Franciscan Life Process Center
11650 Downes St. Lowell, MI 49331
401 Hall Street, Ste 263, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Kathryn Faye Tendero (born September 9, 1935, Lyons, KS) walked home with Jesus on Saturday morning November 20, 2021, in Grand Rapids, MI. Her daily walks had grown shorter as her cancer progressed, so she cherished the journey to her eternal home. She is greeted by her parents, Kathryn and John McGlynn. Her siblings John, Robert, William, Marvin, Lawrence, and James are there as well. She is survived by her husband Emmanuel Tendero and children Cristina Tendero-Scott (Jason), Maria Laberteaux (Ken) and Tony Tendero (Jennifer) and grandchildren Maxwell, Lily, Beatrice, Ezra, Vivienne & Johnson Tendero; MaKenzie Strazanac, Julia & Lydia Scott; and Isaac & Elijah Laberteaux, as well as siblings, Lois Lombardo & Michael McGlynn, and many beloved nephews, nieces & friends. Loving and caring for her family was her joy, and their flourishment is her legacy and pride.
If the phone rang for Mom at the house, one could always tell right away what time in history the caller had met her by the name they used. During her childhood, in the close-knit farming community of Lyons, Kansas, she went by Faye to distinguish her from her mother. She was Faye, a farm girl who thrived through hard work on the farm, through learning to be bilingual as she signed with her deaf brothers and sister, through becoming resilient in the face of challenge. The Kansas twang asking, “Is Faye home?” was always a sweet song for Mom, as well as whoever else picked up the phone.
Those that called her Kathryn likely knew her from her time in the Mercy School of Nursing and her first nursing job in Louisiana. With hopes to see the world, Kathryn joined the Air Force, where she was dubbed Kathy by her fellow airmen. She served in Texas and California before listing “Spain, Spain, Spain” for her top three choices for her next assignment. Thankfully, the Air Force sent her to Clark Air Force Base in Pampanga, Philippines in 1962. There she worked hard as a nurse, ascending to the rank of First Lieutenant. She also began honing her hosting skills. At one particular party, a dashing Filipino medical intern joined the festivities. He recognized Kathy as someone special. Fortunately, he was crafty as well. Leaving his umbrella, Manny returned the next day to retrieve it and to speak with Kathy. Thus began a fifty-eight-year love story.
She and Manny eventually landed stateside and married January 23, 1965, in Milwaukee during a blizzard. When Manny completed his training, they moved to Michigan, with stops in Ann Arbor and the Detroit area before establishing themselves in Grand Rapids in 1975. As a beloved member of this community, at times you could hear a boisterous “Kathy!” from the Filipino friends that gathered together for food and laughter. In autumn, it was, “Kathy, this is delicious!” over soup lunches and football rivalries with friends who are family. Many times, it was “Thank you, Kathy” from when she volunteered for the St. Robert Nursing Home Ministry or her children’s school activities.
However you’ve known this beloved farm girl, Air Force nurse, friend, aunt, grandmother, mom and wife, we invite you to remember Kathryn Faye Tendero during a visitation at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Funeral Home, 3980 Cascade Road SE, Grand Rapids, MI on Tuesday, November 23 from 6pm-7pm. A Rosary Prayer Service (one of her favorite ways to draw close to God) will follow at 7pm. You may also join us on Wednesday, November 24 at 10am for visitation and 11am for the Funeral Mass at St. Robert of Newminster Parish, 6477 Ada Dr. SE, Ada, MI. There we will worship in the presence of the One who knows each of our names and who has walked Kathy home.
The Mass will also be livestreamed and archived on the funeral home Facebook page. The family requests that guests at the visitation and the Mass wear masks to protect Manny as well as others who are vulnerable. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial donation to a charity of your choice or supporting the Franciscan Life Process Center, 11650 Downes St. Lowell, MI 49331 or Emmanuel Hospice, 401 Hall Street, Ste 263, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, who cared well for Mom on the last part of her journey here. Ashes will be interred at Ada Cemetery at a future date.