- June 22, 2015
Therese Marie Bartolac Stubbs Thrailkill, 85, of Dallas, Texas, died peacefully at her home as the sun rose on Monday, June 22, 2015. Among countless family and friends waiting joyously to welcome her were husband John Thomas (“Tom”) Thrailkill, parents Stephen and Louise Bartolac, brother Edgar, sister Helen Mae, and her first husband, John Montgomery Stubbs. She is survived by her six children, Cecilia Norwood (Tim), Ruth Kelton (David), Kevin, Greg, Mark (Christine Emmanuel) and Paul, five grandchildren, one great-granddaughter, siblings Sisters Mary Ann and Virginia Bartolac, and nine nieces and nephews.
Therese embodied an exceptional blend of intelligence, keen wit, compassion and perseverance. She strived for excellence in everything she took on. Modest by nature, she often astonished people with her observations and insight. She was an excellent listener and communicator, frequently sought out by family, friends and even casual acquaintances for her advice and input. Her artistic eye gave her an amazing sense of style and design, from interior decorating and birthday cakes to sewing and wardrobes. She loved keeping up with politics, business, and everything about her kids’ and grandkids’ lives. She was an accomplished pianist, a huge fan of art museums, musicals, Audubon prints, Dancing with the Stars, Les Miserables, Christmas light tours, hugs and kisses, ice cream, perfectly cooked salmon, and tiramisu. Most of all she was a mom beyond compare.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, Therese was awarded a full scholarship to attend St. Mary’s Academy in Leavenworth for her freshman year of high school. She graduated from Bishop Ward High School as class valedictorian, attended the Kansas City College of Business, and in 1949 won a scholarship competition to attend the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC), where she promptly secured her place on the Dean’s List. During her college years she worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; at Potts-Turnbull Advertising Agency; and at the Houston Port & Traffic Bureau, where as executive secretary to the regional manager, she managed all aspects of the office during his frequent travels.
While attending UMKC, as secretary in the Radio Department, Therese met John Montgomery (“Jack”) Stubbs. They married in 1952 and moved to Rapid City, SD, where Jack was stationed with the U.S. Air Force. There, Therese worked as executive secretary to the partners of accounting firm J. W. Sorenson & Co., and following the couple’s move back to Kansas City, was administrative assistant to the treasurer of The Marley Company.
To Therese, her greatest achievement and challenge was raising her six children through all their diverse achievements, problems and crises. During those years she honed her management skills, coordinating nine long-distance moves and managing all aspects of the household including financial during Jack’s frequent job-related travel. Among her many talents she was a skilled cook and seamstress, designing and sewing most of the girls’ clothes. She was also active in school and church organizations. In fact, as Chair of a church guild, her creativity, imagination and leadership shone when she set a fundraising record by leading the transition from annual rummage sale to creation of a Parisian street shopping experience complete with awnings, sidewalk café and an Eiffel Tower backdrop.
By the 1970s, as her children grew older, Therese returned to college, maintaining a GPA of 4.0 while resuming her career. For two years she was a lead developer and presenter of women’s personal-growth seminars for EXPLORE, Inc. Another job enabled her to assist in the development of business ventures while managing the firm’s office. In 1978 she became a licensed broker and embarked on a nearly 10-year real-estate career, applying her talents at Ebby Halliday, Hank Dickerson and Henry S. Miller Realtors. She specialized in residential sales to clients ranging from first-time homebuyers to corporate executives, producing a million dollars in sales her first year and multimillion dollars in real estate sales each of five consecutive years. In 1982, working for Area Consultants, she helped manage the relocation of 500 Caltex Petroleum Corp. employees from New York City to Dallas, creating personalized home-search and rental profiles and resolving diverse problems from contracts and financing to appraisals, leases and moving.
After a brief move to St. Louis, Missouri, Therese returned to Dallas and became a popular concierge at the booming West End Marketplace. There, she met, fell madly in love with, and in 1999 married Tom Thrailkill, a fellow concierge for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau. Together they reveled in exploring Dallas’ restaurants and many attractions, to share with their respective clients. They shared a mutual love of travel, honeymooning in Hawaii, sailing the Queen Mary, vacationing in Italy, and visiting New York City and the West Coast, among many trips. They loved spur-of-the-moment road trips to explore new places and to visit family and friends.
Her family is deeply grateful to the staff of Caruth Haven Court Assisted Living, to caregiver Dee Moonga, and to hospice nurse Lee Ann Hudson, for their exceptional love and care for Therese.
On Saturday, July 18, a Mass will be celebrated for Therese at 10:00am at Christ the King Catholic Church, 8017 Preston Rd, Dallas, followed by a memorial celebration of her remarkable life at 2:00pm the same day at Caruth Haven Court, 5585 Caruth Haven Lane, Dallas, Texas (214/368-8545). In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Dallas Women’s Foundation, 8150 North Central Expwy, Ste 110, Dallas, TX 75206, or to the Parkinson’s Voice Project, 646 N. Coit Rd, Ste 2250, Richardson, TX 75080.
Arrangements under the direction of:
ARIA Cremation Service & Funeral Home
10116 E Northwest Highway
Dallas, TX 75238