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Teri Lynn Kuhlman
1959 - 2004
Christian – Wife – Mother – Friend – Athlete

        Some people naturally inspire others. Their inspiration doesn’t derive from physical gifts or circumstances, but from the strength of their character. In every area of her life, Teri inspired those around her. From teaching and encouraging an active lifestyle to sharing her love of God and her belief in His leading, Teri’s enthusiasm for life was truly an inspiration.
        After dating off and on through their high school years in southern California, Teri Haughey and Curtis Kuhlman were married on September 6, 1981. They made their first home in Walla Walla, WA where Curtis taught and Teri was the office manager in the Physical Education Department at Walla Walla College. Teri quickly distinguished herself by developing a thriving aquatics program and encouraging fitness and exercise in her students. Her positive impact was felt in the community as well. Through her work in the youth division of her church, swim lessons, the Kidnastics program, and her triathlon friends she touched many lives in the Walla Walla valley and beyond.
        Many of their married years saw them competing in various events around the northwest and across the country. They ran in races from Spokane’s Bloomsday to the Boston Marathon. Teri completed several Half-Ironman events and Ironman Canada in Penticton, BC. Some of her favorite northwest triathlons were the Onion Man, Lake to Forest, Valley of the Sun, and Coeur d’ Alene. The birth of their son Spencer in October of 1991 was a tremendous blessing in their lives, but barely interrupted her training and racing. After swimming a mile in the morning and delivering Spencer in the afternoon, she took a couple of days off and then went back to training for a full racing schedule the next spring.
        Teri felt unusually tired while training in the summer of 2000, but it wasn’t until October of that year that she noticed an abnormal mole and had it checked. The biopsy came back positive for melanoma, marking the beginning of a battle with cancer that would ultimately take her life on January 29, 2004. Teri approached the battle with cancer just as she approached the rest of her life, head on. The tenacity, fortitude, and physical stamina that she brought to the fight was surpassed only by the strength of her relationship with God.
        It is said that fighting cancer changes a person and the friends that surround them; this was true for Teri. Her battle with cancer greatly deepened her faith and Teri came to a fuller understanding of what it means to “abide in the Lord”. She shared this deepened understanding with her family and friends, coming to view her struggle as an invaluable gift and blessing because of the friendships it created and strengthened.
        After her diagnosis, at times when her friends were discouraged, Teri’s enthusiasm and energy never failed to encourage and uplift those around her. Even as her own body was failing her she gathered a team of friends together for yet another triathlon, competing in the Onion Man Triathlon that she helped found in 1992. This triathlon was documented in the Escape series produced by Blue Mountain Television and has been an inspiration to many. Never one to rest on her laurels, she organized eight women and walked the Portland marathon later that year.
        Teri’s unfailing courage and support of those around her through her difficult struggle have left a lasting impression on those who knew her. She was comfortable in the knowledge that she could rest in the arms of Christ and made sure her friends and family knew that as well. While we wait, we continue to be inspired by her life and legacy.