August 29, 1974 ~ October 30, 2022

Born in: Hawthorne, California
Resided in: Torrance, California

Teresa Isabel Olivas, a long time South Bay resident, passed away peacefully on October 30, 2022 after battling lung cancer for almost seven years. She was surrounded by family and prayer in her last moments.

Teresa is survived by her mother Abigail, older sister Anna (Brian), younger brother Marcos, nephew and niece Brandon and Brianna whom she cared for as her own children, and her uncle Eddie. She is additionally survived by over 100 cousins, aunts and uncles. Her father Albert preceded her in death.

Teresa was born in Hawthorne, California and was a lifetime resident of Torrance, California. She attended St. Catherine Laboure for 1st through 8th grade then attended Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, California where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1992.

In 1997 she received her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of California, Irvine. Following college, she began a career with UCLA for 25 years. Starting as an Administrative Assistant with the Neuroenteric Disease Program and moving onto Lead Administrator of the research center. Ultimately becoming the Program Coordinator for the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA with the Division of Digestive Diseases for the UCLA GI Fellowship Training Program.

Teresa embraced her Mexican heritage by dancing Ballet Folklorico at UCI and visiting her mother’s childhood home in Mexico. She especially loved her niece and nephew whom she visited almost every Saturday from the day they were born. Her favorite pastimes included reading, puzzles, building Star Wars Legos, going to Disneyland, and watching films. Her favorites were Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Hobbit and anything with Harrison Ford. Teresa was also fond of her beloved cat Pasha. Halloween was her favorite time of the year, she particularly loved celebrating through the music of Danny Elfman. She was extremely close to her mom, they loved watching telenovelas and movies from the golden era of Hollywood.

Teresa was a gentle soul with a big heart and beautiful smile. She was loved so much.


Rosary Service: November 17, 2022 5:00 pm

Lighthouse Memorials & Receptions - White & Day Center
901 Torrance Blvd.
Redondo Beach, CA 90277


Service: November 18, 2022 10:30 am

Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church
320 Massey Street
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254


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  1. candle 7Dear Teresa, Your gentle presence and skilled hand at managing the complexities of the UCLA GI Fellowship Training Program will be missed by fellows, faculty, and staff alike. We are glad that you are at peace in the loving presence of the Almighty.

    Jonathan Kaunitz

  2. We all remember Teresa who was an outstanding secretary of our Affiliated UCLA Training Program, always ready to help and support our multiple requests. It was a joy working with her. We are all missing her.
    Viktor Eysselein, MD, Chief Division of Gastroenterology, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

  3. candle 1Dear Teresa,
    In the five years I’ve been at UCLA, I’ve consistently been humbled by your gentle nature coupled with your great capability and steadfastness. Like so many others, I will miss your gracious presence and pray that you rest in eternal peace.
    James Tabibian

  4. Dear Teresa,
    I pray your beautiful soul rests in eternal peace. It won’t be the same without your presence in the office. I will miss your elaborate Halloween decorations and your thoughtfulness over the years. It was indeed a blessing to know you and I will always have good memories of our time together. Rest in peace my friend.

  5. candle 4Dear Teresa,

    Thank you for being such a kind and gentle soul in our lives. You also demonstrated such bravery, and you inspired us all every day. I will never forget talking to you about your faith, and you strengthened my own. We will always be grateful for you.

    Eric Esrailian

  6. candle 7Where do I start? Teresa wasn’t just my co-worker she was a person in my life I considered a friend. We had a special bond that is irreplaceable and I’m going to miss her very much. She was truly the bravest person I had ever met and I will forever keep her in my heart.

    I’m going to miss calling and asking her to show me how to do something in excel or how she would send me an email to proof read before sending it out because she was afraid she was coming across “not nice” as she would say. My grand babies, Riley and Hunter will miss the goodie bags from See’s Candies she would give them every Halloween, her favorite holiday.

    I’m so saddened to know the hardship your family is going through, but I know Teresa is smiling down on all of us from up above. Mama Abigail, keep dancing as you are a true inspiration. She cherished her family and spoke of you all with such love.

    Teresa – I promise to watch Star Wars without falling asleep hahaha. Until we meet again friend.
    Love you, Trish

  7. candle 4Teresa was a lovely and kind person who brought a sense of calm to the office. She was helpful in so many ways, especially answering all my computer questions…which were many 🙂 Abigail, I will miss you and Teresa at all the division events. I feel so lucky to have shared time with Teresa and mourn her passing with you and the family.

  8. Teresa was a loving and kind woman. She was so loved within our division and every GI fellow depended on her everyday. She did everything with grace and a smile and we will all miss her.

  9. candle 3You are such a beautiful and kind soul. A true heart of gold and a light of goodness. You took such good care of all the GI fellows during our training. This was more than a job to you! It was a true blessing to have you in our lives and you will be dearly missed Teresa!

  10. candle 3Teresa, you left us too soon. Thank you for always showing me kindness, and I hope you found peace in the end.

  11. candle 4Dear Teresa,

    I only knew you for a brief moment … yet in that brief moment, you demonstrated yourself to be a very kind and caring person. I enjoyed our conversations at the Division office’s “water cooler”. Your presence has also been much felt and respected through your work with the GI fellowship. May you rest in peace.



  12. candle 1Dear Teresa, I will always remember your caring nature and positive attitude towards life. May your soul rest in peace.


  13. Teresa was truly so kind and was the heart of our GI fellowship. We will miss her dearly and never forget all that she has done for us.

  14. candle 8Dearest Teresa:

    You will truly be missed. I will always admire your courage, strength, optimism, generosity, and pure heart. Your legacy will live on through the countless lives you have touched. I am a better physician because of you. Thank you. May God comfort your loved ones during this difficult time.

  15. candle 1Dear Teresa,

    You will be missed by all of us who worked with you and had the opportunity to know and appreciate you. I will always remember your kindness, professionalism, efficiency and smile. My deepest sympathy to your family. My gratitude to you. Rest in peace.

  16. candle 3Dearest Teresa, I will remember you for your strength and resilience. You were an integral part of the GI fellowship program, and you always showed up for us — even on the hard days. We will miss you so much. Rest in peace <3

  17. candle 4Teresa was such an integral part of our UCLA GI fellowship that it’s hard to imagine the program without her. I will always remember her smile, kindness and resilience. Rest in peace Teresa and my sincerest condolences to your family.

  18. candle 6Teresa, it was an honor to work with you so closely the past two years. You were honest, kind, smart, and professional. It feels like just yesterday I was saying goodbye to you in your office. Your dedication to the program was seen and felt by all who worked with you.

  19. candle 3Teresa, I feel lucky to have crossed paths with you in the short period of time we worked together. Your genuine smile would bring a smile to my face, your calm demeanor would calm me down. Your presence…is what I will miss the most. Rest in peace Teresa and my condolences to your family. You are in my prayers.

  20. I am thankful to have had an opportunity to work with you, Teresa. You were so smart! When I would see your name appear on my work phone I would get just a little nervous that I would not know how to answer the really great question you were about to ask – that was a good thing! All of us in GME will miss you and send condolences to your family.

    Lisa Payne

  21. candle 1Tia Abby, Cousins Ana and Marcos, extended Olivas and Peralta families, receive my most heartfelt condolences.

    While my heart is saddened, it is
    very aware that Teresita is now an

    My Dearest Cousin Teresita,
    I will forever be GRATEFUL to you for always communicating with me.
    It was our Mom’s and their concern for each other that provided the opportunity to have a relationship, even though we never met in person.
    I will miss your texts that without fail came to me for every single Holiday.
    I will miss you checking up on us with concerns regarding the family in El Paso.

    You made a BIG difference in my life, as you inspired me to have COURAGE with my own battle, that I couldn’t share with you at the time.

    May your gentle and kind soul be at peace in the presence of GOD.
    Love You, 💙
    Rossana Guzmán Rosales
    El Paso, Texas

  22. candle 8We met in 2013 when you became our fellowship program coordinator and I was a first year fellow. It was obvious from the start that you are a beautiful soul. You were always kind and helpful, and even in later years, with every email that invited me to give a core curriculum talk you would ask how the family was doing and request a photo of the kids (and you actually remembered their names and ages). You would play with them during our division picnics and I was so clear how much you loved your mother and your family and your career. You fought so bravely all these years.
    It was an honor to have known you and I hope your beautiful soul is at peace now.
    Guy & the Weiss-Kornberg family

  23. Dear Teresa,

    You have always impressed me with your kindness, calmness, thoughtfulness, courage and work ethics. You were always there when we were in the last days of submitting a grant and spent days and nights at the office helping us to do final edits and last minute submissions.

    Your dedication to your work played a crucial role in building and growing our research center and we wouldn’t be where we are today without your efforts.

    You were an amazing individual when you were healthy, and you amazed all of us how you coped with your long illness and fought off the cancer for several years.

    I will always be grateful to have had the privilege to know you and having had you as an integral part of the center at UCLA.

    You left us way too early and we will miss you dearly.

    Our sincere condolences to the family.

    Emeran Mayer

  24. candle 4Dear Teresa,
    Thank you for all your help and support during my few years at UCLA. You were truly an amazing person. Your kindness touched me from day one at my interview where you made me feel so comfortable. You will be missed.

    Rest In Peace Teresa and thank you for everything.

    Amir Kalani

  25. candle 4Dear Teresa
    It was such a pleasure to work with you. I could appreciate your dedication, many skills and most of all your calm, positivity and problem solving attitude. When you move on on other responsabilités, each time we met I appreciated your courage during your hardship and your wonderful smile and the love of your family. I had a remembrance mass at St Sebastian in your honor. Love yvette Tâche

  26. candle 2Dear Teresa,

    I cannot believe you are gone. I am sad to hear that you battled cancer for so many years. Thank you for your friendship at Bishop. You truly were a bright light here on Earth. I am sure you are shining even brighter in heaven. I am glad you are at rest, and your soul at peace. I am praying for you and your family. God bless you all.

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