redmond area, rearing three boys; Mark was born in 1960, Brian in 1962, and Jim in 1964. While busy with three boys and work, Terry also found time to volunteer at her churches where she was active in guilds and parish bazaars. It was through her bazaar work she discovered dried-flower arranging. Her highly-sought-after arrangements helped raise a lot of money for the churches, first Holy Family Catholic Church in Kirkland and then St. Judes Catholic Church in Redmond. She and Harvey also found time for regular couples nights playing either bridge or pinochle, depending on who they were with.
“She was amazingly creative,” Brian recalled recently. Mark echoed that, “She painted the front windows every Christmas. The manger scene and Noel were a big part of the holiday.” She also started working on flower arrangements and her designs were much sought-after at church bazaars.
Terry’s early exposure to her mom’s baking carried over and her sons remember the smell of home-made cakes, pies, and around the holidays, her special Christmas bread. “Her baking skills were unparalleled, especially around the holidays,” recalled Brian. Jim remembered helping with cookies and getting to lick the mixer attachments clean. “She also used a lot of zucchini - zucchini bread, chocolate zucchini cake, and the zucchini at the dinner table in salads or fried.”
After retiring in 1988, Terry and Harvey moved to Camano Island, WA, where Terry added wood carving to her artistic endeavors. She continued to make dried flower arrangements (growing many of the flowers in her own garden) and connected with the local bridge club where she was an often-sought-after partner.
Later in life, when Terry wasn’t as mobile, she moved to assisted living facilities where she continued to play bridge and cribbage and rediscovered her love of jigsaw puzzles. She also enjoyed reading light murder-mysteries and thrillers.
Terry is survived by her three sons, Mark, Blaine, WA; Brian (Brenda), Tacoma, WA; and Jim (Cheryl), Ferndale, WA; her five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ernest and Eva Barrette: her five siblings, Marguerite, Laurant, Raymond, Gerald, and John; and her husband, Harvey.
Looking back on her life recently, Terry said, “I guess I’ve had a good life. It wasn’t always easy. But we made it work.”
Because of COVID-19, a private graveside service is planned. The family asks those who knew Terry to honor her by planting something, working on a jigsaw puzzle, playing cards, or enjoying loved ones. A place to share stories, pictures, and other thoughts will be available soon.