OBITUARY

Theresa Daniels Priebatsch

February 7, 1925July 2, 2019

Theresa Daniels Priebatsch passed away on July 2, 2019. She was 94 and living at St. Catherine’s Village in Madison, Mississippi. Theresa was born on Feb. 7, 1925, in East Point, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. She was the daughter Wesley Leroy Daniels and Jessie Mae O’Cain Daniels. A sister, Eleanor, and a brother, Wesley, were born two and five years later respectively. When Theresa was eight years old, she and her family moved to Columbia, South Carolina, the hometown of both the Daniels and O’Cain families. She attended Rosewood Elementary, Hand Middle School, and on June 2, 1942, she graduated from Brooklyn-Cayce High School. Theresa was a bright, ambitious young woman, and not long after high school graduation, she attended the Western Union School in Columbia. In December of 1942, she received a diploma that certified her as an “automatic operator.” World War II was raging, and the flow of telegrams between the Pacific Theatre and U.S. west coast was immense. With many Western Union operators serving in the military, more staff was needed in California. Theresa and several of her friends in the Columbia office were asked if they’d be willing to travel by train to San Francisco and work in the Western Union offices there. Never one to shy away from an opportunity to grow both professionally and personally, Theresa jumped at the chance. For almost a year, an 18-year-old Theresa worked late shifts at Western Union in San Francisco and explored the city with her friends during the day. Back in Columbia after the war, she attended Draughton’s Business College and received a diploma in accounting. During the next decade, she worked various secretarial jobs and enjoyed family life in their home at 2305 Preston St. There were always friends and neighbors stopping by, and Theresa would climb behind the wheel of the family car after supper and drive everyone to Capital City Ballpark to watch the Columbia Reds play baseball. On Sundays, they would drive across town to attend St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church then return for Sunday dinner that was often attended by some of the Reds ball players. “That was a happy house,” she would say years later. In the late 1950s, Theresa took a job with Clarke Veneer & Plywood, a company that dealt with the international trading of wood products. She proved to be a valuable employee, and in 1958 when the company’s owner, Mr. Joe Clarke, decided to move the company back to his home state of Mississippi, he asked Theresa to move to Jackson and continue her career with the company. She liked her job but wasn’t sure her parents would approve of such a distant move, so she asked Mr. Clarke to come by the house and talk to them. To everyone’s surprise, Theresa’s parents were excited for her and wished her well. So off to Mississippi she went where she found an apartment in downtown Jackson, became a member of the YWCA, and started teaching Sunday school at St. Andrews Episcopal Church. In 1971, she met Morris Priebatsch, who was director of the Mississippi state welfare department. They hit it off and decided to marry. But getting married turned out to be harder than they expected. Morris was Jewish, and Theresa was Christian. Inter-faith marriages were still frowned upon in some quarters at the time, and they couldn’t find a pastor or rabbi in Jackson who’d help them tie the knot. Fortunately, a rabbi in Natchez agreed to perform the ceremony if they would travel to Natchez. Theresa and Morris said yes, and were happily married on Oct. 10, 1971. They enjoyed 30 years of wonderful compatibility filled with traveling, charity work, and attending dozens of football, baseball, and basketball games at Morris’s alma mater, Mississippi State University. Open-hearted as well as open-minded, Theresa maintained her ties to St. Andrews Episcopal Church while also attending Beth Israel with Morris and working in the Congregation’s gift shop. Morris died in January of 2001, and seven years later Theresa moved to St. Catherine’s where she continued to support various charities and pull for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. She’s survived by a niece Catherine Daniels of Columbia, and three nephews, David Daniels and Mike Miller of Columbia, and Wes Daniels of Mullins, S.C. Memorials may be made to the Stewpot Community Services, 1100 W. Capitol St., Jackson, MS 39203, or by going to stewpot.org.

Visitation will be held Friday, July 5, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. at Parkway Funeral Home in Ridgeland, Mississippi with funeral services beginning at 10:00 a.m. There will be a meet and greet for friends and family to get to know each other following the funeral service. A graveside service will be held at Rose Hill Cemetery in Brookhaven, Mississippi at 12:00 p.m.

Services

  • Visitation Friday, July 5, 2019
  • Funeral Service Friday, July 5, 2019
  • Meet & Greet Friday, July 5, 2019
  • Graveside Service Friday, July 5, 2019

Memories

Theresa Daniels Priebatsch

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Kim Erickson

July 6, 2019

Mrs. Priebatsch was a delightful lady. My mom ate for several years next to her in the St. Catherine’s dining hall. I always loved the fact that she loved butterfiles. She always had a butterfly in her hair! If she were in the lobby when I came out, I would also go up to her and say hey! She would say “Well Hey”! Such a sweet lady. Rest in Peace sweet lady.

Kim Erickson