WATERBURY — Mrs. Theresa (Balanca) Sauvageau, age 80, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on May 7, 2012, at Waterbury Hospital. She was the devoted wife of J.E. Clarence “Gus” Sauvageau.

Mrs. Sauvageau was born on May 24, 1931, in Mount Vernon, N.Y., daughter of the late Jose and Mary (Fernandes) Ribeiro. She was a graduate of Wilby High School and a longtime parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Theresa was the first woman in Waterbury to start up and operate Terese Answering Service. She managed the company for 21 years, serving many local doctors’ offices, local companies and churches. She also worked for the Visiting Nurses Association and the Village at East Farms.

She was the recipient of the VNA “Heart of the Agency” award from the Greater Waterbury VNA. She truly loved people and loved to be of service to others.

Theresa’s greatest joy in life was her family. She was happiest when surrounded by her loved ones at birthdays, holidays and picnics or just watching Yankees games with Gus. She also enjoyed dancing with her husband, stamp collecting, shopping and daily crosswords. She took such great pride in her three children and grandchildren and their many accomplishments. She made many friends throughout her lifetime and was a wonderful, giving and caring person to all who knew her.

In addition to Gus, her loving husband of 55 years, Theresa is survived by her three children whom she cared for deeply: her sons, Joseph Sauvageau and his wife, Zulma, of California, and Michael Sauvageau of Arizona, and her daughter, Terri Ann Barbieri and her loving son-in-law, Sal, of Waterbury. Theresa also leaves three grandchildren, Melissa Mary Sauvageau Green of Parkland, Fla., Nicholas and Stephanie Barbieri, both of Waterbury; her great-grandchildren, Douglas and Carla Green; her sisters, whom she adored, Olga Moura and Eleanor Tartaglia, both of Waterbury; and several nieces and nephews.

A funeral will be held on Thursday, May 10, 2012, at 10 a.m. from Maiorano Funeral Home, 95 Willow St., Waterbury, to Our Lady of Lourdes Church for a Mass at 11 a.m. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery. Family and friends may call at the funeral home on Wednesday evening from 4 to 7 p.m.

Memorial contributions in Theresa’s name may be made to: Holy Cross High School, to establish a scholarship in her memory, 587 Oronoke Road, Waterbury, CT 06708.

From The Waterbury Republican-American