Teresa Cooley of Salem, Oregon packed up her memories and wandered peacefully into Heaven on September 27, 2022. She was 63. While resting at home, Teresa was able to bid farewell to many of her family members and good friends before slipping quietly away.
Born Teresa Arlene May on August 28, 1959 in Sacramento, California to parents Eugene May and Arlene (May) Remien, no one doubted she was feisty from the beginning. Along with her older brother, Tony she attended elementary school in West Sacramento. Teresa later moved to Fair Oaks, California where she attended High School with her dearest & oldest friend, Tina (Berry) Goorabian.
Teresa married Rob Cooke in 1976 and their only child, daughter Jennifer, was born in April of 1977. Many years later, Jennifer and her husband, Scott Flowers enlarged the family with four wonderful grandchildren (Kayla, Riley, Chandler and Wyatt), all of whom Teresa was extremely proud.
A late-life marriage to Bill Cooley offered new horizons in Oregon’s farming community for several years followed by a decision to move south to warmer climates in Arizona. Ultimately the love of her grandchildren won out over her love of the heat and brought her back to Oregon.
Teresa celebrated 31 years in recovery. Her servant's heart led her to work more than 30 years in various positions in Drug & Alcohol Addiction and Mental Health Services in both Oregon and Arizona.
In her final days, Teresa expressed many times how much she appreciated working as a Drug and Alcohol Peer Specialist with the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team in Marion County Oregon. Teresa had found her true calling working with a non-traditional
approach and reaching people exactly where they were. Her tenacious spirit, love of people, and her own experiences made her a force to be reckoned with. "She worked with forgotten people and never gave up."
Teresa enjoyed spending time in the great outdoors. She loved hot weather, camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, floating the rivers, walking on the beaches and gardening. She was also a lover of different cultures, history, flowers, birds, many pet cats, shopping and collecting anything & everything that brought her joy. She laughed and giggled and turned ordinary tasks into a silly song and dance.
Teresa's personality traits of determination, loyalty, fun, robustness, and her rascal-like attitude helped her “live in the moment” and imprint her uniqueness on the lives of all who knew her. She joins her big brother Tony in Heaven at a quiet fishing spot in the woods. She will be greatly missed.
Memorial contributions can be made to:
Simonka Place - Women & Children Ministry, Union Gospel Mission https://ugmsalem.org/our-impact/womens-ministry/
HOAP-Homeless Outreach & Advocacy Project http://www.northwesthumanservices.org/HOAP.html
The ARCHES Project- Housing instability and homelessness https://mwvcaa.org/programs/the-arches-project
Wounded Warrior Project https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/default.aspx?tsid=10043