WASHINGTON DEPOT — Theresa Braccio Kelly was a playful, soulful, tenacious beauty with a remarkable ability to make people feel loved.
Some people will say it was her smile. That magnetic one dimple grin turned many to mush. But the source of her power was more simple. She understood that life is for loving each other, so she poured her whole self into it.
She loved her friends with her laughter, her “ridiculousness,” and her willingness to hold friends accountable to the best versions of themselves.
She was the kind of friend people confided in when they wanted to know the truth and wanted to hear it from someone that loved them.
Those spent any time with Theresa at all knew that her parents and three older siblings were the center of her universe.
She looked up to them, loved them fiercely and spent countless hours conjuring excuses to get everyone together in one house
where she could dance, laugh and love everyone at once.
Nothing in life made Theresa happier than sipping coffee in the morning with a house full of family.
This is where she did her best work; this is where so much fun happened. Theresa was hysterically funny. Her wild, preposterous sense of humor was integral to who she was.
There was always laughter with Theresa, so many funny, outrageous, fall-down-and-pee-your-pants laughing moments that she single-handedly created.
Theresa loved an adventure and it’s not surprising that she met the love of her life, Danny, while they were both volunteering in Peru. Danny is a lucky man. She loved him with a staggering devotion that still made him blush after 10 years together.
She taught him how to play, how to love and how to fight for love. In 2019, against incredible odds due to cancer treatment, their daughter, Sienna, was born; a remarkable gift of love for sweet Theresa, who loved so well.
In March of 2020, Theresa refused to accept the slim chance of survival she was given by many doctors. Theresa took charge of her treatment path, did endless research and led the way finding the doctors she trusted most.
Her experience with cancer showed her tenacity, her courage and her startling strength. After turning over every stone and overcoming tremendous obstacles, Theresa passed away on December 19, 2020.
Born on May 22, 1986, she was 34 years old, far too young. But she loved big and lived vibrantly. She was committed to love, to being present, to being together and to letting people know how much she loved them.
She was beautiful, she was hilarious and above all, she was deeply true.
She is survived by all the friends she collected and kept from many places including Shepaug High School in Washington, where she grew up; Fordham University, where she did her undergrad, and NYU where she got her MSW.
She is also survived by her husband, Danny, and their 18-month-old daughter, Sienna; her parents, Joseph and Susan Braccio of Washington Depot; her sister, Maria Vecchione and husband, John; sister, Sarah Martinez and husband, Brook; their children, Leo and Beau; her brother, Joseph Braccio, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws and their beautiful families.
Theresa was preceded in death by her grandparents, Theresa and Joseph Braccio, John and Greta McGourty and her mother-in-law, Joan Kelly.
She will be loved, missed and remembered forever. When you think of her, think of her dancing laughing, and melting the room with that impossibly beautiful smile.
Due to the pandemic, a celebration of Theresa’s life is planned for sometime this spring.
Loved ones are invited to share thoughts and memories of Theresa on her Kudoboard and in her Legacy.com obituary.
Upcoming notifications for celebration plans will be posted there and people who post on either site will be contacted directly regarding services.