Theresa "Tesa" Alice Hand DuPre'


October 2, 1937 ~ October 14, 2020

Born in: Pelham, GA
Resided in: Atlanta, GA

Tesa DuPre′, beloved wife, mother and artist went home to her Father’s house on October 14, 2020. She was preceded in death by her husband of nearly 60 years, William A. (Billy) DuPre′ III, her parents, Larrabee Davenport Hand and Christine Turner Hand, her sisters and brother, Christine (Tena) Hand Elliott, Florence (Flo) Hand Beutell, and Larrabee (Babby) Hand, Jr. Tesa is survived by her four children, William (Bill) A. DuPre’ IV, Hollis DuPre’ Linginfelter, Lelia DuPre’ Reynolds, and Virginia Hand DuPre’, and nine grandchildren.

Tesa was born and raised in Pelham, Georgia, where as a teen she once worked in a tobacco warehouse. She graduated from Pelham High School and went on to attend Agnes Scott College. While a student there she met Billy on blind date. After they were married in 1957, she and Billy moved to Rome where Tesa quickly became involved in the community. One of her favorite sayings to her children was “bloom where you’re planted.” And bloom she did.

Tesa faithfully served as a leader in her church, Rome First United Methodist (including her Sunday School Class (the “Nomads”), and her community through many civic and charitable causes, including the Rome Junior Service League, the Girl Scouts, the Rome Garden Club, Rome Symphony, Chiaha Arts Festival, Chieftans Museum, and the Rome Area Council for the Arts.

Tesa made her first clay pot from millpond mud in South Georgia, a pursuit she resumed with a passion in the 1970’s when she began taking pottery classes at Berry College. She eventually built her own kiln (which featured a mortarless catenary arch of firebrick, that her MIT-educated father incorrectly predicted would collapse) and studio at home—with seed money for the kiln left with a brick on her pillow by Billy. Tesa attended Penland School for over 20 years under such teachers as Warren McKenzie. She became an accomplished potter, creating functional high fired pots that often reflected her love of nature and fly fishing. She exhibited for many years at both the Perspectives and Fired Works Invitational exhibits. Many have received her pottery for gifts and good meals and good memories have been shared over them. In addition to honing her own skills as a potter, Tesa supported and encouraged the creativity of many other accomplished and budding artists.

Tesa was a quiet, generous giver of herself to many causes, both public as well as private and personal. She served on the Board of the Hospitality House in Rome, Ga—a shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence. She also served on the Board of the United Methodist Children’s Home. Tesa once said her proudest accomplishment was bringing the Empty Bowls exhibit to Rome, Ga. This event brought together her commitment to help others, her love for pottery, and her love of a ‘down home’ community who came together to support a good cause. It is “sold out” in Rome every November.

Tesa was a passionate steward of God’s creation and she enjoyed it to its fullest, gardening, hiking and most especially fly fishing with Billy on Fightintown Creek (where they often enjoyed cooking a hotdog on an “heirloom” camp grill passed down from Billy’s family) in NE Georgia, and with good friends out West. She had great knowledge and love of native wildflowers. Her love of music ranged from country and bluegrass to classical and opera. She knew how to cook a fantastic family meal, organize and throw a great party, play bridge and the piano, clean a cast iron skillet with newspaper to not ruin the seasoning, how to load a dishwasher correctly, pick blueberries at just the right time, and to not ‘thank’ someone for a gift of plants “because no-one owns the plants. Just say you will enjoy them,” was the direction.

Tesa fought her battle against Alzheimer’s with amazing dignity and gratitude. She functioned remarkably well with it for quite a while due to her tenacity for living fully. Her family is comforted by many fond memories and knowing that she is now happy, free, and in the loving arms of her Lord and Savior whom she quietly loved and served. May all who miss her also be.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be sent to The Alzheimer’s Association, Hospitality House (Rome, Ga), Empty Bowls, Murphy-Harpst Children’s Home (Cedartown, GA), or the Coosa River Basin Initiative. A graveside interment service will be held with family and close friends at a date and time to be announced.

Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee.
In life, in death Oh Lord, abide with me.

William Henry Monk

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  1. Ursula Vann says:

    Such a quietly elegant and serene person! We shared many trips to workshops at Penland… and later at Shakerag in Sewanee. They were memorable experiences. There are not many people like Tesa — miss her and that whole period in our lives!

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