01/16/1958 - 05/13/2020

Dark hair.  Eyes of blue.  Our beautiful Cozette Mortenson Tenney grew up outside of Los Angeles, California, in the hills of Encino.  She loved the sunshine, mild climate, and the beaches of Southern California, and always loved to be near the water-oceans, lakes, ponds, pools, or canals.

Cozette loved people.  She always had her arms open to giving and receiving love, and she loved getting to know people. She was loved by all of her daughter’s friends and was affectionately known as their “Swedish Mother”. She preferred to read non-fiction, especially biographies and autobiographies, and learn about what made people who they are.  She was sensitive to the struggles of others having lost her mother, Donna Virginia Mortenson Fillerup, at a young age and never really recovering from that loss.  She struggled with personality disorders which fostered her ability to help others through life’s darker moments.  Cozette’s love will always be felt.

Growing up, Cozette was nestled in the middle of a large family.  She had three older brothers-Steven, Michael, and Jeffrey-and one older sister, Deborah.  Cozette became an older sister to two younger siblings, Jon and Mimi.  When she moved to Mesa, Arizona, in her twenties, she met and married James Tenney from Page, Arizona.  They raised three beautiful daughters.  Amelia married Larry Mecham and they have three growing boys; Yvette lives and works in Los Angeles and enjoys the SoCal lifestyle her mother loved; Briette married Matt Nielson and they have two darling girls.  Cozette dearly loved her five grandchildren and would give them her full attention and all her energy when she was with them,  dressing up and playing on the floor with them.  During the “Covid-19 Stay Home” period, she would FaceTime with them.  James (age 4) and Grandma Coco talked for 45 minutes one time!

Cozette was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints throughout her life.  She loved visiting the women in her Ward family, and she would visit them regularly at the beginning of each month.  She dressed beautifully for church, carefully coordinating her shoes and jewelry with her dress to make Sunday an extra special day from the other days of the week.  She loved her Savior, Jesus Christ, and even left the mild climate of Southern California as a young woman to serve an eighteen-month church mission in frosty and frigid Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Loving a good party and people, Cozette adored the holidays, decorating, and making things extra special for her family.  She was a talented Crock Pot cook and shared her recipes with others.  She often swam with her extended family and grandchildren at the Val Vista Lakes lagoon in her neighborhood, and hosted family parties at the Val Vista Lakes Clubhouse for birthdays, bridal showers, and baby showers.

Cozette learned to love the desert and embrace the culture of the Native Americans she associated with while traveling to and from Page and Lake Powell every year with Jim.  Her favorite place on earth became Lake Powell.  The girl from California created a beautiful life for herself and her family in the desert.  Cozette passed-away unexpectedly with Jim at her side.  We will always love you, Cozette.


  • Elizabeth Nelson

    Dear Jim and family, I am so very sorry for your loss. You all will be in our prayers.
    With love, Liz and Fred

  • Jessica Shelton

    “Cozy” was always so kind to me growing up. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Your all in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Teresa Walker

    This is a beautiful tribute. I had the privilege of meeting Cozette at Bri and Matt’s wedding and I remember how much she loved her beautiful daughters.
    We pray for peace for each of you and hope sweet memories will eventually replace your deep sadness.
    Teresa and Doug Walker

  • Brittany Creech

    I’ve known Cozy since I was a little girl in elementary school. Briette and I became best friends in the first grade and Cozy was always so welcoming when I saw her.
    I knew she had some dark days because when we played I wouldn’t always see her. Although, when I did see her she would always give me the biggest smile and say, “Britty! Give your Swedish Mother a BIG hug” and she would bear hug you so hard and pick you up off your feet! I will always cherish those sweet memories of her.
    She and my mom also loved taking Bree and I to the clubhouse. It was her favorite past time and we all have so many memories of gathering there and enjoying friends and families company.
    When we were growing up she had her dogs Rufus and Scout. She loved those dogs so much and Rufus was so protective of her. He wouldn’t leave her side and I like to think that he is protecting her in a happier place where she can look down on Jim and the girls.

    The last time my mom and I saw Cozy was when Bree came to visit about 6-7 months ago with little Sage. We went to breakfast place in Downtown Gilbert for a girls brunch. She looked amazing, and she was so proud of herself on how far she came with her weight loss. She was so happy for me that I was Finally engaged (let me tell ya, she asked me everytime I saw her when I was getting married). After breakfast we went to a little swap meet they had outside and walked around. I was so happy for her because she seemed to have so much more energy compared to what I remember when we were little. She seemed to have such a bright light to her. Im not sure if she was in pain or not at this point but I know that it was around the time where she was starting to have pain. This was the last time my mom and I saw Cozy and I’ll never forget that day with her and will love and cherish it.

    This family has made a huge impact on my life and have become my family. My heart is so heavy for them because Cozette was taken from them too soon.

    I love you Cozy and a love you Tenney family. My mom and I are here for you always.

    Love, Brittany

  • The last time I saw cozy was at the pumpkin patch. I remember thinking she and your dad were the nicest people I have ever met! They truly are so kind and caring and sweet!

  • I remember Coco always being up for a gathering, it seemed. Any excuse to get the family together was good enough for her. I also remember her being so excited about whatever I had going on in life, knowing how to make you feel important. I’m glad I got to know our AZ family after we moved there and we sure love our Tenney cousins.

    Cousin Peter

  • My favorite part of being around you, Cozette, was the way I never felt judged. You always had beautiful compliments for me. It seemed like I could do no wrong in your eyes. It’s a special kind of love that allows you to only see the good in someone and I felt that love when you were near. Your love for me, Briette, and our girls will be something I cherish forever. Love you and I hope we continue to make you proud. ❤️

  • Stephanie Janda

    I loved Aunt Cozette so much! She was always sweet, kindhearted, and loved to shower me with gifts and affection when I was a kid. She was so talented and creative. One year for my birthday she painted me a canvas of a beautiful Native American princess. We shared a special connection because we were some of the very few girls that served missions in Jim’s family. I was fortunate enough to have her there when I went through the temple for the first time. When she met my husband she instantly approved of him, and I’m glad they got to bond more over lunch and family game nights. These are just a few of the good memories I have of Cozette.

  • Ashley Petersen

    Aunt Coco was always so much fun and the life of the party. I remember having cousin sleepovers when we were little at the Tenney’s house and staying up late watching movies and playing games. Whenever I spoke with her she was always so happy and positive. I felt like she really cared about me and whatever was going on in my life at the time. She was a great host and always enjoyed throwing a birthday party or any type of get together at Val Vista Lakes. I will miss her and her big hugs and smiles every time I saw her. Love you Aunt Coco!

  • Kristen Carpenter

    I will always know Cozy as my ‘Swedish Mother’. She always greeted you with the biggest warmest hugs. She even picked me up and spun me around with these hugs. I always felt so welcomed and loved when I was around her. She had one of the biggest and brightest personalities and smiles and she always lit up a room that she was in. I always looked forward to seeing her when my sister and I went to their home. She was always so supportive and she was so much fun to be around. I truly enjoyed being around her. I loved her like one of my own parents. She is going to be truly missed and she will always hold a special place in anyone’s heart that ever met her.

  • Jackie Fillerup

    Cozette was so fun to spend time with. I cherish the times we spent chatting, and a little lap swimming at Val Vista Lakes. I remember Cozette’s gift of organization, her home was always so clean, she loved being a homemaker. She loves her family so much. She was gifted at making meals with multiple crockpots and was a warm, welcoming hostess. Cozette was so proud of her daughter’s, sons in laws and grandchildren, and she adored Jim. I miss Coco and her smile and warm hugs.

  • Heather DeGraff Cooper

    Sister Tenney, as I knew her, was a warm and sweet woman. She had an inviting and welcoming spirit. She exuded love and light. Whenever I crossed her path I was greeted with a beautiful smile. She raised 3 smart and beautiful girls! I know it’s hard to loose a Mom young. Til you all meet again! Blessings and love to your family!

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