Saturday, February 05, 2011

Terry Tenove (February 5, 1954 - August 19, 1978)

Funeral Service for Terrance Richard Tenove
  • Prelude Music, "Amazing Grace"
  • Welcome and Eulogy, by Scott Vanatter
  • Music, "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
  • Remarks and Eulogy, by Abe Ohanian
  • Music, "Trees"
  • Prayer, by David Peale
  • Graveside Remarks, by Abe Ohanian
  • Prayer, by Mr. Douglass
[Welcome and Eulogy by Scott Vanatter]


We are gathered together to pay tribute to Terry; to extend our love and sympathy to his family, Mr. and Mrs. Tenove, his brothers Glen, Michael, Brian, and other relatives (including his grandmother, Dovie Belle Wales); and to comfort one another.

We've each had our own quiet reflective times alone in the past couple of days. We may need more, but for now, we meet together to find strength in our unity and fellowship.

Your presence and kindness is appreciated by Terry's family.


We all acknowledge that this is a difficult thing to understand. It takes time and patience to sort out our feelings on this tragic, untimely death.

Each of us has our own personal memories of him. Each of us knew him in a unique way. He was a friend to many.

My objective is to share some personal thoughts and memories of the Terry I knew.

When I remember Terry, the first thing that comes to mind is that Terry loved to have fun. Terry had the capacity to enjoy. To live. He thoroughly enjoyed life and things -- from baseball, to biology, to the blues.

Terry enjoyed winning. In sports he strove for excellence and achieved it.

Terry was courageous. When things didn't go quite right at Cal Poly, he took inventory of himself and had the courage to make a new start. He went to Citrus J.C., then back to Cal Poly to finish school in the area he enjoyed. Some might have quit. Not Terry.

His major was Agricultural Biology. You should have heard him when he came back from a vacation to Canada with his family. He was enthralled with the outdoors and its beauty. For these reasons Mrs. Tenove has set up the "Terry Tenove Memorial Tree Fund."

But some of us might also remember that Terry experienced some "hard luck" in his life. As the blues lyrics goes, "If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all." I bring this up to illustrate something about Terry. He wrecked the VW at least twice. He had an accident on his motorcycle and injured his foot. Other such things plagued Terry. Through it all he stuck it out. He saw it through. He remained flexible -- and likeable. One of those situations I helped create was a fight we has in Chemistry class. As we scuffled, beakers, test tubes, Bunsun Burners, and even a gas line were broken. The fight caused us to miss Spring training for football. (Terry had gone to quarterback camp during Easter vacation.) Someone told Mr. Brooks, vice principal at Duarte High, who used to play football for the Cleveland Brown, that “Tenove and Vanatter got in a fight!” Smiling and excited he replied, “Oh yeah, who with?” The reply, “Each other.” Frown. Was he disappointed. He expected us to be an example.

Most of us remember that Terry was a great (gifted and practiced) athlete.

Baseball was his first love. I never got a hit off him in Pony League. Did you ever see him pitch?! What an experience. But in football there are two things I remember that show his true self even better than the touchdown passes, or strikeouts, or the points he scored in basketball.

The first occurred our sophomore year in 1969. Coach Fessler gave Terry the responsibility of calling his own plays in the huddle. Roger Staubach of the World Champion Dallas Cowboys just got that responsibility last year. Terry was 15 years old. It was a heavy responsibility but he handled it. And with pleasure.

The second was in our senior year in 1971. Usually the quarterback on a football team is either a running quarterback or a passing quarterback. Terry was both. We ran the brand new Wishbone option. The quarterback takes the snap, sticks the football in the fullback's stomach and reads the defense. If the fullback is going to get tackled right away, Terry would pull out the ball and run down the line of scrimmage himself. If he himself is about to get tackled he would pitch the ball to the halfback. If not, he would run for yardage himself. (Alternatively, we might run a pass play on a sprint out, where he ran outside the pocket by design to throw to one of his receivers.) It is a difficult, complicated offense to run. (By the way, I caught the first first-down pass of our senior year. But it wasn’t me, it was him. He threw it so hard, it stuck in my facemask.)

Terry could handle heavy responsibility.

A final quick story about his family. One day, with his whole family, he was painting the eves of their house. This was neither fun, nor easy. Unexpectedly, I dropped by his house to pick him up to go do something. But he matter-of-factly and unabashedly let me know he was going to stay home to help his family. He felt responsible. I could tell.


Now, I loved Terry.

I admired Terry for his courage, his competitiveness, his capacity to enjoy life, and his ability to endure pain.

We are here to comfort one another. But there is another reason. It is to help us accept the reality of his death.

He is gone from our midst. We cannot bring him back. But we can honor his memory.

We loved him.

The Tenove family thought it fitting to bury Terry not wearing a tie. Casual. And easygoing. This is the Terry we knew and will remember.

Let us not dwell on the sadness of this situation, but rather let us be glad and thankful we knew him -- is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Funeral: Rose Hills Hillside Church, 3:45pm, Tuesday 22 August 1978.
Place of Internment: Rose Hills Cemetary, Gr. 4, Lot 14104, Lakeside

Closing Prayer by David Peale at Terry's Funeral


Would you bow your heads and join with me in prayer:

Our Heavenly Father, we come to you today in sorrow. We feel sorry for ourselves, for the loved one we have lost, and sorrow for the vibrant life which has been taken from us.

Yet we are also thankful. Thankful for the influence of Terry on his classmates and friends, on his team mates, on the youngsters he coached, and for his family whom he loved very much. But, Heavenly Father, I want to thank you most of all for Terry's influence on me.

We pray that you will now comfort and abide with those of us who mourn today.

We would also ask that you would provide Terry with that measure of Peace equivalent to the measure of joy that he gave to all of those who knew him.

This we pray in your precious Name.


Given by David Peale on Tuesday, August 22, 1978



August 29, 1978

Dear Gordon and Rose:

I really appreciated the opportunity of participating in some small way in Terry's funeral. You cannot realize how much I thought of Terry, because, I saw so much of myself in high school in him and Scott. I always enjoyed Terry's wit, and at the same time his creativity. I felt he was one of the more mentally creative students I had ever had at Duarte High School.

I realize that there is going to be a very large void in your life for the next months and years, and if there is anything I can do to help fill that void, please don't hesitate to call.

Please find here enclosed a copy of the prayer said at the funeral; also find enclosed a check in the amount of twenty dollars to be used in the Terry Tenove Memorial.

Sometimes it is difficult to know why a loving God allows such tragedy to happen to His people. Maybe we will all understand it better later. I love you and your family--please try to keep in touch.

With all my love and prayers,

David E. Peale

Abe Ohanian's Eulogy for Terry


How did Terry touch your life? What did Terry mean to you? Join me in this reflection on the life of Terry Tenove.

On March 2, 1967 this article appeared in the local newspaper. "Before a highly partisan crowd, Duarte's Hawks captured the B Division Championship in the first Regional Golden State Tournament edging the Pico-Rivera All-Stars in overtime, 30-28, on Terry Tenove's two free throws with three seconds to play." Terry went on to win the Most-Valuable Player Award that evening.

Terry played his heart out that day, but then he always did. He lived his life the same way realizing his maximum possibilities and developing himself to his fullest capacity.

He was an achiever.

He was a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout, where he won the Order of the Arrow.

He found a great means of expression through sports.

He played baseball from the 2nd grade on thru Cal Poly and semi-pro ball. From Babe Ruth to Connie Mack Leagues to Duarte High School and to Citrus and Cal Poly he pitched. At Duarte he made All-League both in his Junior and Senior years. In his Senior year he was Most-Valuable Player.

In basketball he was Golden State's first little league "super-star". He went on to make all-league in his junior year at Duarte High School.

Terry played football and was a quarterback and a defensive back, at DHS.

After Duarte, he went to Citrus and Cal Poly where he started out as a civil engineering major; but he found his greatest interest in the area of Agricultural Biology. He had one more year to go before graduation.

But the other side of Terry was his devotion to his fellow man.

The entire Tenove family are involved in community affairs. At Christmas time the family and Terry delivered baskets to the needy. During basketball season he either coached little league or was an official. Whenever Carl and I needed help Terry was always around. He also was an umpire for little league at DYA. He always wanted to ref the 8-10 year old because he loved to watch them play. He asked me once "did I ever play that way?"

Terry was kind and gentle.

He had a love and devotion that he shared with his brothers, and a comradely feeling and respect that so obviously flowed between himself and his parents.

He touched all of us.

We are experiencing today, Terry's loss.

Yes, Terry touched us all.

We grieve in a very personal way for it is a very personal loss.

We grieve not only for ourselves we grieve for Gordon and Rose, for Glen, for Michael for Brian for his grandmother Dovie Belle Wales for his aunts and uncles and his many cousins that are here today.

Take a minute now and look around you. There are many of Terry's friends here today and Terry would have liked that.

When Terry touched our lives he became a part of us. That part of Terry will never leave us--for the spirit and love of Terry will always be with us.

Terry will always be 24.

What did Terry mean to you?

In lieu of flowers the family has requested donations be made to the Terry Tenove Memorial Tree Fund. Money will be used to plant trees at Cal Poly and the South Coast Botanical Gardens.

After the grave-side services, the family requests you join them at the home of Mr and Mrs. Vanatter at 1964 Broach Avenue in Duarte.

  No man is an island, entire of itself;
  Everyman is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
  Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind;
  And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
  It tolls for thee.

    John Donne


Service delivered for Terry Tenove who passed away August 18th, 1978 at the age of 24. Service held at Rose Hills Hillside Chapel, Tuesday, August 22, 1978.

Abe Ohanian


In committing this body to its final resting place we do so with deep reverence for that body as the temple during life, of a unique and beloved personality. And we think of the words of Socrates “that no evil can befall a good man either in life or after death.” Here under the wide and open sky Terry Tenove will rest in peace. We dedicate this simple plot, amid these natural surroundings to every beautiful and precious memory associated with him.

We lay this body in the gentle earth which has been the chief supports of man since first he walked beneath the sun. To all human beings, to all living form, the soil has ever provided the sustenance that is the staff of life. May we leave this place in peace and charity.