The Tener Family

This is a journal kept by Dennis Holmes and friends concerning the Tener Family.
The links below will take you to the "Tener Blue Book" - "TENER: A History of the Family in France, Ireland and America"; and to a Finding Aid.

NEW! Tener Eckelberry: A Life
NEW! The Art of Renee Duke, Tener Eckelberry's First Wife
The Tener Book Site
The Tener Book
Finding Aid
Tener Family Photos
Previous Updates

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Sara L. MAY

The following was the notice the I received from Sara's son, John May, after his mother passed away. Sara was the grand daughter of Sara B Tener and Eugene Feuchtinger - Tener book page 77, and her parents were Sara (NEE MOZINGO) & Eugene Feuchtinger Jr.

"My mom died at 7:30 AM, Monday, February 7th,(2005) at St. Vincent's Hospital in Beaverton, Oregon from complications possibly brought about by a heart attack. Just after she climbed the stairs from her basement apartment in my sister's house and walked into the kitchen, she gasped for air, but she could not breathe. My sister rushed her to the hospital where they ran tests on her, put her on oxygen, and put her to bed.

My sister Sara was not sure if mom suffered brain damage from a lack of oxygen, or if her body went into "hibernation" to devote all it's strength to recuperation. Regardless, Mom went into a coma. For a while, she stabilized, but as Saturday wore on into Sunday, she seemed to be shutting down. I called the hospital at 6AM before I went to work on Monday. She made it through the night, and her nurse assured me that she was comfortable.

Later at work, my wife called to let me know that my sister had called her to say that Mom quietly left. My sister Sara then arranged for Mom's cremation according to her wishes.

June and I arrived in Portland last Saturday, February 13, for a commemoration service which my sister planned and which was held at the Senior Centre in Beaverton on Sunday. I gave the eulogy, and that's fair because my sister has done the lion's share of the work.

My mother, Sara Leota Feuchtenger, May, was a study in grace. Nothing could light her up like a handful of wild violets that a little boy harvested from the vast purple carpets in the woods.

She was a study in courage. She faced death without self-pity or flinching. When, at the age of 80, she learned about her ovarian cancer combined with her breast cancer, she frankly addressed it, submitted to the ordeals of the operations, and completed all the chemotherapy. There was no self-remorse: there was determination to finish. The medication might not have worked if not for the catalyst of her humor. (She told me that after her mastectomy, she carried around a pet rock for ballast.) She did win. She died without a trace of cancer.

She was never simply idle. Her mind and her hands kept busy. She enjoyed reading maps just for fun. When she did this, I believe she was privately indulging one of her passions: travel. Mom has seen her share of the world, and loved every minute of it. I can't say that Mom criss-crossed the world, but like her mother and her great aunt, she had wanderlust. She loved driving, too. I remember taking long trips with her (and Dad, too) from Pittsburgh to Detroit, Indiana, Chicago, Indiana, New York, and Delaware. We always started out when the stars were in the sky and by dawn, we were halfway there. She found her way around any city she lived in, and I never remember her getting lost. In her retirement, she traveled to England, cruised to the Bahamas and Alaska, and around through the Panama Canal. Her eyes were always eager to see new sights, and, until she could walk only with pain, her feet were happy to carry her anywhere.

She had a gift for contentment. For her, relaxing involved watching the Discovery channel or a watching a travelogue. She had an amazing talent for reading: she could pick up a line of print at one glance. She devoured books. While she liked to watch TV and movies, I think that books provided her with her main avenue of escape. While I don't think Mom was steeped in classical literature, I do know that she kept up with the popular writers. I remember our house having bookshelves crammed with Reader's Digest Condensed books. When Mom visited us, June and I worried that she would become bored, but my mom did not bore easily. She would happily spend the day dusting off the latest crossword puzzles. Her body definitely wore out far before her mind did.

If George Bailey's angel, Clarence, was right, ("No man is poor who has friends.") then my mom died as one of the wealthiest women in town. All throughout my life, I remember my mom having friends. She made friends with our neighbours, the wives of my dad's co-workers, my friends' moms, her co-workers, her church, and her service organizations. My mom kept in touch with friends she grew up with. She would faithfully keep in touch with friends until they were no more. Best of all, she made friends with her family, parents and children, and with her in-laws. I knew only a few people who didn't like her, which had more to do with them than her.
She was caring, giving, ingratiating, honest, sincere, and loving. Her temper was quick, but fair and principled and never malicious or unjust. She could be a mama lion for those she loved. She was kind, but tough: she gave a lot of love, and she didn't take guff. She was the leeward, safe harbor from the storm with strong moorings. The harbor and its moorings now are gone, but she made sure that we could sail.

Our grieving is for our own loss; she is with her rich reward. She was on loan to us, and we were very blessed.

Please feel free to contact whom you wish to pass the notice of my mom's passing."

(This is from Sara's son - John May.)