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1948 - 2013
Teri Heitman, age 65, beloved mother, wife, sister and friend to all she met passed away on Thursday, August 22, 2013 after a long and courageous battle with a rare form of lymphoma. On her father's birthday, she became a beautiful angel as he held her hand and guided her home.
Teri was born in Reedley, Calif., but her family moved often. She started high school at Chaffey high in Ontario where she met her best friends for life, Linda and Joanne. After transferring to Camarillo High School in Ventura County for one semester, she spent her senior year at Calaveras High in San Andreas.
She lived for her one and only daughter, Kristen, and would volunteer for anything and everything in Kristen's life. When Kristen started pre-school, Teri volunteered often and even acted as president of the co-op. While there, she met a group of mothers who got together over the years in a "ladies night out" group as their children attended grammar through high school together and beyond.
Teri also volunteered at Penryn Elementary School for many years. Around the same time, when Kristen started doing community theatre at Magic Circle Theatre in Roseville, Teri began volunteering at the theater and eventually ran the box office.
Teri was happiest when surrounded by her loved ones, both family and friends. She leaves behind her daughter, Kristen; husband, Bill; siblings, Judy, Dan and Tom; Tom's wife, Kathy and their daughter, Larissa; best friends Linda, Pam and Ro; and countless others she loved and called close friends.
Even though this was her third battle with cancer, people often didn't realize how ill she was because she always had a positive attitude and fighting spirit.
She was everyone's best friend and would help anyone in need, often recruiting her friends and family to help too. Teri was also an incredible cook and would prepare enough food for an army to send to neighbors, friends and Kristen's entire office at work, who lovingly referred to her as "Mama Heitman". In between chemo, when her energy was low, she still managed to bake treats for the hospital staff and she even threw a Super Bowl party for the staff in her hospital room. She made a point to learn and remember every single one of her nurses' names.
Teri's family wishes to thank the Mercy San Juan oncology department and her incredible oncologist (and his staff), Dr. Lalchandani, for the wonderful and loving care they provided her and their concern for her family.
A celebration of Teri's life will be held at the Roseville Theatre Arts Academy in a few months, as soon as her husband returns from working overseas. Teri's ashes will be scattered in her favorite place in the world, Waikiki, where she could lie on the beach for hours and then shop the rest of the day at the international market with Kristen. A person with a generous heart, beautiful smile, and positive personality, Teri will never be forgotten and will always be loved and held in our hearts.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Teri's name.
Published in Gold Country Media Newspapers on Nov. 1, 2013