Lingenfelter, Travis “Terri” Lindon deZeng, Saginaw, Michigan


Passed away from this life on July 29, 2014 at the age of 70. Mother of five children and grandmother to three, she was known for her ability to make all things grow with love. She dedicated herself to celebrating every occasion and anticipating every need. Her love and compassion radiated beyond the immediate circle of her family to friends, neighbors, colleagues and animals. Cats, dogs, horses and even squirrels soon learned they had won the “golden ticket” if she took them into her care. Terri was born in Rochester, NY on January 1, 1944 to Henry L. deZeng, III and Mary Burrows deZeng. She graduated from Brighton High School in 1961. She attended Keuka College and the University of Rochester before completing her nursing degree (B.S.N.) from Mercy College of Detroit in 1967. She worked as a labor and delivery nurse and served in the U.S. Navy Reserve. She married Richard Williams Lingenfelter, M.D. in 1966. After more than 40 years of marriage and adventure, he preceded her in death in 2009. An accomplished horsewoman, Terri began riding by hanging around a local barn and trading her work for lessons. As both rider and owner, she became known on the Hunter Jumper Association of Michigan (“HJAM”) and National "A" Circuits. Most recently, her horses, Zin-Zin and Van Gogh, attended the National Indoor Championships. She was probably equally known at horse shows for decking out her barn’s set-up with flowers and seasonal decorations and making sure nobody went hungry. Terri made homes for her family in many places, including a rural farm in Walpole, NH, a lakeside condo in Charlevoix, MI and a Longwood, FL house with orange trees in the backyard. But her ability to create a sense of home traveled with her, leading her grandchildren to know exactly which hotel room was hers just from the scent of her perfume in the hall. She was the kind of Mom who went through two upholstery needles making a homemade Chewbacca costume in 1977; who, after putting 26 strands of lights on her Christmas tree, sent her daughter out for more lights; and who made her Caesar salad with extra Worcestershire sauce and garlic. She was the kind of Grandma who dressed as Professor McGonagall (with wand!) just for an afternoon of playing Harry Potter around the house, brought extra-big arm bouquets for dance recitals and showed her grandson how to sieve mashed potatoes for her heirloom rolls at Thanksgiving. Although her heart was always close to home, Terri traveled extensively. She cooked meals in Julia Child’s summer home in Grasse, France, SCUBA-dived in the British Virgin Islands, put on crampons to hike a glacier in Alaska, helicoptered over Maui and cruised down the coasts of Italy, Greece and Croatia. Her special place was Disney World, however. She was floating in an inner tube on a lazy river at Disney’s Beach Club and grinning like a kid on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train a little over three weeks before she died. Survived by her children, Kim (John) Burnson, Richard Scott Lingenfelter, Karen (Peter) Howey, Kath Lingenfelter and Sam Lingenfelter and her beloved grandchildren, Emma and Henry Burnson and Sydney Bickel. She is also survived by her brother, Henry L. “Larry” deZeng, IV of Winter Springs, FL. A private celebration of her life has been planned. In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, Pancreatic.org, or the Michigan Animal Rescue League, michigananimalrescueleague.org. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Deisler Funeral Home, 2233 Hemmeter Road (off State). Please share your thoughts and memories with the family at www.deislerfuneralhome.com