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.