Teresa Bozarth DiFalco 1968 - 2021

It was a Thursday afternoon on June 6, 1968, when John and Janis Bozarth lovingly welcomed their daughter into this world. “Teresa Lin is here!” her ecstatic dad exclaimed, loud enough for everyone in the waiting room to hear. And so she began her young life. When Teresa was eight, her family moved to La Grande, Oregon, where she flourished, attending Central Grade School, taking CCD classes at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, and in 1986 graduating with honors from La Grande High School. While in high school, Teresa achieved academic accolades from the National Honor Society. She also played JV basketball and competed on the varsity tennis team. She was chosen queen for the jazz ensemble in the May Music Festival and received state recognition at the Junior Bach Festival. Teresa’s love of piano and jazz followed her throughout her life. She often frequented jazz clubs in New York City and Portland, and jazz hummed in the background in all her homes.

Teresa then spent two years at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. She transferred to Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, where she graduated in 1991 with a degree in English.

After college, Teresa worked as a software program trainer for a tech company based in Pennsylvania. It was here she met her future husband, Anthony DiFalco. They married in the summer of 1998 and moved to Weehawken, New Jersey, where Teresa took a job at Fieldstone, a large tech company based in New York City. They were thrilled to welcome two children, Anthony and Gianna. They moved back to Oregon in 2000, and eventually settled in McMinnville, Oregon, where Teresa focused on her family, and began her career as a freelance writer and editor. (Although they would divorce in 2010, they remained close.)

Teresa’s work appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Oregonian, the McMinnville News-Register, and Vancouver Family Magazine. She was a longtime contributing editor for Parents’ Choice, the nation's oldest nonprofit guide to quality children’s media and toys. She also sat on the Parents’ Choice Award committee.

Teresa published two essays in “Modern Love,” the popular and critically acclaimed New York Times column. Her first story, entitled “It Took a Villain to Save Our Marriage,” examined the difficult, often unspoken, side of marriage. “Teresa DiFalco’s essay gets at an uncomfortable truth…the story spirals into unexpected places and becomes an odd, intimate dance with danger,” said New York Times editor Daniel Jones. “I’m drawn to strange stories that explore the dark side of marriages with brutal honesty.” The story was later turned into a podcast, read by film actress Melanie Lynskey. In 2018, it was named one of the Top Nine Modern Love Podcasts. In addition to her own writing, Teresa was hired as the ghostwriter on the novel, “A Dangerous Age,” published by Gallery Books in 2016.

She also worked with her sister-in-law, Carole Radziwill, first as an editor on her 2006 memoir, “What Remains,” and then a novel, “Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating,” published by Holt in 2014. “Teresa taught me nearly everything I know about writing, and storytelling,” recalls Radziwill. “No one wrote a better sentence or turned a phrase with as much ease or dexterity. Her take on even the most mundane details of life, her illogical fear of odorous house ants, and her razor sharp wit would keep me laughing for days on end. She was the most original thinker – and most unique person -- I’ve ever known. She was my favorite everything.”

They formed a partnership and collaborated on numerous other writing projects, including, “Office Politics: Blue and Red America Collide," a non-fiction political discourse which Teresa edited and wrote the forward, a novel titled, “Who Killed Jetta James?" about reality TV and murder, and an untitled TV comedy series revolving around the lives of residents living in a quirky New York City apartment building. They were also working on a TV adaptation of "Widow's Guide."
Teresa often drew on her life experiences for her own writing. She examined the monotonous side of life with acute clarity, insight and honesty. At the time of her death, she was working on a novel, “Crane Flies and Other Domestic Terrors,” a love story about the disintegration of a marriage. She was represented by Inkwell Management. But despite her many achievements, no award came close to the pride she took in her two children, Anthony, 22, and Gianna, 19, both active in the social justice movement in Portland. She will be remembered through her writing and the family she cherished.

Teresa passed away April 21, 2021, in Portland, Oregon. She was 52. She is survived by her children, Anthony O. DiFalco and Gianna L. DiFalco, both of Portland; her parents, John and Janis Bozarth of La Grande; her in-laws, Helen and Tony DiFalco of Suffern, New York; and her sister-in-law and friend, Carole Radziwill of New York, New York.

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