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

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