Nena "Tena" Andersen

June 16, 1939April 6, 2019

Nena “Tena” Carpenter Knight Andersen, 79, passed away in Charlotte, NC Saturday, April 6, 2019. Tena was born June 16, 1939 to the late Dr. William McNeill Carpenter and Nena McSwain Carpenter in Greenville, SC.

Tena graduated from Greenville High School (1957) then attended Randolph Macon Women’s College for two years before graduating from Emory University in 1961 with a teaching degree. She married Jack Morris Knight, Sr. in 1961 and after spending time in San Antonio, TX and Durham, NC they settled in Charlotte.

Tena was an active member of Myers Park Baptist Church and an ambassador to Russia with the North Carolina Bridges for Peace in 1988. She was an active member of The Junior League of Charlotte, founding member and President of Opera Carolina, member of the Charlotte Symphony Guild, proud member of Daughters of the American Revolution and Colonial Dames.

Tena was a gifted, loving teacher and tutor to hundreds of children in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. She had a passion for teaching, literacy and Spanish and spent countless hours teaching Charlotte’s children.

In addition, Tena loved traveling, dancing, clogging, Zumba, music and garden club. But above all, Tena loved people. She always said “strangers were friends she had not met yet.” She was full of life and laughter and brought a smile to everyone.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Jack Morris Knight, Sr.; second husband, Robert Lars Andersen; brother, William McNeill Carpenter, Jr.; and sister-in-law, Ryan Daniels Carpenter.

She is survived by her daughter, Katherine Knight Palmertree; son, Jack Morris Knight, Jr.; daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Fleming Knight; grandchildren, Caitlin McAlister Palmertree, Kate Fleming Knight, William Carpenter Knight, Benjamin Thomas Knight; step-children, Elizabeth and Mike Canada, William Andersen; and step-grandson, Matthew Canada.

Tena loved her church and was a woman of great faith. Known to many as Grammy, she cared for, loved and educated everyone she interacted with. Tena always put others before herself. Tena’s greatest legacy is the way she loved and cared for her family and friends.

Her services will be held at Myers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC 28207 on Monday, April 15 at 11:00 am. The family will receive friends after the service. Interment will then follow at Evergreen Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Communities in Schools, Charlotte, NC.


  • Funeral Service Monday, April 15, 2019

Nena "Tena" Andersen

have a memory or condolence to add?

Barbara Carpenter Harris

April 15, 2019

When I was a little girl I thought you were the most beautiful girl in the world , and you were. I wanted to be just like you. Glad our dad’s were brothers.

Millicent Kang (Mckeithen)

April 13, 2019

Jack and Katherine- Thinking of you as you celebrate your mom's long, full and amazing life. What a shining light she was among all of us. I remember being in high school and your mom always being so welcoming and enthusiastic whenever I was with her for any reason. She always made an effort for real connection with others and will be deeply missed. No doubt her spirit soars among you all now as you remember her meaningful life. With sympathy- Millicent

Thomas Parker Jr

April 11, 2019

I grew up with Tena in Greenville, S.C. We graduated from Greenville High the same year. One amusing memory involved a double date our senior year. I can’t even remember my own date, but I remember Tena and Jack in the back seat of my ‘57 Jeep as we drove to a party and then cruised around town. May I offer my sincere condolences to all of Tena’s loved ones.