Walking On: Obituary for Theresa Erlei

In Loving Memory of our Beautiful Girl…

Miss Theresa Ann “Itsy” Erlei went to be with our Creator peacefully in her home on May 10, 2019 in Chiloquin, Oregon at the age of 43.

Theresa is survived by her daughter Georgene Tenorio, mothers, GeorGene Wright Erlei Nelson  and Pixie Souza both of Chiloquin, OR; brother, Garrett A Souza, sister in law Jade Souza, nephews, Kai and Little Garrett of Chiloquin, brother,  Nathaniel P Wright of Portland and nieces Aimee and Ei-shah, Verdella Wright of Klamath Falls, OR, and nieces Bernadine and nephew Wallapalls, Aaron J. Wright and Angelica Slemp, and nephews Aaron, Tavin, Julian, Kionie, Baby Boy; Plummie Wright of Grande Ronde Oregon and nieces Shyanna and Malu and nephews Konane, Kai, Rudy and Isaiah. Grandparents Harold “Plummy” Wright and Mary Ann Wright; Great Uncles: Larry Lugo of Klamath Falls, OR, Aaron Lugo of Klamath Falls, Jay Nelson of Salem, OR; Great Aunts: Vera Lugo Reyes of Klamath Falls, OR, Roberta Lugo of Klamath Falls, OR, Janice Nelson of Salem, OR, Verla Means of Salem, OR; Aunts: Tamie Wright of Klamath Falls, OR, Andrea Moses Paul of Muckleshoot WA, Rachel Moses of Muckleshoot WA, Becky Wright of Cottage Grove, OR, Lauren Schonchin of Beatty, OR, Loretta Wright of Umatilla, OR, Audra Allen of Klamath Falls, OR; Uncles Harold A Wright Jr. of Chiloquin, OR, Darin Wright of Beatty, OR, Aaron Wright of Chiloquin, OR and numerous cousins and friends. She is preceded in death by her father Lou Allen Matt Erlei, sister Aimee Frances Erlei Souza, Grandfathers Leonard Lugo, Elmer Erlei, and Grandmothers Ethel Mae Ruff Hicks and Sarah Erlei

Theresa was born on November 24, 1975 in Klamath Falls, OR to Lou Erlei and GeorGene Wright Erlei Nelson She graduated from Hillcrest High School in 1992 with a GED.

Theresa was accomplished at cooking and baking and often baked pies and sold fry bread to many friends and family members. She was a generous, witty, dedicated individual who loved family and friends and who was passionate about helping others and encouraging others. She was a dedicated member of the Klamath Tribes of Oregon and often participated in the annual parade on the Wright Family float for the Restoration Celebration and General Council meetings when her health allowed her attendance. As a young student Theresa learned to skillfully play the violin and clarinet and was a first chair musician.  Theresa also was a TAG student and she enjoyed choir and singing. Theresa was an accomplished fancy dancer as a young girl, and could bead, sew, and coach other young tribal dancers.  In her early years she was a highly skilled softball player and played on youth teams in the Salem area, her nickname was “The Intimidator”. She used her skills to hit home runs so she could get her and her friends’ hotdogs at the concessions stands, as they awarded free hotdogs to the home run hitters.  She loved to play youth basketball, and she was often the only girl on all boy co-ed teams. Theresa loved to help children, and she helped to coach youngsters on her daughter’s youth baseball team. Theresa helped her daughter with baseball practice. Theresa also helped in raising nephews in a foster home setting along with her mother.  She also cared for her grandparents and made sure they were fed well. Theresa did know what it was to live in a manner that created her to live in a penitentiary setting, but she learned of spiritual teachings, and taught the Klamath language to inmates.  She learned to sing songs, while being an inmate, to the Creator and she always tried to help others by encouraging them to live a positive lifestyle.  Her faith remained strong, and she never returned to the penal system, and her proudest moment was when she became completely free from being on parole.  She always thought of others, and encouraged people who struggled with addictions, and she understood the downfalls of an addictive life, and she didn’t want people to suffer with such consequences.  She kept an open door to those needing help. She loved to laugh, make jokes, and cared deeply with a genuinely kind, loving, heart. Theresa was an amazing, dynamic, genuine woman.

A funeral is scheduled for Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Williamson River Community Church, on hwy 62, with a reception to follow at the church. The reception is a pizza and pie potluck, bring a pizza of your choice, it was Theresa’s favorite food, including pie, beverages will be provided. Steve Weiser will officiate the ceremony.

All are welcome to attend and celebrate Theresa’s life.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Chiloquin Fire and Rescue at chiloquinfire.com. Condolences can be sent to P.O. Box 301, Chiloquin, OR  97624.

The family would like to thank The ICU staff at Skylake Hospital, Chiloquin Fire and Rescue Crew, Cousin Kenny Foster and Heather Green her caregivers, and her best friend Cheryl, Donna Hicks and Cousin Benjamin, cousins Janice Miller, Jozette and Bobbie for their care, love and support.

All information provided by:
GeorGene Nelson
(541) 591-0194
georgene.nelson@gmail.com