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Theresa J. Cockerton

May 6, 2017

Published: Wednesday, May 10, 2017 1:00 p.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, May 10, 2017 1:06 p.m. CST

Theresa Jane Cockerton, 60, died Saturday evening, May 6, 2017, at Nelson Manor Health Care in Newton.  

Theresa, the first of three children, was born Jan. 12, 1957, to parents Robert Joseph and Hope Lynnette (Hotchkin) Cockerton. She was born at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash. During her high school years, Theresa was employed at Terrace Inn. Making lifelong friends and serving customers were her specialty. She was friendly to all, no one was a stranger to her.

Theresa graduated from Newton High School, Class of 1975. She received a Maytag Career Award to attend Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny. Her dreams included graduating and moving to the sunny state of California. In the summer of 1976, while Theresa was attending DMACC she was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma multiform level 3 brain tumor. Forging ahead after surgery, radiation and rehabilitation, Theresa didn’t let cancer stop her.

In April, 1985, a son Matthew was born. Matthew was the light of her life, she was always loving and caring for him. As years went by Theresa moved to Nelson Manor, making it her home for 12 years. While there she earned the nickname of “Trixie.” Theresa, dancing with Matthew while in her wheel chair at Matthew and Kelly’s wedding, was a highlight that left no dry eyes in the room. After the birth her grandson Cale, Theresa lit up with joy and gave all the love she had to him. She was a collector of many things including coins, plates and many, many friendships. Theresa was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Theresa is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Matthew and Kelly Cockerton of Carlisle, formerly of Prairie City; her grandson, Cale Joseph James Cockerton; her father, Robert “Bob” Cockerton of Newton; a sister, Julie (Stephen) Ostdiek of St. Joseph, Mich.; her brother, Kirk (Julie) Cockerton of Newton; several nieces, nephews and cousins; and her many good neighbors and friends. She was preceded in death by her mother, Hope L. Cockerton April 2, 2015.

A time of remembrance and celebration of life will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 13 at the Pence-Reese Funeral Home in Newton. Burial will be at a later date in the Palo Alto Cemetery in rural Newton. As an expression of sympathy and in lieu of flowers, memorials may be left to Theresa’s family or a charity of your choosing. Online condolences may be left for the family at pencefh.com.

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