Tessa Jane Elswitha Lloyd was born in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England on August 26, 1935. She grew up in Calcutta, India (a country she adored) until she was nine, at which time she was sent to boarding school in Buckinghamshire, England. There, by her own admission, she did not always excel, but created friends for life. As one of her dearest friends recently said, everyone thinks of Tessa as their best friend.
In 1958, at the age of 22, Tessa married Philip McCormack (who was driving a black cab and attending medical school in London). A year later, the couple had their first child, James. In 1962, Katie arrived, and a third child, Pete, was born in 1965.
In a major upheaval, the family emigrated in 1966 from the metropolis of London to the BC wilderness and a soon-to-be-ghost town called Bralorne. The move was challenging. The compromise a few months later was Rossland, where British and other ex-pats gathered and more lifelong friends were made. The couple divorced in 1972.
Living in the Kootenays, Tessa was ahead of her time, buying a house on her own, fixing it up, raising her kids (and the kids of others), making her own yoghurt, eating vegetables other than peas and potatoes, and putting on Gestalt Therapy weekends. To most people in the area, this made her a radical hippie, which she most definitely was not.
For years, Tessa worked as a care aid for seniors at the Columbia View Lodge, a job she cherished and a spirit she carried into her home life, often bringing those-without-family and other castaways home for the holidays.
Tessa married Geoff Lloyd in 1980 and moved to White Rock, BC in 1989. They loved Dixieland and jazz music and traveling, including epic trips to Africa and a return to India. In her 50s, Tessa revisited her passion for watercolour painting and produced hundreds of beautiful, detailed works that she both sold and gave away.
After Geoff passed away in 2020, Tessa moved to False Creek in Vancouver where she was closer than ever to her children and grandchildren.
Tessa's last year was filled with long walks, much laughter and a lot of love. Tessa left this Earth with the same spirit in which she lived, full of great and sarcastic English humour, a deep love for her family and friends and a quiet grace and courage that could not even be shaken by the spectre of death.
Pre-deceased by her sister Gillian, her husband Geoff and her ex-husband Philip, Tessa is profoundly missed by her three children James (Hilary), Katie (Bill) and Pete (Samantha), and her six grandchildren Madison (Matt), Jacob (Olivia), Kieran, Cal, Bookey and Juno. She will also be missed by her dear friends, whom her kids often joked (okay, half-joked), always came first. Tessa passed away on July 30, 2023, less than a month shy of her 88th birthday, surrounded by her devoted children until the very end, and for the grace of that opportunity and for their mom's love and unique spirit, they remain forever grateful.
A celebration of Tessa's life will take place at 1:30 pm, September 24 at 518 Moberly Rd., Vancouver.