Teresa Black, age 49 of Bellingham, passed away on July 12, 2014 at home surrounded by her family. She is survived by her husband Rick Black, children Clara, Noah and Amelia, parents Marvin and Marlyce Heidt, brother Andrew Heidt and many loving family and friends. An open Celebration of Teresa's life will be held at Westford's Broadway Hall, 1300 Broadway St. in Bellingham on Friday, July 25 at 6PM with a reception following. The dress is business/party casual, no black please. In lieu of flowers or gifts, contributions may be written to "Rick Black c/o Dr. Teresa Black Memorial Fund" and brought to the memorial or mailed to the Industrial Credit Union, PO Box 1767, Bellingham, WA 98227. You may share public memories with the family at www.westfordfuneralhome.com. Teresa grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After graduating from the University of Iowa Medical School she and Rick moved to Seattle where she did her medical residency in Psychiatry at the University of Washington. In 2001 she and her young family fell in love with, and moved to Bellingham where Teresa eventually started Pacific Harbor Psychology and Psychiatry with her friends. She quit her practice when she was diagnosed with lung cancer to focus on her family and to fight her disease. She fought valiantly for two and a half years, far longer than anyone thought possible. She and Rick chose Bellingham to raise their children because they knew it was a special place. However, they could not have known how special of an environment their friends would create. The outpouring of support and generosity while Teresa was fighting her battle were beyond all expectations. Our family will be forever grateful for the positive energy, meals, dog walks, anonymous gifts, and "beaming" emails at her times of greatest need. Our outlook on life is forever lifted. Teresa was a caring psychiatrist, a devoted wife, and a generous friend. She met Rick on the first day of their senior year in college and died just three weeks shy of their 25th wedding anniversary. Teresa had the ability to do, or become anything during her life, she chose as her most important calling, to be a loving and supportive mother at which she excelled with unending dedication and energy. Teresa had an unusual combination of a brilliant mind without an ounce of competitiveness. She was an old and gentle soul who seldom had a harsh word. She was a natural and quiet teacher without trying, who could fill the room with her smile. Teresa's illness gave us an education we did not welcome, but one that made us all stronger. I hope we can all learn from her example and become more gentle and kind. Some lung cancer facts: - Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women. Each year more people die from lung cancer than colon, breast, and prostrate cancers combined. - About 20% of the people that die from lung cancer are like Teresa and have never smoked. Other factors that increase ones' risk are second hand smoke, radon gas and genetics. - For most cases of lung cancer there are no symptoms until it is too late to be cured. Shortly after her diagnosis Teresa found solace in the quote "It's true that you gain your soul when you lose control" from the song 'Highway 7' by K-OS, an artist to whose music she loved to dance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhWRu4VoWDI Rest in peace Teresa, we will never forget you or the lessons you have taught.
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Westford Funeral Home & Cremation
Bellingham, WA 98225
Published in Bellingham Herald from July 18 to July 24, 2014