Obituary

Teri LaRae Wiand
Teri LaRae Wiand

February 10, 1961 - January 21, 2024
Born in Des Moines, Iowa
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Obituary

I am writing to remember my aunt, Teri LaRae Wiand, born February 10, 1961, in Des Moines to Carole and David Plummer. She had a sister, Diana, older by a year, whom she would torment mercilessly. Diana would balance the scales in a variety of ways, including making sandwiches with wet cat food and telling Teri it was tuna.

When they laid their weapons down, you could find them on horseback, attempting great feats worthy of Wild West scenes, hurtling down cliffs like the man from Snowy River. Much time was spent with cousins, eating popcorn, and drinking Kool-Aid at Aunt Carol and Uncle Gary’s place or ditching school to go back to Diana Leive’s house and eat junk food with reckless abandon. She always tried to help anyone she could in her own way. She was fiercely loyal to her friends and oftentimes, to her own detriment, would put herself in harm’s way if someone was being bullied. She instilled those same values in a most beloved son, Shane, her only child, who died when he was just twenty-six. His loss took with it a piece of her, and pain filled its place. Though she would never recover, her life, as my mom so eloquently stated, was more than the sum of her damage and pain.

She loved working and spending time with her dad in his guitar shop. She did her best to manage the day-to-day and often referred to her filing system as job security because the Rolodex she had fashioned was less alphabetical and more like one of those puzzle boxes that required clues to decipher. She loved all things holistic and would regale her mom with the latest concoctions and herbal remedies.

Seemingly a family trait, Teri loved music and with music comes dancing, and Teri loved to dance. She would dance with anyone, anytime, anywhere. She was gregarious and funny and a storyteller from beginning to end. If you never found yourself doubled over in pain from laughter at one of her tales, I am not sure I can say you really knew her. Her dramatic reenactments of events-mild or catastrophic-were something to behold. She committed to her craft like a well-trained method actor, falling to the ground if it was called for.

In the end, Teri gave the gift of life to others through tissue donation. And though she will be so missed by her mom, her sister, friends, cousins, aunts, and me, her niece (or sister’s daughter she’d say in jest), her life is only as far away as your fondest memory. In lieu of flowers, Teri hoped everyone would go on to be themselves, to help others if you’re able, tell your own stories, and not to sit out too many dances.

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Services

Memorial Gathering
Iles Grandview Park Chapel
3211 Hubbell Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50317
Friday, February 16, 2024
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM