Teresa Delaney Eklund
Teresa Ann Delaney ("T") of Lake Oswego, OR, was born on December 15, 1954, in Washington, D.C., in the middle of a hurricane. A tree fell across the front door blocking her mother inside until a neighbor rescued her and took her to the hospital for T's birth. With a start like that it is easy to seehow she got her tenacity and strong will.
Teresa's father Robert Delaney, a Naval Academy graduate, moved the family several times on the East Coast and eventually relocated to Seattle to work for Boeing. Cleo Delight Delaney, beloved mother and soul mate, instilled in her a "you can do anything" attitude and work ethic. She is survived by husband Steven Eklund and siblings Mary Manix, Ed Delaney, Charles Delaney, Roberta Delaney and Moira Delaney. Teresa attended Bellevue, WA, schools and was a graduate of the University of Washington. Go Huskies!
T was a successful businesswoman. Upon graduation she was initially employed in store management with a young women's apparel retailer. One evening as she was closing, a shoplifter walked out with some unpaid items. So, what does Teresa do? T runs him down on the sidewalk to get the merchandise back. More tenacity!
Next stop was Eddie Bauer as women's apparel buyer. Working late she ordered a pizza. A finance guy named Steve, who also was working late, followed his nose and soon was eating pizza. This became the start of a 37-year romance. They were married on April 16, 1983, and it was a match made in heaven.
They were blessed by the birth of their son Michael Joseph Delaney Eklund on June 11, 1991. He was her pride and joy. A nurturing mother, she guided and supported Mike's education, after school sports and other activities. Sorrowfully, Mike passed away on January 11, 2020.
Shortly after leaving Eddie Bauer and a safari to Africa, the entrepreneurial bug bit Teresa, and she successfully founded Friends of Wildlife. FOW created unique endangered animal imaged products and donated a portion of each sale to support wildlife conservation organizations. Thus began a 35-year relationship with Laurie Marker and the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia, Africa. Teresa was a tireless advocate for CCF and visited the team in Namibia several times. She established the Portland CCF chapter and recruited an army of dedicated volunteers to help her tell the CCF story to students and business leaders. Never one to turn down a challenge, she successfully raised significant funds through "Big Cat, Big Party" auctions and "Run for the Cheetah" fun runs, usually with a live cheetah in attendance. Run faster!!!
Teresa was always a "people connector." She enjoyed sharing her friends with others and always enlarging the circle. People were naturally attracted to her generosity, kindness and thoughtfulness. Her first thought was always the other person's happiness and well-being. She used her organizational skills to initiate neighborhood group gatherings to laugh and share ideas, but always with a touch of activism and a drive to make this world a better place. Her friends will testify that she accomplished this and so much more.
A Celebration of Life was held at River View Cemetery on September 29, 2020. If you would like to honor Teresa's memory, a donation to CCF www.cheetah.org is suggested. Funds will be used to support education at CCF.