Alberta Theresa Banfield

Alberta Theresa Banfield

October 30, 1921 - September 29, 2022

Alberta Theresa Banfield

October 30, 1921 - September 29, 2022




Alberta Theresa Bentley Banfield was born to Allie Shaw Bentley and Irving Bentley in Madison, Florida, USA on October 30, 1921. With two adoring and protective older brothers, Marvin and Alphonso Engle, she arrived feeling she also had a second mother in her mom’s identical-twin sister, Alberta, after whom she was named. And so it came to be that everyone knew and loved Alberta Theresa as Theresa or Tee.

At a young age, Theresa moved to New York City, where she attended elementary and middle schools and achieved a distinguished higher education, graduating from New York University with a B.S. degree and earning her Master of Library and Information Science degree from Columbia University.

Fortuitously, she was introduced to the love of her life, Sylvester Leopold Banfield, through mutual friends and, upon seeing her for the very first time as she crossed the windy street toward his place of employment, tall and stunning, her coat and hat billowing, “Leo” uttered “I wonder if I would marry her.” His wish came true on October 27, 1946, when they wed, and from thence forth not even death did them part. They welcomed their firstborn, Bonnie, and twelve months and twenty-one days thereafter, their middle daughter, Brenda. Their youngest daughter, Bever-leigh, came along years later when they least expected, and they raised their Three B’s.

Theresa became a New York City Public School Librarian—helming several libraries from Intermediate School 147 in the Bronx to Performing Arts High School in Manhattan—and she eventually became a District Librarian for the City of New York. During her working years, she passed on to her children her avid love of reading and voracious appetite for all things literary. Tee also loved to knit, sew, garden, entertain, and enjoy theatre, ballet and opera performances. She was always on the go.

Upon retiring, Theresa became a cherished docent for the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City (“the Met”), where she served for years as an enthusiastic guide and assisted with special events and programs, engaging visitors during her tours. She researched and planned her presentations and learned more about history and art in order to educate the diverse public and ensure their enjoyment of the facilities. Tee was a natural at this, for she related to people of all ages and backgrounds and loved to chat and help others. Toward this end, she also served on various committees and boards at the Church of the Incarnation near the Empire State Building.

In 2003, Tee moved to Southern California with her husband, who passed away three months later. The grace with which she endured the loss of her lifelong companion and the vigor with which she embraced her next chapter was inspiring. She took up painting, became an usher at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and spent quality time with family and friends.

Theresa transformed into her angelic higher self on September 29, 2022 at 10:00 am PT, peacefully and beachside, in San Juan Capistrano, CA. She was a steadfast, faithful, and bountifully giving matriarch who leaves behind her adoring family of three daughters, Bonnie Banfield, Brenda Banfield Smith, and Bever-leigh Banfield; two grandsons, Malik Hassan Sayeed and Kahlil Jihad Andrews [wives Dan’ee Doty and Amara Andrews]; and seven great grandchildren, Amanda Andrews, Tyler Andrews, Beija Sayeed, Aidan Andrews, Hope Andrews, Jul Sayeed and Qasim Sayeed.

Rise in peace, our beloved. We will take from your example your true spirit of love and kindness, acceptance, nurturing, and resilience, and we will remember you always.


Funeral Service

  • Date & Time: October 18, 2022 (10:00 AM)
  • Venue: O'Connor Mortuary
  • Location: 25301 Alicia Parkway Laguna Hills, CA 92653 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (949) 581-4300

Graveside Service

  • Date & Time: October 18, 2022 (2:00 PM)
  • Venue: Riverside National Cemetery
  • Location: 22495 Van Buren Blvd. Riverside, CA 92518 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (951) 653-8417

No Charities & Donations

No Gallery Photos

No Videos

6 responses to Alberta Theresa Banfield

  1. Aiko F. says:

    Sweet Theresa, you will be missed. So glad to have met you guys. You could be Gone from our sight, but never from our hearts. ❤️

Leave A Condolence

Choose a Candle