Marie Teresa Rios Versace (Tere Rios) – Military Spouse & Author

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Flying Nun Fans Lose Author Tere Rios

Tere Rios was the author of the Fifteenth Pelican from which the TV Show, The Flying Nun, was based on.

Rios passed away on Sunday, October 17, 1999.

Here is the information supplied by a family member:
Marie Teresa Rios Versace (Pen Name: Tere Rios)

  • Date of Birth: 11/09/1917
  • Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York
  • Place of Death: Sarasota, Florida
  • Time And Date of Death: 12:35 October 17, 1999
  • Services: Her ashes will be buried with her husband at Arlington National Cemetery on November 12, 1999 at 8:45

Survived by:
Sons: Dr. Stephen Versace, Ellicott City, Maryland; Richard Versace, Chicago, Illinois; Michael Versace Rios, Arlington, Virginia; Daughter: Trilby Versace, Madison, Wisconsin; Brother: Dr. Rafael Rios, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico; Sister: Catherine Newsom, Winter Park, Florida; Grandchildren: David, Roque, Julie, Paul, Davi, Maya, and Skye; great-grandchildren: Deklin, Rios and Stephen.

Preceded in death by:
Husband: Colonel Humbert Joseph Versace, United States Army
Son: Captain Humbert Roque “Rocky” Versace, United States Army

Cause of Death: Lung Cancer

Tributes: In lieu of flowers, donations in the name of Tere Versace should be sent to: Hospice House of Sarasota, 5957 Rand Boulevard, Sarasota, Florida 34238.


Author of three books
Brother Angel
An Angel Grows Up
The Fifteen Pelican (the book that the TV series The Flying Nun was based on)

Mother of Roque Versace–the Vietnam War POW whose capture and execution was chronicled in the book Five Years to Freedom by Nick Rowe; Roque also recently received the Special Forces Tab and was inducted into the Honorary Special Forces Battalion and posthumously received the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Grew up in Puerto Rico and in New York.

Army wife during WWII which included driving army trucks and buses, serving as a pilot for the Civil Air Patrol and raising three children.

Wrote and edited for various newspapers around the world (Guam, Germany, Wisconsin, South Dakota) including Star & Stripes and Gannett. She also taught creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh and was on the staff of the
Rhinelander Writers Conference.  Named Wisconsin Writer of the Year in 1958.

Retired to Fajardo, Puerto Rico about 9 years ago.

Returned stateside recently to Sarasota when she was diagnosed with cancer.

Information Supplied by David Versace


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 11/09/1917
  • DATE OF DEATH: 10/17/1999
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 11/12/1999

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