Theresa A. “Teri” Knott, 96, of Great Falls passed away on January 2, 2023. Tess (or Tessie as she was known to her parents and siblings) was born to Margaret and Nick Madler on November 6, 1926, on their homestead near Baker, Montana. She and her younger sister Jane finished their school years at St Thomas Orphans’ Home in Great Falls.
She took a job with Great Falls National Bank, and it was around this time Tess asked friends and colleagues to call her Teri. She later said she should have continued to go by Tess, but truthfully “Tess Tesinsky” is a bit of a mouthful, so it all worked out for the best.
Teri married in 1947 and raised two darling sons on the Tesinsky Ranch between Belt and Stockett. Teri enjoyed fishing, gardening, being outdoors and raising animals on the ranch, including an orphaned fawn.
Once her sons were grown, Teri returned to Great Falls where she finished her working years in the Sears credit department. She married for a second time in 1968, to a dashing US Navy veteran and WWII Pearl Harbor survivor – Jim Knott. Together they raised his four children. They retired and built a log cabin near Utica where they mined Yogo sapphires – an experience they shared with their children and grandchildren.
In 1986, Teri lost her eldest son Bill. His passing left a hole in her heart that could never heal. In memory of Bill, Teri had a tree planted on Flag Hill in Great Falls. Every year at Christmas time she went to the tree and placed a candy cane on it.
Jim passed away in 2004 after a long illness. Teri sold the cabin and returned to Great Falls. Jim’s passing left another hole in her heart and this time it was filled with the mischievous chihuahua, Pookie – they made a perfect pair.
Teri was a docent at CM Russell Museum, volunteering with Meals on Wheels, and she was passionate about playing pool. Teri was also a member of the Missouri River Shooters Association, the Lamplighters Singles Club, and loved bowling and playing cards.
In 2017, Teri took residence in the Beehive in Great Falls, and thanks to Ancestry.com and curious genealogists in the family, Teri delighted in meeting more of the children and grandchildren of her late siblings and enjoyed a steady stream of visitors from far and wide in her later years.
Teri is survived by her son, Ron Tesinsky and stepsons, Raymond (Sheri) Knott, Arthur (Alysa) Knott, and Carl Knott. A grandmother to eight grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren.To read the complete obituary and share condolences, visit the O'Connor Funeral Home website.
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