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

Luke Tener Short

I think it has been about five years or so when Ann and I first met Neil and Debbie Short. We met Neil's mother, Ethyl Short, Nee TENER (TBB page 77) at a Tener family "Bash" in the San Joaquin Valley the summer prior to meeting Neil and Debbie. The next year while in Phoenix for Spring Training we met Neil and Debbie.

On Jan 9, 2008 Neil and Debbie's son Luke passed away on at about 4:15 PM. Neil wrote:
"....While he was at work he developed some lower abdominal pains that were really painfull and doubled him over, so he asked one of his employees to take him to the Dr. the Dr. sent him right to the hospital. Both Dr office and the hospital are just across the street from his office. Hospital got right to him with morphine then took him for a ultra-sound which looked normal. The meds didn't help the pain at all he said. The Dr and nurses were going to take him for an MRI or CAT scan and they had left him alone in the emergency room for about 10 minutes and when they returned he had a cardiac arrest and was dead in minutes."

"Luke was 37 in October.

The gospel is true, Heavenly Father had a need for Luke or He has a plan for us that we don't know about. Any ways we have our hands full but we know that we will survive. We are given trials to help us grow and to bring us closer together."

Later, we were informed:
"Funeral services will be held Monday, January 14th 2008 at 11:00AM at the Centennial Ward Building of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 79th Ave & Acoma, Peoria AZ. Acoma is one half mile north of Thunderbird.

Following the services, we received a copy of the Eulogy spoken about Luke.

Jan 14, 2008
By Mike Larson

Next to the famous hymn, O My Father, there is a hymn that seems to have been written as a reverent anthem for Luke Short. Please turn to Hymn #293, Each Life That Touches Ours for Good, and read along to yourself as I read aloud the first two verses:
Each life that touches our for good
Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord:
Thou sendest blessings from above
Thru words and deeds of those who love.

What greater gift doest thou bestow,
What greater goodness can we know
Than Christ-like friends, whose gentle ways
Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.

I miss my friend Luke. He strengthened my faith, and enriched my days.

I would best characterize Luke as being a builder, a fixer, and one who made things grow.
As a builder, Luke sought to build up things around him; himself, his testimony, his family, and even the very structures he lived in. He lived his faith on a daily basis. He went to Church, he accepted callings, he served in the community, and spent time with his family. Normally a quiet, shy, person; Luke often stepped outside of his comfort zone. One friend related that Luke and Catherine were invited over to a party. During the course of playing a game called Cranium, Luke and Catherine were asked the question “What was the first video played on MTV?” Instead of merely answering it, Luke started singing “Video killed the radio star”. Catherine joined in and they were soon swaying to the beat together. Everyone was shocked because nobody had ever heard Luke sing before. He did it because he was building his marriage and building his friendship with others. One of Luke’s hobbies was paintballing with friends. The very same buddies he would shoot on Saturday, would be the friends he worshipped with on Sunday, and worked with on Monday. Luke sought to build up young men. I once invited Luke to share his mission memories and experiences with our Priest Quorum. Luke once confided in me that his mission had been very difficult for him; and, it was touching to him that we would want to hear about it. He did an excellent job of explaining the culture and missionary process he experienced in Korea. He even brought in a jar of kim-chee for the young men to sample. (Explain kim-chee). One young man related yesterday that he still remembers that experience. He remembers Luke giving each of them a sample and then happily munched half of the jar by himself. He also remembers the Bishop not being able to use his office for three days because of the smell. Another friend remembers Luke’s motive for building up strong young men. He remembers Luke’s daughters being very cute and always thought that Luke was on a secret mission to help raise up good young men because one of them just might end up marrying one of them. He knew what was important in life.
I was always amazed at Luke’s ability to fix things. It seemed like there wasn’t anything Luke could not fix. He was always able and willing to help others with their problems, including me. Luke and my oldest son just happened to share a birthday. I was required by my employer to stay late that evening and wouldn’t be there to celebrate. Luke graciously shifted any focus away from himself and helped make that day a special celebration for my son. He stood in my place and handled the piñata. He fixed my dilemma, and many more household issues that, if left to my own attempts without him, would have left me electrocuted, flooded, or on fire. He served freely and unconditionally. Getting him to accept any money for his work was like licking cactus. Another friend remembers his daughter accidentally driving her car through their carport. Luke showed up and got right to work. He was always willing and happy to help people make fixes in their lives.
Lastly, Luke had a way of making things grow. Luke had quite the green thumb. One year, I was having a remarkably good growing season of my own with my garden. I was so pleased, I bragged to Luke of my bounteous success. He listened politely as we walked into his backyard. When I saw his garden, my jaw dropped. Everything that I’d been bragging about was twice as big and twice as much in his garden. To this day, I still believe that if Luke dropped some seeds on concrete, he’d find a way to get it to grow. But more importantly than food, he looked for ways to make his children grow in all ways (physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually). Luke was a coach for several years for his daughter’s sports teams. Friends remember other coaches constantly yelling at their kids to run or do this or that. But not Luke. He always found a way to let the kids know what they should do in a kind manner. He wanted his children to have every good experience in this life that he could. While I was taking my three sons on Father-Son outings, he was taking his three daughters on Daddy-Daughter outings. And when his son came along, and my daughter came along, we smiled at each other and got to enjoy the other side of happiness.
I know Luke is in the care of his Heavenly Father and our Savior.
I know that we will see him again some day. I’m a little envious that he is where he is right now. But I know that he is continuing to build, and fix, and make things grow there, in preparation for his family to join back together at some distant time.
I want to end my thoughts with the third line of the hymn I started with:

When such a friend from us departs,
We hold forever in our hearts
A sweet and hallowed memory
Bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee.

If any of you have cherished memories you’d like to share with Catherine and their children, I’m sure she would appreciate a letter or an email from you so that she can continue to build the memory of Luke for their children for years to come.

Postscript- Damon Nitzel email:
Luke was one of our scout masters when my father passed away at age 12. If not then, very shortly after. Trevor Hensley's father passed away shortly after mine. Luke took me, and I'm sure Trevro too, aside and let me know that if I ever needed anything that he was there for me. What I understand now that I wish I had then, was that he meant just that. He was willing to step in where a father figure was needed, whenever it was needed. I wish I could have done more with him to accept his offer. However, we did do a great deal together. Mostly through scouts. He was a wonderful leader. He was always cheerful, happy and outgoing. He encouraged us in our scouting work. He loved and cared for us. Trevor, Dan Hedgecock, and I all bonded very well with Luke and we all have fond memories of him. After we moved on in scouts he didn't just dissappear either. He always talked to us at church, and I believe truely cared how we progressed. After I was graduated from high school and was looking for a third job, he suggested working for Hyde Electric. That turned out to be a life changing opportunity, and I truly believe Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ guided me in my life. I do believe that he was a "tool" that they worked through to help guide me. He was a very devoted caring person, and I honestly wish I could know that he would be one of the many people waiting for me on the other side when it is my time to go.

That is my two-bits "on Short" (ha ha). Sorry maybe now isn't the best time for jokes, but he always tried to laugh when we were sad, and it helped. I hope you and you family are doing well. Kayleigh and I are doing very well and moving through school as quick as we can. We'll be in Twin falls until May 2009 (apprx.), then we plan to attend Utah State Univ. Welp, first day of Spring semester, gotta fly to school. Once again I hope this makes it in time.

Your friend,
Damon Nitzel

Luke was indeed too young to pass. He left a young family - four children ages 4 to 12. An account has been arranged for the family:
Cathryn Short in Loving Memory of Luke Short
Johnson Bank
3131 E Camelback Rd Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Act # 1001143272
Routing #122105359