Theresa Phyllis Terrio

Theresa “Phyllis” (Ruane) Terrio, a woman of great faith and great devotion to her family, passed away on Friday morning, December 9, 2022, with her family by her side.  She was 93 years old.  Phyllis was one of twelve children born to John and Julia Ruane. She grew up in Malden and graduated from Girls’ Catholic High School. She met her future husband, Paul, in 1946, and they married in 1949. In 1961, they moved to Burlington, where they raised their nine children.  While raising and supporting her family, she also worked outside the home.

Phyllis’s faith was central to her life and was her guide in raising her family.   She was a faithful member of St. Malachy’s Parish, where she attended daily Mass.   She always enjoyed her relationships with her Church friends and was an active member of the Grief Group.

Phyllis was sociable, outgoing, caring, and funny.   She was always interested in others and always found time for her family and friends.  She was truly a special woman, one who was loved by so many. 

Phyllis loved to travel, and her adventures took her to Ireland, France, The Marshall Islands, and throughout the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii.   In fact, at the age of 72, she traveled with her daughter to Galway, Ireland, where she attended a summer program at the National University of Ireland.

She loved her annual summer trips to Brandy Pond in Naples, Maine and to Point Judith, Rhode Island with family.   She always enjoyed the tranquility of being by the lake or ocean with her loved ones.

Phyllis was happiest when surrounded by her family and friends. She enjoyed going out to eat, playing cards, and singing and dancing to live music. She loved sharing her childhood stories with her children and grandchildren. She cherished her nights around the dinner table with her favorite people, especially if there was ice cream and chocolate.

Phyllis was the beloved wife of the late Paul F. Terrio.  She was the loving and supportive mother of Dr. Charles “Eddie” Terrio of Oakland, ME; Mary Terrio & her husband Al Burroughs of Hollis, NH; Jean Terrio of Burlington; Catherine Racca of Goffstown, NH; Paul F. Terrio, Jr. & his wife Linda of Westford; Stephen Terrio & his wife Alex of Johns Creek, GA; Dr. James Terrio & his wife Heidi of Steilacoom, WA; Joann Terrio & her husband John Hayes of Burlington; and William Terrio & his wife Jovita of Bedford.  She was also the proud “Nana” to 16 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.  Phyllis was predeceased by her husband, Paul F. Terrio, her son, Joseph Terrio, her granddaughter, Erin Terrio, her daughter-in-law, Tanya Terrio, and her siblings: Sister Julia Marie, Sister Mary Alicia, Eileen Smith, Alice Folan, Richard, James Edward, John, Alfred, Frank, Robert, and Paul Ruane. 

Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., Burlington on Wednesday, December 14 from 3-6pm. Funeral from the Sullivan Funeral Home on Thursday, December 15 at 9am, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Malachy Church in St. Veronica Parish,, 99 Bedford St., Burlington at 10am. Services will conclude with a burial in Pine Haven Cemetery in Burlington.

Memorial donations may be made, in Phyllis’s name, to the American Cancer Society,,  3 Speen St, Framingham, MA 01701 or the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation,, 220 N Main St # 104, Natick, MA 01760.

For online guestbook and video tribute see