Kevin Cody

The South Bay’s Mother Teresa

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Nikki Tedesco preached the Word of the Lord and hosted a free Thanksgiving dinner in downtown Hermosa Beach for over 50 years. Photo by Kevin Cody

Nikki Tedesco, the “Mother Teresa of the South Bay,” will be remembered Saturday, Jan. 25 during a service at 1 p.m. at the Hermosa Beach pier. Tedesco passed away last week at age 94. 

For over 50 years, she stood colorfully dressed with a large crucifix, preaching the word of the Lord and consoling the troubled, especially young women, in front of the downtown Hermosa Beach Bank of America and other popular gathering places. 

In 1969, she began hosting free Thanksgiving dinners in her backyard. Over the years, as the crowds grew to several thousand, she moved the dinner to the Hermosa Beach pier entrance, where it continued through 2018, with support from the Redondo Breakwater Church.

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