Theresa (Terri) Lynn Coenen, 55, passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home in Appleton, Wisconsin on Wednesday, March 4th, 2020. Terri fought Addison’s disease for over 20 years and she unexpectedly passed away from illness compounded by her pre-existing condition. Terri was a fighter and now she is free of the body that was not as strong as her spirit.
Terri was born on February 5th, 1965, in Neenah, Wisconsin, the daughter of Beth Robinson and late Roger Robinson. She was the oldest of 3 siblings, sister Jennifer (Robinson) and brother Mark Robinson. Terri married her loyal husband, David Coenen, on May 7th, 1999. Terri will always be the most loving and selfless mother to her son Cade Coenen (20), and to her son Mitchell Widule (22) and daughter Sierra Widule (24), children of Terri and her previous husband, Bradley Widule.
Terri grew up with her siblings, eventual husband and in-laws, and many friends as she formed nonjudgmental relationships with all people. Terri enjoyed visiting her grandparents, spending time with friends at her home, biking to the pool, participating in extracurriculars at Neenah High School, and meeting at the Eagles Club.
Terri developed her passion for knowledge and service at a young age. She loved to read and work with people with developmental specialties. She graduated from UW-Whitewater with a Bachelor of Science in Education and immediately became a Special Education teacher. Terri taught all over Wisconsin then settled in Appleton with David and the kids. Terri was a founding member of Classical School in 1999 and she devoted 21 years to educating fourth grade students. She adored her school, her colleagues, and all the students she was privileged to teach. Her love of scholarship propelled her to complete a Master of Arts in Education at Viterbo University.
Terri loved attending Wisconsin Badger games with David and family. She spent the summertime in the sun at the Coenen Cottage in Waupaca, and wintertime downhill and cross-country skiing. Terri loved to travel with family and friends- all over the United States and to Australia, Mexico, the Caribbean, England, France, and Italy. Terri was looking forward to retirement when she could both boutique work and shop, and experience more of the world with her kids. Above anything, Cade, Mitchell, and Sierra were the center of their mom’s universe; she never missed their games and events. She was most excited to share in their lives and give them all of her time, love, and support. Terri was comforted by their family dog, Oakley, even when she passed.
Terri is preceded in death by her father, Roger B. Robinson, and her longtime friend, Anissa Widule. She is survived by her mother Beth A. (Clough) Robinson, husband David D. Coenen, son Cade J. Coenen, son Mitchell R. Widule, daughter Sierra A. Widule, sister Jennifer A. (Robinson), and brother Mark M. (Tammy) Robinson. She is survived by her parents-in-law Bev and Jim Coenen, brother-in-law Steve (Jeanne) Coenen, and sister-in-law Cathy (Bret) Pearson.
Terri is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles.
A celebration of Terri’s life will be held on Sunday, March 15th, 2020 at Valley Funeral Home 2211 N. Richmond St., Appleton, Wisconsin 54911. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. followed by a memorial service at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to Classical School will establish a memorial fund in Terri’s name to honor her mission as an educator.
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