Nancy Wilcox, 65, of Mill Spring, NC, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 28, 2022 surrounded by her loving family. Nancy was born and raised in Imlay City, MI to Charles and Rita Wilcox. Later in life, she changed her name from Nancy to Tesha Bananda to pursue her spiritual path and teachings. She worked extremely hard to provide for her three daughters and raised them to be kind, hard-working and independent. In the 1990s, she moved to Florida and proceeded to study culinary arts while working in fine restaurants and eventually owned her own catering company. In 2001, she met her husband, Lee Emerson, in FL. They were married in a special ceremony on August 15, 2007 on the French Broad River with family and friends in attendance. Together, they started an organic farm in Mill Spring, NC and Tesha shared her cooking skills with many in the community. Her famous “cowboy cookies” were sold at co-ops and markets around the area with great acclaim. Her true love was yoga and helping others to heal their mind, body and spirit. In 2015, she founded Zen Yoga School where she taught various yoga forms, dance and natural healings. Tesha always provided each person unconditional acceptance and love at the level they were comfortable with. She exemplified kindness and service to all.

Those left to cherish her memory include her husband, Lee Emerson; and three daughters, Dana (Scott) Falkenhagen, Jill (Geoff) Kaiser and Tawnya (Todd) Letts. Also surviving are her seven grandchildren, Shelby, Amanda, Scottie, Beau, Sebastian, Alexander and Abigail; and siblings, Jim, Bob (Karen), Susan (Randall), Chuck, Roger and Danny (Kelly). Tesha had many cousins, nieces and nephews that loved her very much.

Only by emulating her actions and spirit can we accept this tremendous loss of a great light. Tesha was an angel here on Earth and we know that she is now an angel with God. In her honor, please go forth to do good in your community and share your love and light with the world.

Please join us for her Celebration of Life at Johnny’s Place Restaurant, 145 E. Capac Rd,, Imlay City, MI 48444 on Wednesday, August 24, 2022 at 3 p.m.

Donations can be made in Tesha’s memory to the Lapeer County ISD Ed-Tech Culinary Arts Program through Dana Falkenhagen, or to Imlay City Community School Alumni Association scholarships through the Four County Community Foundation.