Sylvia C. Tenn

  • Died: January 29, 2020
  • Location: Manchester, New Hampshire

Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory

1799 Elm St
Manchester, NH 03104

Tel. (603) 625-6951

Tribute & Message From The Family

Sylvia Catherine (Nedder) Tenn, 79, found eternal rest on January 29, 2020 following an acute illness at Massachusetts General Hospital, surrounded by her family.

Sylvia was defined throughout her life by her empathy for people and her unmatched kindness. She cared deeply for all those around her and forged friendships easily, built on genuine regard and common humanity. She advocated for all whom she loved, and kept at the center of her life her faith in God, her devotion to her family, and her firmly-held belief that to whom much is given, much is required. During her life, she used her immense capacity and talent for good.

The daughter of Ernest and Mary Nedder, Sylvia was born in Readville, MA. As a child, growing up with her six siblings, she had a reputation for being their loyal defender, a trait that she would carry forward for the rest of her life.

While in high school, Sylvia and her sister were standout members of the school's debate and public speaking team, which fostered in her a lifelong love of oratory, poetry, and the power of words. Directly out of high school, she was awarded a full scholarship to law school given her analytical prowess. Sylvia graduated as salutatorian from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada. She then received her Master's Degree in English from Dalhousie University in Canada, as well as a second Master's from Akron University in Ohio. She ultimately elected to teach and, in 1963, she married Dr. James J. Tenn. Together, they moved to Manchester to raise their family.

To all who knew her, Sylvia exemplified the true meaning of having a "white heart," and she felt deeply the prominence of God in her life. She was a longtime member of St. Catherine of Siena Parish and an active member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, achieving the rank of Lady Commander with Star.

During the more than 50 years she lived in Manchester, Sylvia actively used her gifts and concern for people to make a positive and meaningful impact. She served as President of the Sacred Heart Hospital Associates, President of the New Hampshire Medical Society's Women's Auxiliary, a member of the Board of Directors of Sacred Heart Hospital, and Treasurer of the Catholic Medical Center Memorial Fund. During her tenure in these roles, she orchestrated countless fundraisers and community service projects, ranging from blood drives to fashion shows to the annual Heart Ball. While Sylvia supported countless charitable organizations in her lifetime, her many quiet and unheralded acts of kindness exemplified her desire to do good in the world.

In addition, Sylvia encouraged the pursuit of excellence and achievement by using her skills and faith to support youth in the community. She volunteered for many years to coach Catholic elementary and junior high school teams in the Odyssey of the Mind creative thinking competition, leading teams to state championships, as well as the World Finals. For nearly ten years, she also served as a volunteer debate coach at Manchester Central High School, successfully leading teams to the Harvard National Debate Tournament each year. For many years, she was a judge for the Voice of Democracy oratory contest, sponsored annually by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In those roles, she demonstrated to her students the power of teamwork and self-belief. In later years, Sylvia paired again with her sister and found success as a Senior Olympian in table tennis as part of NH Senior Games. All the while, she helped her husband care for and treat thousands of patients, by running his internal medical practice and keeping at the core of that work ultimate concern for people.

By her own example, Sylvia worked tirelessly to instill in her children the strength of her faith and the value of commitment to one another and service to the greater good. Later, in her retirement years, she showed complete devotion to her grandchildren, encouraging them to know God in their lives, show kindness to one another, and strive to do their personal best with the gifts God gave them.

More than her own achievements, Sylvia was part of every achievement of her children and grandchildren.

She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Dr. James J. Tenn, to whom she was faithfully devoted and with whom she built an enduring partnership; her four children whom she considered the joy of her life: James J. Tenn, Jr., Esq. and his wife, Cynthia, of Manchester; John J. Tenn, Esq. and his wife, Grace, of Bedford; Mary E. Tenn, Esq. and her husband, Stephen R. Blair, of Manchester; and Annmarie A. Tenn, Esq. and her husband, Alessandro Martuscelli, Esq., of Carlisle, MA; her eight grandchildren, in whose conversations and antics she fully delighted and found great joy: Matthew, Michael, Anna, Luke, Catherine, Elizabeth, Christian and Juliette.

SERVICES: Calling hours are Tuesday (2/4) from 4 to 7 p.m. at Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory, 1799 Elm St., corner of North Street, Manchester. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday (2/5) at 10 a.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 267 Webster St., Manchester. Committal prayers will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery, 448 Donald St., Bedford.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Much love and thoughts to my first cousin. Silvia had a beautiful heart and cared for all those who surrounded her. She was a loyal and devoted to all her family and relatives. She will be deeply missed by her first cousin Philip khattar and family

Posted by Philip Khattar - Sydney , nova Scotia canada - Family   February 28, 2020

I just learned of Her passing....a bright star now in Heaven....Her Dad Ernest Nedder, my client, loved her so, making me promise decades ago to always answer any call from Her....I kept my promise to Ernest.... the Lady, a woman with a spectacular soul..... now in Heaven with her Dad....

Posted by jordan ring - Framingham, MA - friend   February 19, 2020

Mary and Jim: My deepest condolences to you and your family during this time. Although I did not have the honor of meeting her, I can see that your mother was an amazing woman and she will truly be missed.

Posted by Michelle Swenson - Manchester, NH - Acquaintance   February 05, 2020

What an amazing woman and role model! Please know I am sending prayers and heartfelt sympathies to the family!

Posted by Kristen Hanley - Stratham, NH   February 05, 2020

Dear Family: Please know that Sylvia touched so many lives. Both Kimberly-Ann and I were so sad to hear of your beloved's passing. We send our heartfelt condolence to all. Sylvia's role as coach and mentor with Odyssey of the Mind propelled the lives of her young team members to amazing heights and incredible victories impacting life long self confidence and esteem. Sylvia was inspirational and very generosi. Unfortunately we heard of your loss just last eve otherwise we would have driven to Manchester to express our sincere condolence in person. Kimberly-Ann resides in Winchester,MA is married and has two lovely children ages (4yrs and 1yr). I reside in Cambridge, MA with my husband Richard, a professor at Harvard University. We send our love to all and trust that the love of family and friends will provide comfort to you all at this very solemn time. with our love and sincere sympathy. Donna (Valliere) McNalky and Kimberly-Ann (Valliere) White

Posted by Donna (Valliere) McNally - Cambridge, MA - Friend   February 05, 2020

Heartfelt condolences from our family to yours.

Posted by Thomas Cusson - Sanford, FL - Family Friend   February 04, 2020

I was so sad to hear of Sylvia's passing! I met her when her children were small and I watched through all the years of growth and there was never a more prouder mother. I was her hair dresser for over 30 years and in that time I made a wonderful friend, God Bless you Sylvia and my heart goes out to her husband, children and grandchildren!

Posted by Jacky Laverriere - Manchester, NH - Friend   February 04, 2020

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Mrs. Tenn. She possessed a warm, friendly smile that was very welcoming. There is one brighter star looking down on us. She will be greatly missed. Sincere sympathy to Dr. Tenn and the entire family. Rest in peace, Mrs. Tenn.

Posted by Denise Duchesne - Manchester, NH - Friend   February 03, 2020

My heartfelt condolences go out to Dr. Tenn and his children. I knew Mrs. Tenn from Catholic Medical Center and she was a wonderful and gracious lady. I am certain she is with God as she was a woman of great faith. Her children can be so proud she was their Mom. Please know that many people are praying for you all in this time of sorry. She is a lady who will not be forgotten for all the wonderful things she did.

Posted by Gloria Capillo-Michaud - Hayward, CA - Acquaintance   February 03, 2020

To the Tenn family,
My sincere and profound condolences on the loss of this beautiful and remarkable person. Truly, she is a saint and deserving of God's eternal rest and happiness. I know this is a difficult time for your wonderful family, but just think how rewarding it has been to have her grace this earth. I have fond memories of all she has done for Central High School and those times we spent together during those tutoring sessions with Annmarie! Sylvia Tenn was the most warm, sincere and loving mother to her children and similarly, loving and caring to the rest of us. God bless you all with His peace and wonderment.

Ron Mailhot, Retired Educator
Manchester Central High School

Posted by Ron Mailhot - Manchester, NH - Friend   February 03, 2020

To all the Tenn family: Deepest condolences to you on behalf of my parents George and Shirley and all of the Tosattis. Rest in peace.

Posted by David Tosatti - Stratham, NH   February 03, 2020

Dear Dr. Tenn and family,
Please accept our deepest sympathy. Reading her obituary, she was obviously loved and led a very full life. May she be rewarded by our Lord and rest in His peace. Well done, good and faithful servant.

Your neighbors -
Charles and Janice Gagne

Posted by Charles Gagne - Manchester, NH - Acquaintance   February 03, 2020

To the Tenn Family. Please accept my condolences on the passing of a beautiful lady. I am very sorry for your loss. I worked in the same law firm as young Jim years ago. God be with all of you at this time.

Posted by Eveline Provencher - Litchfield, NH - Coworker   February 03, 2020

Dear Dr. Tenn and Family, My deepest sympathy on the loss of your beloved Sylvia. I have fond memories of her over the years and I still treasure a beautiful gilded tray she gave me when I was younger, that I use for perfume on my bureau. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time and in the coming days. May God grant you peace. With Love, Susan Ashooh Lazos

Posted by Susan Lazos - Manchester, NH   February 02, 2020

My Sympathies to the Tenn family. I am very sorry for your loss.
John, so sorry for the loss of your Mum.

Posted by Brian Carnevale - Anna Maria Island, FL   February 02, 2020

May you rest by Gods side in eternal glory. God Bless You for your emense service on this earth and for creating and teaching true love to your children and to theirs

Posted by Karen Hinchee - Goffstown, NH   February 02, 2020

My deepest sympathy to Dr. Tenn and his family on the death of his wife. I had the pleasure of knowing Sylvia from my working with Dr. Tenn for many years as an RN at Sacred Heart Hospital. I will remember you all in my prayers. May you find peace in all the happy memories that you shared.

Posted by Judy Bedard - Virginia Beach, VA   February 02, 2020

Our deepest sympathies go out to DR. TENN & family, so sorry for your loss, we will keep you in our prayers.

God bless and take care

Posted by Joe& Terry Smith - MANCHESTER, NH   February 02, 2020

To Annmarie & the entire Tenn family, my deepest sympathies to each of you. Your mother was a truly special woman and I will always remember the kindness, love and strength she bestowed upon every one in her presence. She was without question a woman to admire and will be missed by so many, but no one more than you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Kryslyn Burks - Dallas, TX - Friend   February 02, 2020

To the Tenn Family,
What a beautiful picture and write-up of your mother. Truly what a gift she was to all. My prayers are with Catherine and Elizabeth during this most difficult time. Know that your grandmother is with you always in spirit. My prayers are with you all.

Posted by Sabrina Maltby - Raymond, NH - Teacher   February 02, 2020

My deepest condolences on the passing of your dear Wife,Mother and Grandmother. Sylvia was the ultimate model in the many years that I was honored to know her of what it means to put your family first. She beamed with pride over her family and shred that with me often. The world truly lost an angel. I hope the happiest of memories help you all during these most difficult days.
Sending heartfelt prayers to you all.
Melanie and Elizabeth Ludwig

Posted by Melanie LUDWIG - HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC - Neighbor   February 02, 2020

Deepest sympathy and prayers for Sylvia and her family. We will have fond memories of Sylvia's love and friendship as well as her loyalty to the relatives in Canada.
Your Canadian relatives Annie Hashem, Sister Simone Abbass for all your Abbass relatives.

Posted by Sr. Simone Abbass - Sydney - Family   February 01, 2020

Jim, Ann Marie, and family. Jim and Elise heard about your Mother's passing last night at the "Hope is Here" event. We were especially saddened for all of you. E (Elise) was particularly sad as she remembers doing some projects with her at Central, and she remembers her from Odyssey of the Mind as Elise was a coach at Smyth Rd. School. We are so sorry as we will be out of town all next week, but we will be thinking of all the Tenns. With love and prayers, Jim and Elise Hood

Posted by James and Elise Hood - Manchester, NH - Friend   January 31, 2020

Jim and family, my sincere condolences. There are no words. Please know your mother is in my prayers, may her beautiful soul rest in eternal peace. With love, Barbara Andersen

Posted by Barbara Andersen - Manchester, NH - Friend   January 31, 2020

Words alone are inadequate to express our sadness at your most profound loss, a loss that is palpable for all who knew her. In whatever of the myriad of roles she played, she was a beacon of light, an encourager of excellence, and a steadfast and loving supporter of her family. This is the legacy she leaves for her beloved family. We, too, shall miss her greatly.

Sending you all our deepest sympathy and very great love.

Posted by Paul & Selma Hoff - Bedford, NH - Family Friend   January 31, 2020

Aunt Sylvia was a generous, kind and loving woman who's presence will be greatly missed!

Your Godchild,

Posted by Lisa Krueger - Leesburg, VA - Family   January 31, 2020

Family Album