Teresa Ward loved to clean. And in 1993 the Rocky Point resident turned that passion into Teresa's Family Cleaning, a company that grew from a couple of clients to hundreds and boasted about using environmentally friendly products.Ward died of a heart attack on Monday while visiting her son and grandchildren in West Virginia, said her husband, Kevin Ward. She was 56. The entrepreneur seemed destined to establish a cleaning service. 'She was always cleaning our home,' Kevin Ward said.After the Wards' three children started school and her parents sold the fuel oil business where Teresa Ward worked for 16 years, she cleaned homes to keep herself occupied.Then came the business and later charity work that also focused on cleaning.ADVERTISEMENT | ADVERTISE ON NEWSDAYIn 2012 Ward founded Cleaning Angels USA, a local nonprofit that provides free cleaning services to people suffering from debilitating illnesses. Her company also provided free cleaning services for women undergoing cancer treatments as part of a national program called Cleaning for a Reason and won an award in 2007 for the most free cleanings. She had established the Suffolk County chapter of the group after her sister died of cancer in 2003.Ward also helped entrepreneurs across the country set up their cleaning businesses through her membership in the Columbus, Ohio-based Association of Residential Cleaning Services International, said Tai Vicari, Ward's personal assistant. 'She was the person that you looked up to because she was so giving,' Vicari said. The association's chief executive, Ernie Hartong, said Ward was a force in the business.'Teresa certainly left a giant footprint on our industry,' he said. 'She was a true leader and just gave of herself to help others improve their businesses.'Ward also won other awards. In 2009 she was named the Small Business Person of the Year for the state and region. Last month she earned the 'Excellent Idea' award for her co-invention of a utility apron. The award was presented by Kevin O'Leary of ABC's 'Shark Tank' at a Las Vegas convention of the trade group ISSA.In addition to her husband, she is survived by her son, Jesse, of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia; twin daughters, Samantha and Nicole of Rocky Point; her mother, Eileen DeBari, of Las Vegas, and grandchildren, Colten and Isabella.Ward's body was cremated. A memorial visitation is scheduled Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. at Branch Funeral Home at 551 Route 25A in Miller Place. A memorial service will take place there Sunday at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Cleaning Angels USA at cleaningangelsusa.org.

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  1. ‘What we have once enjoyed, we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us’ – Helen Keller. Our heartfelt sympathies for Teresa’s family and all those who were lucky enough to know her. Teresa, you will be missed by all. Rest in peace.

  2. Where memories lead, our hearts will follow. Hoping that your memories will bring you to a place of peace in your heart. Our sympathy to you Kevin, your family and her many friends. We will always remember your visit to us here in South Carolina and the many hours shared at ARCSI Convention, ELC and the Mastermind group.

  3. May your life’s legacy live on in all who were touched by you. You will be woefully missed and never forgotten.

  4. Whole family at ICC is truly sorry for the lost of such an inspiring person and professional, God bless her soul and condolences to her family.

  5. Teresa is no longer in our presence but will be remembered for her good and charitable works. May the business that she created continue to be a tribute to Teresa’s dedication to family and friends!

  6. and she had foil streamers woven in her hair. I admired her sense of adventure and her zest for life. She will be greatly missed.

  7. Teresa was a ICON in our industry and will truly be missed.. May God bless her family during this difficult time.

  8. I am so glad I attended this past convention and got to hear many adventuress and thoughts from Teresa. May her husband, family and those touched by her passing be blessed with fond memories.

  9. Teresa was one of my closest friends. Not only did she provide me with much of her business knowledge, she invited me into her home and family. She was a kind and generous soul and her memory will live on in the lives of everyone she touched. I have been blessed to have her in my life.

  10. I will never forget Teresa’s caring sentiments towards everyone. She was always positive about life. I will truly miss you, Teresa. Your kindness will always be remembered by me. Love you.

  11. Teresa…we had fun as kids…all of us. Myself and my sister Marie will always remember the fun times. Driving around in your white Torino!! Rest easy my friend. Peace to your family.

  12. Almost 11 years ago I walked into your office looking for a job. 11 years later I have so many memories. I will never forget your contagious laugh and will cherish it all. You are already missed so much and I am so greatful to have known you as a boss, family and friend. Camping won’t be the same without you, but I will make sure I have your Capri Sun’s in my fridge each time in case you want to visit us in spirit. You will never be forgotten, I love you xoxo

  13. Teresa was on e of a kind….a true friend and I will deeply miss her. My thoughts and prayers to her family, friends and especially to her husband Kevin. God Bless and see you on the other side T….Love ya!

  14. You will be truly missed, Teresa, but we know you’ll be welcomed by those who’ve gone before you. God bless you and grant you peace.

  15. Dear Kevin and family,I am deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Teresa. My heartfelt condolences and sympathy to you and your family. I was blessed to have known Teresa and fond memories are what we have to remember her by which is what will keep her alive in our hearts and minds forever.May the love of family and friends comfort you during these difficult days.Love and hugs, Lee

  16. Know that Teresa made an incredible impact on so many people’s lives, and that they were enriched and happier for having known her.Wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts.

  17. Tearesa , my child hood friend.. you were my best friend.. And sister,, we had so many good time together.. You will always live in my heart,, You lived life to the fullest and touched so many lives,, I know this next life with your sister Ginger will be awesome .. Rest in peace.. my friend ,, thoughts and pray’s to your family .You will never be forgotten..ooxxoo

  18. My thoughts and prayers are with Kevin and family at this difficult time. Teresa was a dynamo so full of energy and creativity.

  19. My deepest condolences are with your family. The loss of a loved one is indeed heart-breaking. May the comfort from the scriptures bring you peace. At Revelation 21:4 we are assured that ‘He will wipe out every tear from [your] eyes and death will be no more’. As you continue to cherish your many fond memories of Teresa, please let the hope of a future resurrection encourage you.

  20. Thank you for always being so giving with your time, talents and innovations. Your legacy will continue through the many people you’ve touched throughout your lifetime.

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