Tessa Majors’ family, friends remember life of ‘delightful young lady’

Barely three months in New York, Tessa Majors already seemed at home.

The Charlottesville, Va., teen had made friends among her fellow freshmen at Barnard College. She was singing and playing bass in her alt-rock band and had filled her Instagram account with snaps of sightseeing and smiling selfies.

“College, more like coollege,” she quipped in a playful post from late August, after one of her first days at school, alongside a photo that showed her grinning in a flowered minidress, her hair dyed green and newly chopped to chin length.

Majors was only 18 when she was stabbed to death during a mugging early Wednesday night near campus, in Morningside Park.

“We’re all extremely hurt and deeply sorrowful and don’t know what to think or how to react right now other than just hurt,” Majors’ grandmother, Martha Burton, 87, of Nashville, told The Post.

“We have some wonderful memories of Tessa. We had our 67th anniversary and Tessa was singing for us and it was just beautiful.

“She was a delightful young lady. Those memories will be with us forever,” the grandmother said.

“She loved her school, I don’t know about New York. But she did love Barnard, the classes, and she loved to learn.”

On Friday, memorials to Majors grew in New York, where candles and flowers were set out on campus, and in Charlottesville, where the city’s Freedom of Speech wall on Main Street was filled with colored chalk tributes reading “Tess Majors” and “We love you.”

Online, Majors’ playful selfies have been supplanted by the bereft posts of friends and strangers flocking to her social media, filling it with tributes to her nascent talent and laments for her heartbreaking murder.

Many posts point visitors to recordings of Majors’ music, including for a band she started in senior year, Patient 0.

Its first album, “Girl Problems,” released in September, includes Majors singing in a plaintive soprano, “I’m scared of becoming who I’ve got to be.”

The song “Paper Cut” includes this line: “No one can control the fact, life won’t ever go your way.”

A young guitarist who posts as @beamer337 on Instagram shared a clip of the two of them jamming side by side, Majors’ pigtails bobbing as she hops to the music.

“Stop whining,” she’d recently told him, he remembered.

He’d felt like giving up on his dreams, but Majors, already a talented composer and singer, was having none of that.

“Stop whining and get to the love of it,” she’d advised.

“I’ll never stop,” he promised in the post. “We will never stop . . . From now on, no matter who’s on stage with me, Tess will be right next [to] me jamming with me.”

Majors lived most recently in a small brick ranch house in Charlottesville, alongside her little brother, Maxwell.

Neighbors kept watch there Friday, as the family remained in New York, where they’d rushed after the murder.

“We’re just here to help the family,” a woman told The Post, tears welling in her eyes as she helped clean out the garage.

“We are devastated by the senseless loss of our beautiful and talented Tess,” the parents said in a statement Friday.

Maxwell, meanwhile, posted a tribute to his sister on Instagram.

“Rest in peace to the best sister and friend someone could ask for,” he wrote. “I love you tessa rane.”

His post includes a photo of the two siblings from 2007.

In it, he’s a toddler wearing no more than a smile and a diaper. She’s dressed as a princess, complete with cardboard tiara, blue gown and fuzzy slippers.

Majors’ great-uncle was Johnny Majors, a College Football Hall of Fame tailback for the University of Tennessee and 1956 Heisman Trophy runner-up. He went on to be a beloved coach there in the ’80s and ’90s.

memorial for Tessa Majors
A make-shift memorial for Tessa Majors on the Barnard campus, pictured on Thursday night after her death.AP

Her father, Inman Majors, writes novels and teaches English at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., an hour northeast of Charlottesville.

As a younger kid, Majors’ imagination was extraordinary and inspiring, friends remembered.

It wasn’t enough, as a child, to just pretend to be a cat.

In grade school, Majors would tell her little pals that she actually was a cat, or at least some kind of magical hybrid, drawing them into her mischievous, imaginary world.

“To the girl who successfully convinced me she was part cat in primary school, you inspired me,” childhood friend Emmaline Woodworth posted on Instagram.

“You inspired me to climb every tree, wall, and obstacle in our way with you. you inspired me to be creative and imagine the impossible.

“You inspired me to be myself, no matter how much it scared me to do so.

“But what inspired me most about you was your voice. whether you were singing or speaking, people listened, and you used that gift in the best way possible. You made beautiful music, spoke up for what was right, and loved so passionately. rest in peace, beautiful tessa rane.”

Majors spent her senior year at St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville working on her music and pursuing her dream to go to school in New York.

Majors Charlottesville tribute
A memorial to Tessa Majors on Main Street in front of City Hall in Charlottesville, Va.Ron Sachs - CNP

In May, her father wrote a doting post marking his only daughter’s birthday.

“I can’t wait to see what the next 18 years have in store,” he said.

She was a senior intern at the time, at the Augusta Free Press in Waynesboro, Va., which printed her obituary.

She was planning to take a journalism class in the spring, her former boss, Chris Graham, told the local NBC affiliate.

“To me, the greatest tragedy here is that the world won’t get to see what she would have done,” Graham said.

“It may have been in music, it may have been in writing, and it may have been in something else. But she had a lot to offer the world.”

Additional reporting by Gabrielle Fonrouge and Khristina Narizhnaya