Theresa Riley Pannell, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and sister, passed away on Monday, January 29, 2024, in Nashville, Tennessee, on her 67th birthday while surrounded by her loving family. She was born on January 29, 1957, in Birmingham, Alabama, to the late Willie Houston and Eula Dean Riley.
Theresa will be deeply missed by her husband Fred "Steve" Pannell; children Christa (Brian) Kiker, Audrey Pannell and Keith (Shelley) Pannell; grandchildren Kaleb (Madalyn) Reno, Kristen (Ryan) Campbell and Aaron (Halee) Reno; along with 7 great granddaughters, Adelyn, Emersyn, Sophia, Aurora, Aribelle, Emma and Atley. She is also survived by her sister Sylvia Lambert and many nieces and nephews. Theresa was preceded in death by her father and mother and brothers, Robert, Marvin and Terry Riley.
Theresa was the revered matriarch of the family and was the glue that set the bond in place for her family. She was affectionately nicknamed “GM,” originally coined from “Grandmother,” which later came to mean “General Manager,” always ensuring that everything ran smoothly or giving tough love at times when it didn’t. She had a vibrant personality and was known as the life of the party – and her earrings weren’t the only reason she sparkled. She was the fiercest of fighters when it came to fighting for her life and her health.
She dedicated over 30 years of her career to the insurance industry, retiring from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama prior to beginning her full-time beach-going, line-dancing, grandchildren-spoiling life that fulfilled her every being. Theresa loved line dancing with the Senior Tour and traveling to dance workshops and enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She cherished these moments and was known for keeping “Poppy" Pannell in line, which was no easy feat.
Theresa attended Faith Baptist High School and furthered her education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She found solace in her faith and was an active member of Crosspoint Baptist Church, Hilldale Baptist Church and Garywood Assembly of God. She also volunteered at church with Vacation Bible School, leaving a lasting impact on the other volunteers, ministers and teachers.
A visitation will be held on February 1, 2024, from 12 to 2 p.m., followed by a Celebration of Life Service at 2 p.m. at Crosspoint Church in Argo, Alabama, located at 8000 Liles Lane (Trussville, AL 35173).
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that contributions be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Alabama in Theresa's memory.
Crosspoint Baptist Church is honored to assist the family with the arrangements during this difficult time. Dr. Ron Pate and Pastor Ryan Whitley will preside over the services.
Theresa Pannell will be remembered for her strength, dedication and love for her family. Her legacy will live on through the memories shared by those who were fortunate to know and love her. Theresa is dancing her way through heaven and is back with the ones she loved that have gone before us. We can take solace in knowing she is with the ultimate healer and comforter, and know she will be watching over us until our journey is done.
Nashville Cremation Center is honored to be entrusted with handling Mrs. Pannell's arrangements. Please visit her guestbook to leave a thoughtful note for the family.