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

Friday, June 17, 2011

I was speaking with one of the Tener descendants who lives in New York not that long ago and learned of the passing of Renee Duke Eckelberry Renee married Tener Riggs Eckelberry who is in the Tener Blue Book, page 75. Tener was a very interesting fellow - I contacted him when I first got into Tener Family Research and it was he whom I attribute my full enthusiasm for details. It was he who asked me very early on if I wanted the names and dates or the stories. I thought for only a few seconds and decided then and there, "I want it all!" - and since then I have been fully engrossed in Tener Familly Research.

Tener had maintained a sort of blog - his writings as he lived in France. His family made these available to "Family" and there is a link on There is also a NEW link to the art work of Renee Duke. Once you hit that link, next to the slide show of her art, there is another slide show regarding her life - is is a fine tribute to her by her son Steve.

Back to point - Tener and Renee had six children - all boys. I have been in contact with them off and on since I began genealogy, and it was their son Riggs who set up the blog for us!

Let me share the obituary for Renee - from the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times web site:
CLEARWATER — For much of her adult life, Renee Duke traveled in some of the world's most cultured circles.

She studied painting at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris, and covered the art galleries for the International Herald Tribune. She also lived in Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Belgium, and held numerous one-woman shows, where she sold her misty seascapes to art collectors.

"She was really a highly cultured woman who was tremendously approachable," said Riggs Eckelberry, 58, her son. "There was none of the attitude you associate with class."

Ms. Duke was born in 1927 in New York City. She studied fine arts at Radcliffe College, where she met Harvard liberal arts student Tener Eckelberry.
They married in 1948. Her husband's work with Procter & Gamble took them to North America, South America and Europe. In the mid 1950s, they landed in Paris, where Ms. Duke got a job as a reporter for Women's Wear Daily.

As she was earning a master's degree at the Beaux Arts, a 1968 student and worker rebellion erupted. She later told her family that the historic revolt, accompanied by an explosion in the arts, had stirred her senses and made her glad she was alive to witness it.

In the 1960s, Ms. Duke also became increasingly committed to the Church of Scientology, an interest she had developed since the late 1940s, when she came across an early manuscript of church founder L. Ron Hubbard.

She divorced in 1969 and moved to California, where she enjoyed painting seascapes. Her paintings often evoke "the feeling of a storm brewing, of wine-dark seas," her son said. Her poetry was published in the California State Poetry Quarterly and an anthology of poems by Scientologists. Ms. Duke had six sons, all of whom became Scientologists.

In the early 1980s, Ms. Duke led a series of workshops in Europe teaching dianetics — a "spiritual healing technology," according to the church. She enjoyed helping others with their problems. In Scientology, Ms. Duke had risen to a "class nine" auditor, or counselor, out of 12 possible levels.

"That was probably the thing she was proudest of," her son said. "She neglected making herself known as a painter and a writer."

Ms. Duke moved to Clearwater in 2001 and settled into a condominium 2 miles from the church's spiritual headquarters. She studied church teachings five to six hours a day, her son said. She had been studying Jan. 2, then took a break and went home, her son said. She died that day, apparently while taking a nap. Ms. Duke was 83.

She never stopped painting. Art collectors have called since her death, interested in purchasing her work. (**NOTE: There is a link above to a slide show of some of her works.)

From the St Petersburgh Times