February 5, 1958 - June 18, 2017
It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Teri L. Klenke (formerly DeSilva and Connet.) She was born February 5, 1958 and passed away ever so peacefully June 18, 2017 at 7:35 a.m. surrounded by her loving family and while holding the hands of her loving husband and son. In the 59 years that Teri was on this earth, she repeatedly exuded confidence while exhibiting humility. This is a rare quality that she carried with ease. She was always in the service of both her family and her community. She began as a Dispatcher for Ashland Police Department from 1984-1986 working as a volunteer, then up to full-time employment. She decided fairly quickly that she wanted to be a police officer and specifically in the city of Ashland, Oregon.
She completed the academy and joined the Ashland Police Department in 1994. She served her community in a variety of ways including as a reserve officer, a school resource officer, and a patrol officer. She was best known for her beat on the Ashland Plaza, and in Lithia Park. She was always the kind and compassionate face of the APD who was seen day in and day out helping the homeless with the same respect, zest, and vigor as she would the most affluent Ashland community member. Teri was well known for her smile, her sense of adventure, and her overall “bad ass-ness” as a strong female mentor and role model to many young girls in the valley. She retired from the APD in June 2010 after 25 years of service to the city of Ashland.
She was also a defensive tactics instructor at the police academy and at Seven Feathers Casino and Resort. She was very passionate about women’s defense and believed in empowering women to take their safety into their own hands. This came after she was attacked in a parking garage by a man wielding a knife. Teri was a courageous woman who would not settle for such a thing so she grabbed the knife and took the guy down. She suffered a permanent scar on her hand that served as a reminder that bad guys will think you are weak but you have the power to prove them wrong. She took that concept and taught girls and women of all ages how to avoid those types of situations, and should you find yourself in that situation, be strong. I am sure that her guidance has saved lives.
She moved to Portland, Ore. in 2010 where she married the love of her life, Lane Klenke July 20, 2014. She also began working at the Clackamas Trader Joe’s in 2012. She continued to befriend co-workers and patrons alike with her magical smile and her electric personality. She became a first-time grandma to her pride and joy in January of 2013. Everyone who knew her never questioned the love she had for that little girl. She and her husband are the proud owners of two German Shepherds, Freddy and Lucy. Freddy knew Teri would need a best bud in heaven, so he left us 10 hours before her so he could be there waiting for her when she arrived.
Teri is survived by her loving husband, Lane Klenke; and her son, Aaron DeSilva. Aaron and his wife, Jackie are the proud parents of Teri’s only grandchild, Naiya DeSilva, four years old. Teri is also survived by her parents, Dick and Marilyn Connet of Woodburn; sister, Lisa and John Goosen of Albany; brother, Rick and Teresa Connet of Terrebonne; along with many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. Teri will be sorely missed by many but will never be forgotten for the kindness, compassion, love, and support that she brought daily to so many. A service will be held at the band shell in Lithia Park in her honor August 5, 2017 at 10 a.m. in Ashland, Ore. A gathering of family and friends to celebrate Teri’s life will be held later that day and will be announced at the service.