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

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dawn R. DONNELLAN, NEE TENER (page 72)

Dawn Rosaleen DONNELLAN
Sept 2, 1922 -- Dec. 26, 2007

Dawn was born in San Francisco, CA, to Robert Evans and Sarah-Jane Tener: she was the youngest of three girls. Dawn attended San Francisco public schools.

Dawn married John F. Donnellan on August 23, 1942 at Grace Cathedral Episcopal Church in San Francisco. Dawn remained active with the Episcopal Church almost all of her life.

During the 1940’s and 1950’s Dawn worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In the 1960’s she had a beauty salon on Nob Hill in San Francisco. In the 1970’s and 1980’s she worked as a Real Estate Broker in her husband Jack’s office – where more often than not she was a member of the ‘Million Dollar Club’. She was a hard worker and was very successful.

Dawn played leadership roles in the various organizations that she belonged to: including Job’s Daughters, the Sierra Club, the French Hospital Women’s Auxillary, the Olympic Club, and the Junior California Club. One of the things Dawn will be remembered for is the parties and gatherings that she hosted. Her parties became legendary!

Dawn was preceded in death by her husband Jack and her sister Emilie-Jane Armand both of whom died in 1990. Soon after Dawn moved to Spring Lake Retirement Community in Santa Rosa, where she organized and or participated in many social activities and volunteered many hours of service and her personal resources to the chapel and other good causes. She was passionate about flowers and animals – especially dogs and specifically beagles. She had several beagles over the years and several litters of beagle puppies.

Dawn will remain in the hearts of her sister, Roberta Kenny of Davis; her nieces Betty Jane Armand-Hodge of Concord, Marciel Baker of Sacramento, Patricia McCaleb of Algier, WA: her nephes Andre Tener Armand of San Francisco, her grand nieces – Andrea Jane Griffith-Utne of Concord, Jennifer M. Beck of Novato, and Eileen Gorman of Sacramento. She will also be remembered by her grand nephews: Scott W. Hodge of Concord, Daniel Gorman of Sacramento and Craig Gorman of El Dorado Hills; her sister’s sister in law Alyce Davidson of Santa Rosa and her God Daughters Patricia MacJennett Kelly and Kathryn MacJennet Dunne and her many friends.

******* The above is from the memorial service held on Saturday, January 12 in Santa Rosa********

I met Dawn when she attended the induction of John Kinley Tener III into the Mid Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame, in Pennsylvania in the summer of 2006. When she heard that there was a Tener function she told her niece and nephew, "We're going!". She had a very strong sense of her family and it was Dawn who had saved old family letters and photographs - that spanned over a hundred and twenty years. (*The story goes is that Dawn was the youngest of the three sisters - and when there were estates to be settled, Dawn would be the one who was attracted to the old family photographs and old family letters. There have been shared with me and will be the basis of a 'book' on the family line from Isaac William Tener - brother of John Kinley Tener I.)

Dawn appears in the Tener Family History book page 72: with a misspelling of the name of her husband.

One of the ladies who spoke at Dawn's memorial service had known her for 75 years - they grew up together in San Francisco and were close friends all of their lives. Dawn and her husband Jack never had children - and yet they were Aunt and Uncle to a myriad of not only their blood-relatives but also to quite a few of their good friends' children.

As mentioned, Dawn's parties were very memorable. Several examples were discussed by her friends and the pastor. She arranged a party in Palm Springs for her friends from Santa Rosa! She arranged for a party at the Olympic Club - for her Santa Rosa friends - which included a limo ride to and from!

They mentioned Dawn's affinity for having flowers around. When she lived in San Francisco - Dawn volunteered to be sure that there were flowers for the Sunday Sevices at the Grace Cathedral where she attended church: and when she retired to Santa Rosa, she immediately got involved with the Chapel Guild and was responsible for flowers there also.

We also were introduced to another fun loving side of Dawn. She was responsible for the retirement community installing a mini-golf area - and she hosted golf tournaments for her friends and others in the community. She was quite the fun loving lady.
When Dawn was only a year old her grandmother wrote a very nice little poem for her. It survived all of these years, and I'd like to share it here:
Dear baby of the hopeful name!
We loved you darling ere you came
Our Dawn!
That blessed hour of all daylight
Sailing away the darkest night,
Fair Dawn!
Foolish people call it gray
While roseate hues melt into the day
Blush of Dawn!
So little baby where could you
Have found a name like sparkling dew,
To fit so well our Dawn?
Happy smile with dimpled chin,
Great loving eyes whose depths within
Say, Dawn!
Proud father and dear mother true
With loving sisters "joyful two"
Care well for Dawn!
On tiny fingers holding mine
In tightening clasp like clinging vine
Wee Dawn!
Pretty limbs all curved and round
Tiny feet to step aground
Our dearie, Dawn!
Dawn Rosaleen! Oh, perfect name
You filled our hearts ere since you came
Bright Dawn!
Bring on your dry old language books
And in them make one thousand looks
You'll never find in all their nooks
A lovelier word than Dawn.
Call Mr. Webster to your aid
He's "heavy weight" but don't be 'fraid
Hunt through his pages night and day
No word you'll then triumphant say
More beautiful than Dawn.
This is just a rhyme you know
You should have had a year ago,
To tell you that I love you so!
Fron Grandma, to her Dawn.

Dawn will remain in our hearts and memories for years to come!