In Memory

Teri Taylor (Powell)

Teri Taylor (Powell)

Teri Taylor Powell

January 23, 1955 - January 13, 2006

Teri Taylor Powell, 50, of Rigby, passed away on Friday, January 13, 2006 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. She passed away in her home surrounded by her family members while peacefully holding her husband’s hand. She was born January 23, 1955 in Provo, Utah to Clinton R. and Nadine Taylor. The daughter of an Air Force pilot, Teri spent much of her childhood on bases in New Mexico, Mississippi, and Japan, before finally settling in Midvale, Utah, where she graduated as co-valedictorian from Hillcrest High School in 1973. Following high school, Teri attended one year of college at Brigham Young University before marrying Rich Grant Powell on August 1, 1974 in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple. She was an active member of the LDS church and served in many positions, including the presidency of the Primary and Relief Society organizations.
With her loving and supportive husband, Teri raised six children. As a testament to her determination, she returned to college while all six of her children were young and eventually graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University in 1986. She later accepted a teaching position at Harwood Elementary School in Rigby and taught in the Jefferson School district for 12 years. After returning to college a second time, Teri earned a master’s degree in education administration from Idaho State University and in 1998 became the principal of Kinghorn Elementary School. When the Kinghorn building closed in 2002, Teri and her staff moved to the new Jefferson Elementary School, which has received numerous state recognitions during her tenure. Teri had an outstanding relationship with her teachers and her love of the children of Rigby kept her working as diligently as her strength would allow until she finally succumbed to her illness.
She is survived by her husband, Rich Powell of Rigby; her children, Jason (Judy) Powell of Tucson, Arizona; Erika (James) Moss of Santa Rita, Guam; Taylor Powell of Logan, Utah; Toni (Justin) Price of Rigby; Shelli (Hugh) Staiger of Milo; and Curtis Powell of Rigby; her parents, Clint and Nadine Taylor of Midvale, Utah; Sister Lisa (Tom) Freeman, Kyra (Neil) Morris, Stacy (Jacob) Buhler; Brothers, Stewart (Anne) Taylor, Brent (Laura) Taylor; and eight grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. at the Rigby Stake Center, 258 West 1st North. Family and friends are invited to attend a viewing at the Stake Center on January 16, 2006 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and on Tuesday from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. prior to the funeral services at the Rigby Stake Center. Interment will take place at the Parker Cemetery under the direction of Eckersell Memorial Chapel in Rigby. The family would like to thank neighbors, friends and Teri’s school associates for the many acts of kindness, compassion and generosity shown to them.
Because of Teri’s love and dedication to the education of children the family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Jefferson Joint School District 251 Education Foundation at 3400 Merlin Drive, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83404.

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01/30/23 04:00 PM #1    

Marilyn Jeppson (Webster)

January 19, 2006  from Marilyn Jeppson Webster's journal:  This is a picture of Teri, freshman at BYU. 

Teri had cancer for 2 years and felt the Lord extended her life--that her last year here was a miracle.  Her husband Rich is a computer controller for Ore-Ida potato company.  She died holding his hand.  He is a very good man.  They have six children.  All of Teri's girls are beautiful, slender blondes.  Rich's parents lived next door to Teri and Rich.  Teri said they have been angels. 

I visited Teri prior to Thanksgiving.  She was very ill at the time.  Seated in her living room chair, she was on oxygen.  Many of her own family and the family of her youth were about her.  I visited with her and watched her visit with a steady stream of friends who knocked on the door and stayed 20 minutes.  They ranged from members of her ward to colleagues from school.  The kitchen was full of food that was brought in, flowers and little gifts were all about.  "When I stopped going out, people started coming in," she said.  "I feel like I'm in the temple." 

During the progress of the disease, she continued to go to work as much as possible.  A little bed was set up in her office.  School colleagues petitioned the board to rename the elementary school she opened to Teri Taylor Powell elementary.  I read the petition which was so complimentary to her.  One of the cards in the hall where memorabilia and a short video was set up said "To our fearless leader." 

Our friend Marion Woffinden Davis spent a moment with her a few weeks ago.  Teri told her, "I tell my superiors what needs to happen for our students and why.  I don't mince words.  Then I wait to be fired, but so far, they haven't fired me....This is not the life I thought I'd have, but I'm glad it is the life I'm going home with." 

While I was in her home, daughter Erica arrived with her children from Guam.  She tightly hugged her oldest grandson (about 8 years) and said, "Marilyn, this is my oldest grandson.  Isn't he tall?  Isn't he handsome?" 

Her oldest son Jason worked on a written history of her life prior to her death.  She approved it and he gave her life sketch.  She bore her six children by the time she was 30 and one day at lunch, as she was serving peanut butter sandwiches and saltine crackers, she thought "There is no way we can raise these children on Rich's salary alone."  She was prompted to look at her patriarchal blessing, which said she would have help obtaining an education.  She told Rich of her plan to go back to school.  Ricks College linked with BYU and she earned all but 26 credit hours through them.  In the summer, she packed her six little children in the car.  They rented a dorm, shared with another woman.  The children were in daycare while Teri went to class, taking the full 26 hours.  She finished the term with a 4.0 and graduated Summa Cum Laude, with her children cheering from the stands.  She began teaching.  She told me "teaching is easy, but being a principal is hard."  She was excited to retire and serve a mission with Rich.

After a few years, she wanted to get her Master's Degree.  She knew she needed better typing skills.  She approached the 9th grade type teacher and worked hard.  She received her Master's Degree from Idaho State.  She planned her funeral and asked everyone that participated.  Her three girls stood together at the pulpit to each give a memory.

Erika closed her remarks with "Before my mother died, she told me I was her sweet angel and how much she loved me.  She said she would be near me.  'Listen for me.  I'll be there..'she said."

Toni said she will miss singing around the piano with her mother playing.  She said "I was singing a solo in church from this pulpit.  I started to cry.  My mother, accompanying me, left the piano and came to the pulpit.  My Grandma Powell went to the piano and started where we left off.  Mom sang the words while I cried....I will miss my mom's holding and smelling my babies.  She always smelled good.  When I took my babies from her, they smelled like she did.  We could always hear her laughing on the other side of the mall."

Shelly and the other girls all said how traumatic it was to leave home.  Shelley said "My Mom said she'd always be near me.  I know she will because she does what she says."

Stewart (Teri's brother) spoke.  His main idea was the parable about working in the Savior's vineyard.  'It doesn't matter how long you work in the vineyard nor where one works...the important thing is the wage we work for.  Elder Neal A Maxwell's quote--the gist is:  On the other side of the veil there are, perhaps, 70 billion people who have been released from this earth.  The righteous will be sharing the gospel message with them and will teach, perhaps hundreds, the gospel.  These hundreds will one day thank us for the loss of our association with our loved ones to their benefit....Teri understood the importance, relevance and meaning of the plan of salvation.  In the spirit world, she will not be hindered in her teaching by obstacles she had here on earth.

Wiley (Rich's brother) spoke.  He said "The Most Valuable Player award goes to the person with the greatest impact for good on the team.  When I was young, I played basketball for the Rigby ward and we had a great center.  You might expect he was 6 foot 6 inches and expert at reaching for the ball.  But he was neither.  Our center was my brother Rich.  Although not the tallest, he was the best rebounder.  He worked hard and smart.  Others had a chance to score because he cared about the team.  He has been the best example of Christlike love."

He said "Teri called me two years ago to tell me she had cancer.  She said "I'm going to beat it."  Teri, you did.  You managed your illness with courage, hope, laughter, no bitterness or "Why me?"  Her sister inlaw Vickey wrote:  "Teri, you made everyone who entered your home feel special and appreciated.  You made everyone feel like they were your favorite."  Her home life was happy, rich and spiritual.  There was laughter, grandchildren, tears and Teri was in the middle of it all.  Teri said "I'm a better person than I was a year ago because of this disease."

Wiley said "In 2003, Elder Neal A. Maxwell heard the this statement, "Neal, I have given you leukemia that you may teach the people with authenticity."  "This is what Teri has done.  She never gave up."

A former bishop said "Teri loved teaching.  She had a strong testimony of Jesus Christ.  She had courage, not only to tackle tough issues, but also to tackle tough people.  She always spoke her mind, no matter how daunting the task.  She had spunk, energy and a deep sense of purpose.  She never gave a boring Primary lesson." 

A student of hers told her when he thinks of Teri, he thinks of a book called The Tale of Desperado.  The hero in the book is a mouse.  He seems like a small mouse in a big world, but in reality he is brilliant and does more for everyone else than himself." 

These lovely quotes were among the picutures in her hall: 

"Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible".

"The decision to have a child is to accept that your heart will forever walk outside your body."  Katharine Hadley

"And in the end, it's not how many years in your life, but how much life is in your years." 

She would have been 51 years old on January 23, 2006.




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