OBITUARY

Jan Gilbert Tenery

September 17, 1951December 30, 2020
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Celia Jan Gilbert Tenery died peacefully in her sleep on December 30th, 2020 in Austin, Texas at the age of 69. She was loved immensely by her husband Andy Tenery and her daughter Dana Heidkamp of Austin. She is also survived by: siblings Lisa Bosson, Stan Gilbert, and Susan Gilbert; brother-in-law Ed Bosson; nieces and nephew Rachel Fortlage, Sharla Vitsentzos, Rotan Bosson and Claryce Bosson; step-daughters Laura Morton and Jessica Sinn; sons-in-law Tom Morton and Jarred Sinn; and granddaughters Madeline and Ruby Morton. She is preceded in death by her parents Stan and Betty Gilbert. Jan attended Baylor and Trinity Universities and then went on to pursue her masters in Deaf Education at the well-respected Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. She taught in a wide range of places in Utah, Ohio, and Texas and especially loved teaching students with multiple disabilities. She dedicated most of her career to teaching Deaf students of all ages and worked at Texas School for the Deaf for 9 years. She also worked as a vocational counselor and in job placement for youth and adults with disabilities.

Jan and her husband, Andy, enjoyed taking trips together and had the opportunity to travel to many different places for Andy’s work conventions. Over the years, they visited New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Portland, Oregon; St. Petersburg, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Newport News, Virginia. Jan also loved going to the beach and visited beaches in both Texas and California. She especially loved seeing the release of the endangered Kemp Ridley sea turtles in Port Aransas and staying at the Lighthouse Inn in Rockport, Texas. Although she visited such beaches as Moonlight and Crown Point in San Diego, her favorite thing to do there was spend time with her granddaughters, Madeline and Ruby, who affectionately referred to her as “Janma”.

Jan’s daughter, Dana, was her pride and joy. They were two peas in a pod and always had a very close relationship. Dana moved home from New York City to help care for her mother the last two years of her life. Their favorite things to do together were going to local theater and grabbing late night dessert at Kerbey Lane or seeing a movie after pizza and tiramisu at Tony C’s.

Jan was an avid reader and faithful penpal to many friends from throughout her life. She took comfort in her faith in God and remained Christian all her life. In lieu of flowers, Jan would have appreciated donations to the Billy Graham Association or the TSD Foundation benefiting Texas School for the Deaf.

Services

  • Visitation

    Thursday, January 7, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Thursday, January 7, 2021

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  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, January 7, 2021

Memories

Jan Gilbert Tenery

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Melissa Marable

February 6, 2021

I remember how much she loved teaching her students. She was so gifted at making a difference in their life. Her friendship meant so much to me. We were friends for many years through many ups and downs. I will always cherish the times we spent together. God bless you all during such a difficult time. Love, Melissa marable

Pam Kloepfer

January 26, 2021

Dana and Andy, I was so sad to hear of Jan's passing! Dana, you were so kind to keep her friends in the loop, and I am one of those. I taught with Jan in Lubbock - just one year - but we always kept in touch with Christmas cards and a "synopsis" of the past year. In viewing your photos, there is one of you and your mother, and you have straight blonde hair - I think maybe you were three, and THAT is when I knew you! You were visiting me in San Antonio when I lived there. Though we did not get to visit each other, we always kept in touch via the postal service through our lives and I will always consider Jan one of my "forever friends." You are with the Lord now, Jan. Rest in peace, my friend.

Carole Esposito

January 24, 2021

Jan and I met in Lubbock, TX, 1979. I had just moved there from Chicago, and she moved into town shortly after I. She had the apartment right below me. At that time the TV show Dallas was popular and Jan would give me tidbits of news her physician father would share about the TV stars (as he was the show’s on-site physician). When we weren’t chatting about Dallas, we were having dinner at Red Lobster or just hanging together. One of my fondest memories was the day a snowstorm hit Lubbock; Jan and I and some other neighbors spent the morning shoveling and throwing snowballs (the morning only as it was 70 degrees by noon!). Jan and I also shared family stories with each other, and, although I never had the opportunity to meet her parents or siblings (especially, Lisa – she talked about Lisa all the time!) she met mine on her two visits to Chicago. After Lubbock, I moved to Washington, D.C., and it wasn’t too soon afterward Jan visited me. We walked the campus of Gallaudet as she shared her desire to do graduate work there. Just a few months after that, I was back in Chicago and she was in D.C. I then had an opportunity to visit her in Ohio, and as I said, she visited me in Chicago. Since I have family in Austin, I have visited there often, and each visit included time with Jan. Together, we explored San Antonio and German Fredericksburg. On one of my visits I got to meet—and hang out with—her lovely daughter, Dana, as well as her husband, Andy! Two wonderful people that I’m really glad I met. And, Jan was always a better friend than I...she would write often and always send a Christmas card; I, on the other hand, was lax in returning her kindnesses. Finally, just as I did, Jan spent a lot of years caring for her mom and we spent a lot of time praying for each other as we cared for our moms. I am going to miss you, Jan -- I love you!!

Lief Bamberg

January 12, 2021

I met Jan and Andy at a dinner, being introduced by Dana. I was stricken by the resemblance and mannerism between mother and daughter. As I got to know the family better, it seemed Dana and Jan shared a loving soul. She always made me feel so welcome when I came to visit Dana in Austin. I will always remember Jan as a sweet, loving, and open Mother to one of my closest friends.

Sleep sweet, Jan. You will be missed, but your legacy lives on still.

Madeline Morton

January 7, 2021

Jan, to me Janma, was the most beautiful, kind, loving and thoughtful grandmother a girl could ever ask for. I am forever grateful to have had her in my life. In remembering her, the memories that stand out strongest are those when we were laughing together. She had the sweetest laugh, I loved to hear it. Janma had an incredible sense of humor, too. And she knew just how to humor my sister and I. I recall leaving a restaurant and shouting “Goodnight! Goodnight! Goodnight! Goodnight!” to each other from the across the parking lot. Another one of my favorite moments, and I know this is my Gramps’ too, was creeping up behind Janma on the couch wearing a little tiger mask. I would try to ‘’scare’’ her and my Gramps’ while she held my little sister for the first time. I’ll be sure to attach a photograph of that moment, I love it so much.
But even with growing older, the silliness never stopped. I miss our visits in the fall, all she wanted to hear about was how school is going, what my friends are like, or any funny stories I had to share. I will always admire just how genuinely interested and excited about my family she had always been. I know she would have loved to watch my sister and I get through high school, and elementary school. I’ll always continue to keep her kindness in mind, and remind my sister of how much fun and laughter we all shared when we were together.

Tom Morton

January 7, 2021

Jan's genuine love, affection and interest in all people has been an inspiration. She was a wonderful Janma to Madeline and Ruby, stepmom and friend to Laura and the best mother-in-law to me. She was quick to laugh at the ridiculous parts of life and shared the highs and lows of being a parent. As her illness started restricting her physical abilities, she responded with grace and good humor, not letting it stop her from enjoying time with the girls. We have enjoyed reliving happy memories, sharing pictures and stories, and we know she lives on in our hearts. We love you Jan.

Amy Kuhn

January 7, 2021

I met Jan in 1992 and was lucky to know her for many years. She was a sweet, loving friend I was honored to know. May she be in peace.

Patti Singleton

January 7, 2021

While I did not know Jan for very many years, the time I did spend with her made a strong positive impression on me. Jan was always smiling and had such a beautiful soul. She loved her family, especially Dana, Lisa, and Clary, and we had some great laughs when we'd get together for dinner. She had a great sense of humor and was so gentle and patient with everyone. I regret not knowing her more, and know there will be more opportunities for that down the road when we all meet again! Jan, I love you - Rest in Peace and Fly Free!

Bob Heidkamp

January 7, 2021

In a world of takers, Jan was a server. She was a wonderful mother, and always generously shared parenting duties with me, even though they weren't "duties"... they were little slices of heaven, as both of us cherished the time we got to spend individually with our little one.
There are not enough words to describe the affection between Dana and her beloved mama.
Our daughter took charge recently, putting Jan in a very caring nursing home, and called or visited every night. She read to her, sang to her lovingly, bathed her, and complimented her mother each day without fail. Jan passed her giving, kind qualities on to our only child. Her memory will live on through Dana, who loves and cares for everyone she meets.
Jan graciously let me be a daddy when I came to Austin from Ohio just a few weeks after they had moved here. (Granddaddy Gilbert was a constant source of inspiration to me, as I didn't know a soul here. Stanley Gilbert's weekly pep talks kept me going as I navigated fatherhood, especially when Dana was little.)
Dana joined the choir at her middle school, and shined throughout her young life. You could find Jan in the front row beaming at every single play, parent-teacher conference, program, or musical production our daughter was ever in. The night before Dana was to leave with the Peace Corps, we both happened to be at Waterloo's where our little Dana, now all grown up, was singing at one of their open mic's. We spent five minutes together, marveling at our precious daughter. The next day we took her to the airport in an ice storm to leave for El Salvador, where she was about to become the face of The Good And Kind American for the next two and a half years. Then we returned to Austin. And cried our eyes out together for about an hour.
Dana Heidkamp is a living testament to the love of her mother.

Priscilla Rivas

January 7, 2021

I have so many memories of Jan growing up. She was a remarkable woman. Both she and Dana played such a huge role in my childhood. I will never forget the time Dana and I were upstairs prank calling her about a limited time offer regarding an art program. The three of us laughed about it for such a long time; that was just one of the many memories I hold dear. She definitely left a positive imprint in all of our lives. Not everyone is blessed to have a Jan in their life so I thank God for blessing us with such a wonderful, kindhearted woman.

Priscilla Rivas

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