Theda “Teddi” Louise Politis, known to many as the “Purple-haired Lady,” died on Tuesday, July 17, 2007, peacefully at her home in Royalton, Vermont, surrounded by the love and compassion of her primary care-givers, Susan Knapp and Pam Gaffin, and her many friends and family.
Politis was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on June 12, 1947. She is survived by her parents, Dr. Alexander and Dorothy Politis; her brother and his wife, Dr. Galen and Patti Politis; their children, Garrett and Thea Politis, all of Pittsfield; her sister and husband, Dari and Dr. Paul Forman, of Albion, Maine; their son, Seth Forman; and her partner, Ted Jeske.
Politis graduated from Middlebury College in 1969. She worked as a school teacher and a Federal safety and first aid instructor for Mines and Gravel Pits, later traveling in South America before returning to Vermont in 1977 and settling in Barnard and later Royalton. Each year, she would leave for St. John, in the late fall to live with and care for her parents in their home on “Rainbow Ridge” high above Great Cruz Bay.
In the spring, Politis returned to Vermont as the Head Gardener at Standing Stone Perennial Farm in Royalton during the gardening season. She then moved to St. John where she worked as a snorkeling and hiking leader in the Virgin Islands National Park.
She loved sailing with friends and family, especially in the Coral Bay Yacht Club race on Wednesdays. She loved nature and the outdoors.
One of her heart’s desires was to trek from Nepal into Tibet to make a pilgrimage to Mt. Kailas, the holy mountain of Buddhists, Bonpos, Hindus, and Jains. The trip, planned for this August, will be completed by six friends from Vermont and St. John carrying Politis’ ashes to the sacred mountain.
Memorial services will be held at later dates in Royalton, Vermont and St. John. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice: c/o VNAH-VNH, 66 Benning St. Suite 6, Lebanon, NH 03748.