Obituary of Teresita Hernandez Serrano
Teresita (“Terry”) Antonieta Hernandez Serrano passed away peacefully on August 2, 2019 in Salem, Virginia at the age of 84. Terry was born in Havana, Cuba on June 13, 1935, the daughter of the late Jose Manuel and Ana Maria Perez Hernandez. She was predeceased by her husband, Rafael Antonio Serrano, and by her brother, Jesus Manuel Hernandez of Miami, Florida.
Terry and her family made their way to the Fan District of Richmond, Virginia in the 1940’s, where she enjoyed a happy childhood. She became an American citizen after taking the oath of citizenship in federal court in Richmond. A treasured memento was a photograph of her naturalization that made the Richmond paper in the 1950’s. While she was immensely proud of her Cuban heritage, she was equally proud to be an American citizen, which she felt was both a privilege and an honor. While visiting family in Miami, Florida, she met her future husband, Rafael, and after marrying in Miami in 1957, they enjoyed sixty years of loving marriage together before Rafael passed in 2017. Rafael and Terry made their life in Richmond, where they were well known among the local Hispanic community. They owned and ran several well-known beauty salons for 50 years, the last being Rafael Beauty Salon on Glenside Drive in Richmond. After she and her husband retired in 2016, they moved to Roanoke to be closer to their daughter, residing first at the Village at Pheasant Ridge with Rafael, and after his passing, at Brookdale Salem.
While Rafael was quiet and reserved, Terry was quite the opposite. She was a fireball. A graduate of John Marshall High School in Richmond, she was voted funniest in her class. Her wit and humor were the stuff of legend. She could often be found shopping around Richmond with her tiny poodle in her purse. She never met a stranger, and she went to great lengths to help those less fortunate, especially if they were new to the Richmond area having arrived from Cuba or from Central America. Fluent in both Spanish and English, Terry helped many arriving immigrants, fresh from Spanish language countries, start new lives in America. She was generous in her advocacy for her friends, new and old. The word “no” was not something she accepted in any language. Her granddaughters, who she doted on, never heard that word from her. Whether those she helped were related or not, they were all family to Terry.
Terry’s greatest loves were her husband Rafael, her daughter Ana Barbara (“Bobbie”), and her three granddaughters, to whom she was affectionately known as “Mima.” She was devoted to all of them.
She is survived by her daughter Bobbie Serrano Black (Paul), of Roanoke, Virginia; her granddaughters, Elizabeth Black Pogue (Franklin), of Nashville, Tennessee; Anna Black Rogers (Jack), of Atlanta, Georgia; and Grace Markham Black, of Washington, D.C.
Terry’s family sends their thanks to all of Terry’s friends, employees, and loyal customers. The family would also like to thank the staff at the Villages at Pheasant Ridge and at Brookdale Salem for their care and support.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be considered in Terry’s memory to the Hispanic Ministry of St. Gerard’s Catholic Church in Roanoke, Virginia or to a charity of one’s choice.
A graveside service will be held in the Chapel of Light at Evergreen Cemetery in Roanoke VA on August 6, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. Condolences may be left for the family by visiting www.simpsonfuneral.com. Arrangements handled by Simpson Funeral Home & Crematory. (540) 366-0707.
5160 Peters Creek Road
Roanoke, Virginia 24019
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