Teresa Marie Coffey O’Neal, 60, of Ocracoke died June 23, with her husband Albert by her side.
Born on April 5, 1962, in Hollywood, California, Teresa was a daughter of James Lawrence “Larry” and Mary Angie Rohde Coffey.
Teresa grew up in Southern California and graduated high school in Bend, Oregon.
She returned to Malibu, California, to attend UCLA, and after graduating, she began a teaching career at Malibu Methodist School, where she taught for more than 18 years.
In the summer of 1999, Teresa came to Ocracoke for a vacation to see some long-time friends. She quickly fell in love with Ocracoke and one of its local boys, Albert O’Neal.
The next summer she returned and made Ocracoke her home, marrying Albert in 2002. In 2003, Teresa and Albert purchased The Island Ragpicker and ran a successful business until the time of her death.
Teresa was an active member of the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, and served as their treasurer for 17 years, until illness would no longer allow her to do so.
Many people referred to Teresa as the “Bingo Queen.” For many years, locals and visitors alike looked forward to the weekly Bingo game that was held in the Old Ocracoke Fire Department along Back Road where Teresa and Albert ran the show.
This fundraiser and that of the annual Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department Firemen’s Ball were instrumental in financing the construction and completion of the new fire department building along Irvin Garrish Highway.
Teresa, being a small business owner, served on the Ocracoke Civic and Business Association Board for two years. During that time, she revived the nighttime Boat Parade, which typically is held the day after Thanksgiving.
She was also a leader for the Ocracoke Girl Scout Troop for six years and touched the lives of many of the island’s youth.
Teresa also served on the board of directors for the Ocracoke Child Care Center for five years. Coming from a teaching background, these positions were near and dear to Teresa’s heart.
The 2022 senior class of Ocracoke School at graduation on June 12 honored Teresa and Albert with their Community Service award.
In addition to her husband, Teresa is survived by her mother, Mary Coffey; sister Sheila Northgrave and husband Dennis; father and mother-in-law, Edward and Stella O’Neal; brothers-in-laws, Eddie O’Neal and wife Pam; Andy O’Neal and partner Cathy; sister-in-law, Stephanie O’Neal; nieces and nephews, Candice Northgrave; Ryan Northgrave and wife Ashley; Meghan Causey and husband Clay Causey; Chad O’Neal and wife, Erin and Nicole O’Neal.
Also, great nieces and nephews, Jackson Causey; Case Northgrave; Sullivan Causey; Tucker Northgrave; Carter O’Neal; Kyler Luna and Amaya Luna.
Also, Teresa’s lifelong friends, Linda Schicker and husband, Maurice Oehlsen and Janet “JuJu” Baker.
She was preceded in death by her father, James Lawrence “Larry” Coffey.
A celebration of life will be held later in the fall at a time to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 332, Ocracoke, NC 27960 or Ocracats, PO Box 993, Ocracoke, NC 27960.
Twiford Funeral Homes, Outer Banks is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.TwifordFH.com.