Terese Alexandra "Tessa" Barlow Riley



Our dear Tessa died November 5, 2021 in Toronto, with her devoted husband Mark at her side.  Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three months ago, Tessa faced her ordeal with characteristic calm and humour, as concerned for others as herself.


Loving mother of Samuel, Flynn, and Pippa, Tessa will be missed forever by her parents Betsy and David, sisters Signe, Esther and husband Dan, nieces Cordelia and Phoebe. Deeply mourned by her in-laws: Rosemary and Culver, Scott and Cathy (Parker and Nova), Carol and Brian, Jason and Tiffany (Izzy and Ben), John and Kim. Tessa dearly loved, and was loved by, a close-knit extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.


A graduate of St. Clement’s School, Queen’s and Columbia Universities, Tessa worked in television and her first love, theatre (Shaw Festival), before developing a career in communications, enjoying her working relationships at the Royal Bank and most recently as Director, Leadership – Talent, Inclusion & Learning with BMO Financial Group.


From her early involvement volunteering at a summer camp for mothers and children affected by HIV/AIDS, to her support of diversity in theatre serving on the board of directors for Cahoots Theatre, to helping sponsor a family of Syrian refugees, Tessa brought an informed commitment to causes that enhanced people’s safety and dignity.


The family is grateful for the compassionate care of Dr. Knox at PMCC and Dr. Colman at Bridgepoint Health and their teams. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to an arts or refugee support organization or another charity of your choice. Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.


A memorial celebration will be held at a later date.


Deep peace of the shining stars to you.


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