Therese Ellen Windt

March 27, 1958July 5, 2013

Therese Ellen Windt died on July 5, 2013 at home with her family. Born on March 27, 1958, she was Class Valedictorian of her Hayfield High School class of 1976. She went on to University of North Carolina, where she graduated with honors, earning a degree in Economics.

Working toward her ultimate career goal—Secretary of Health and Human Services—Therese took a job after graduation at the Brookings Institute think tank before entering UCLA’s Master’s Program in Public Health. She pursued her degree while working full-time as an analyst at Cedar Sinai Medical Center. One month before completing work on her master’s, she experienced a traumatic brain injury. Doctors predicted she would not walk or talk again. Aided by her own determination and the love and support of her parents and siblings during five years of rehab, she proved them wrong.

Not only did Therese walk and talk again, for 22 years, she held an analyst position at the United States Department of Agriculture. During her time at USDA, she chaired a committee for employees with disabilities. She was chosen for a special assignment with Health and Human Services to head a project for disabled employees. With a life-long commitment to education, Therese earned a Master’s Degree in 2000 from George Washington University in Information Systems.

Outside of work, Therese was an active volunteer and leader. She served as President of her Toastmasters Club and provided leadership to the local head-injured group. As a member of Mount Vernon Presbyterian church, she participated in Agape Reservoir, a ministry for people with special needs. She also participated in the Burke Presbyterian Church TreeHouse, a ministry that advocates for the rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities in the life of the church. Most of all Therese valued time with her family and friends. They will continue to be inspired by her generous spirit, her zest for life, her belief in education, her determination, her perseverance, her gratitude and her loving soul.

Therese is survived by her mother and father, Dolores and James Windt, her siblings, Fran (Scott) Akridge, Gerard (Julie)and John (Kelly) as well her nieces and nephews, Jesse, Jared, Jaime and Joshua Windt. Extended family includes Michael and Janet Muto and family, the Boretti families, the Mazzola families and the Tassinari family. In addition, the many friends who made the journey with Therese are included.

Services for Therese will be held at Demaine Funeral Home, 5308 Backlick Rd, Springfield, VA on Sunday, July 14 at 2pm.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the OVARIAN CANCER RESEARCH FUND ( or the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition(


  • Memorial Service Sunday, July 14, 2013

Therese Ellen Windt

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August 29, 2013

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Windt,

Very sorry to hear about Therese. My condolences to you and your family.


Kent Campbell

Edith Belt

August 22, 2013

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Windt,

My sincere condolences on the passing of Therese. I never met her, but her name is so familiar to me because you, Mrs. Windt, used to talk so much about her when you were my teacher. I know she was a lovely person who will be sorely missed.

August 3, 2013

To Mr. and Mrs. Windt and family

When I heard about Therese passing away, I couldn't believe it. It hit me so hard. I think about her several times a day. Sometimes I think, let me give Therese a call and then remember I can't. She was such a great person, why did it happened to her. She was my T, and I miss her. We had such great times, talking on the phone about Springsteen, Southside Johnny, U2 and Neil Young. When we went to rock concerts we always had a great time. She would always tell me about her babys (Dog and Cat). About Metro Access and how her day went at work. About "Seinfeld", at first she said she didn't like it, but after watching a few more episodes, she was hooked. It was great when we joined the bowling league. She was always better than me, but she wouldn't rub it in. When we would meet Matt Brooker at Springfield Mall and have lunch at Ruby Tuesdays and go see a movie.
I could talk to her about anything. It was like she could read me. She knew if something was wrong. I could ask her questions and she would just teach me and give me advice. Again I'm truly sorry about your loss. She was a great friend and person who was loved by many many people. I know that we will see each other again. I know she has moved on to a better place and does not have to endure the pain she did on earth.

John McHale

John Gall

July 19, 2013

"It's the brain damage thing" Therese replied.

I realized when we started dating that we hadn't operated in the same circles, would've never associated with each - didn't 'see eye to eye' on most things (so, we just never talked about those things LOL)yet we were "right" for each other. We briefly talked about this phenomenon once; the line from Tom Petty's "Refugee" brought it up: We both got something, we both know it, we don't talk too much about it. Therese said "It's that brain damaged thing."

What is that "thing"? That thing is not just the empathy that exists between those of shared circumstances, that "thing" what we consciously or sub-consciously shared with others of a similar condition. It's the passion that ensues because of a traumatic experience. We shared truly traumatic events, or passions with each other. And we didn't just share then with each others, but with everybody else who had suffered any traumatic experience in their life. And trauma's trauma, big or small.

We both realized that, and you've got to play the hand that's dealt. The corollary to that is "the house always wins." You know what, though? The house doesn't really win because we exist no matter because we are made in God's image and God is eternal.

It's the passion of existence.

Jason Lamprecht

July 19, 2013

Windt family - I was a Toastmaster with Therese during my 5 years in DC working for USDA-NASS. She was a great inspiration, her smile was cheering, and she was a wonderful person to be around. My condolences and prayers for you during these days.

John Windt

July 16, 2013

John Windt

July 16, 2013

John Windt

July 16, 2013

John Gall

July 15, 2013

All things BRUCE!

I want to thank everyone for sharing their memories of Therese, I had forgotten our eternal link - BRUCE! When I learned of of Therese's rightful adoration of the Boss, I quickly excused her being a devotee of Yusuf Islam (nee Cat Stevens). Besides, she was much younger then her musical taste hadn't yet developed. And I newer held the bowling experience against her, how was she to know that to ask me to go bowling was like asking a man with only one thumb to play pool?

I also had forgotten that pizza was our usual fare and our outings to the Chinese restaurant. I will always have a fond memories of our Friday nights outings to Old Town to the Confectionary Shop for a pastry and a cup of cappuccino. Now,a cup of coffee after 5 guarantees me a night of fitful sleep.

And while my memories of food are foremost in my mind (When isn't food foremost on my mind?)I have to give special attention to the always full Windt pantry. If you couldn't find anything to eat at the Windt's means you weren't looking. By our 3rd or 4th date I commented to Therese about the abundance of donuts and such and told her parents didn't have to indulge my sweet tooth. She scoffed and told me it wasn't my sweet tooth they were indulging but I was always welcome to partake in the bounty. Not wanting to be an ingrate, I always partook in the bounty.

The book remains open until August, I'll be sharing more memories later.

Strother Sharp

July 14, 2013

Dear Windts, I have loved Therese since I met her at Carolina in 1976. When I was fortunate enough to meet her lovely parents and family, I fell in love with them too. When I think of Therese, I think first of her unshakeable good humor. Therese had a rare ability to find the humor in absolutely any situation, no matter how painful or absurd. I also think of her desire to do something good for the world and make it a better place. I think of her kindness and her devotion to her beloved dogs and cats, and her rollicking household on Hayfield Drive where everyone was constantly researching the latest museum or art exhibit. It was a house where knowledge was valued and everyone was encouraged to pursue their dreams, with lots of good humor and abundant food to fuel the journey! Therese personified determination and defeated the odds throughout her illness, for which her devoted family deserves all credit. I know that Tish, Helen, Melanie, and I consider our wonderful memories of Therese among our most precious treasures. The slide show is absolutely fantastic, a poignant way to see the evolution of Therese's wonderful smile! I feel truly blessed to have known her. May you all find peace in the days to come.