Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Obituary - Teresa Jo Milliken

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our dear loving sister, Teresa Jo (Lage) Milliken at the age of 58, on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 in Overland Park, Kansas.

She was born November 26, 1963 to Lawrence Emil Lage and Phyllis Diane DiMarco in Clearfield, Utah where she lived with her older siblings; later moving to a farm with the family near Nevada, Missouri.

Teresa was employed by the USDA Farm Service Agency in Kansas City as an Information Technology Manager and had been with them for over 30 years. Teresa had been a quadriplegic for 42 years, but had the intelligence, fortitude and ambition to provide for their family, overcoming many obstacles in her life. Her big enjoyment was watching Kansas City Chiefs with her husband and going to the many events of the Ethnic Enrichment Commission.

She is survived by her husband, Mark Milliken, of the home in Kansas City; Tammy Covey and husband Ed of Huntington, Arkansas; Laurence Lage and wife Jeanette of Carthage, Missouri; Mike Starnes and wife Torn of Henderson, Nevada; Genia Unsworth and her husband Rod of Salem, Utah; Jim Lage of Nevada, Missouri; Tracie Starnes of West Point, Utah and Kristie Lycett of Layton, Utah as well as many nieces, nephews and others. She also leaves behind aunts Lila Knox, Linda Lage, Tina Warr, uncle Loren Lage and many cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents Farrel Offret in May 2022, Phyllis Offret in February 2011, Lawrence Lage in September 1995, grandma Kunchetta DiMarco in December 2016, grandma Odetta Offret in 2004, a half-brother Sean (Lage) Segal in June 2013 and a niece Tasha (Lage) Norris in July 2009 as well as numerous other relatives.

Memories:

Tammy – The most recent memory was when she kept pitching left in her chair and couldn’t stay upright, so I grabbed her butt (sorry Teresa) and adjusted her so she would not be struggling so. She said, “Oh, yeah! That’s much better, thanks Tam!” I love her! My baby sister! And, of course, the wind was gusting 40mph and we were both trying to keep her hair out of her face, laughing the whole time. Our sister was amazing, loved her family and loved to chat.

Bud – Teresa will always be my hero! She spent 30+ years working for the Missouri Department of Agriculture where she designed computer programs to support the farmers and ranchers throughout Missouri.

Jim - After Teresa’s accident, she came home from the hospital and she asked me to put her makeup on and I did. I thought I did great and she liked it. I teased around with her I would make her look like a clown and she smacked me.

Mike – Teresa was always an infectiously happy person that the world is poorer without. Even after her accident, the determination and courage she displayed was inspirational. Throughout the years, when I may have felt put-up-on by life events, I would think of Teresa with her challenges and the way she was able to handle anything life handed to her. She is an example to me and I believe many of us.

Genia – Teresa, you were my sister and my friend. I will always remember swimming in the pond, picking blackberries, playing games and the barn band. We had so many great times together. The best memory of all is the way you overcame your physical challenges to create a successful life. I always admired your strength. You were truly an amazing person. My life has been better because of you. I will miss you.

Kristie – I remember us playing volleyball in Grandma Offret’s front yard with all of our aunts, uncles and cousins. During the game, the ball came hurtling over to our side of the net. The volleyball would have been out of bounds if it hit the ground, but instead, it bounced off of Teresa and her wheelchair! The ball boomeranged back towards the other team and sailed over the net. I do not recall if we were given the point or not, but I remember Teresa being so proud of her great skill and performance that she proclaimed herself the MVP of the game. She always had such a great sense of humor.

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