December 2022 Newsletter

Small Town Friendliness:

Meet Teri Douglas, New Assistant Activities Director

by Dale Dauten

“I like to tell people that Silveridge is the largest town I’ve ever lived in.”


That’s from Teri Douglas. And she brings small-town friendliness to her new job as Assistant Activities Director. Let’s get to know her…


(Photo: That’s Teri on the left, next to Activities Director, Lu Way)


You may remember the classic movie “Cheaper by the Dozen,” based on an autobiographical book where the authors describe growing up with twelve kids.

That family lived in New Jersey, but meanwhile, over in Minnesota, Teri’s family was living their own version of the story. In fact, theirs would be a better setting for a movie: the family business was, as Teri put it, “running a beach.” They lived and worked at Lake Byllesby, part of a regional park in Minnesota, near Northfield. As Teri told us, “We had no neighbors, but we had each other. I was the sixth of twelve.”

Below: Photos from Teri of Lake Byllesby

Teri ended up attending small, rural schools, including Randolph High in Randolph, Minnesota, graduating class of 28.



Teri eventually left the lake to go on to the Minnesota School of Business and then Makato State, where she studied Recreation and Park Administration. From there she took a job as a counselor, working with juvenile delinquents. Asked if she found that work rewarding, Teri laughed and said, “Rewarding yes, but it burns you out – these kids are brats.”


She eventually took a job with a company that manufactured medical parts, working there from 1980 to 1984. Turns out, she returned to that same company years later, in 1999, and stayed on until she retired in 2015. In between, she took a series of jobs, including working for the company that makes Malt-O-Meal and was Manager of a racquetball club. (Teri was a competitive racquetballer, once having been ranked in the state.)


Along the way, Teri moved in with Cookie, the woman whom she would marry. The two became caretakers for Cookie’s parents and lived on their small farm. Teri told us, “We met in 1980 and we were together for 37-and-a-half years. We got married on 12/13/14 at 15:16.” They were together until Cookie passed away in


Cookie & Teri’s wedding


“When Cookie died,” Teri told us, “I bought and moved into a 31-foot motorhome and traveled for a couple of years. People would see me pull into a campground or RV park and I’d jump out to make sure I had parked right and they would be amazed and say, ‘Are you in there alone?’ One time a friend even said to me, ‘You should be scared,’ and I said, ‘Now I might be.’” Teri laughed, and made it clear that she never felt alone or scared. She also pointed out that she had lots of potential destinations: “Coming from the family I did, I have lots of relatives to visit.”


But, when asked her favorite place to visit in her RV travels, Teri didn’t hesitate: “Mesa.” She added, “I love it. I’d rather be warm than cold. I used to park the RV for the winter and then spend summer back at the lake. Then a friend told me about a place for sale at Silveridge. I looked there and bought.”



Teri loves where she lives, and she loved being retired. But then the park’s Activities Director, Lu Way, spotted Teri’s vivacity and talked her into joining her team as Assistant Director. Teri said, “I did not expect to come out of retirement.” And she is all the way out of retirement, working fulltime. As she put it, “When I’m not working, I’m sleeping.”

Asked her favorite part of the job, Teri replied, “I don’t leave the house without my camera. There’s always a photo op. And I love going to the events and taking pictures, especially the dances and shows where they have a photo area.”



Teri so loves the desert, the heat, and Silveridge, that she no longer travels back to Lake Byllesby for the summers – she’s year-round at Silveridge. By the way, we mentioned earlier that Teri’s high school graduating class had 28 students. It says something about the draw and thaw of the desert that five of those 28 now live in Mesa. Teri says, “We can have a mini-reunion right here.”