This memorial website was created in memory of my mother, Frances Beveridge Sydnor Tehie (born April 16, 1926, died April 15, 2003). She passed away from congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at Centre Community Hospital (now the Mount Nittany Medical Center) in State College, Pennsylvania, the home of Pennsylvania State University in Central Pennsylvania.
Frances was born in the small town of Jefferson City, Tennessee, in the eastern part of the state, located near Knoxville and the University of Tennessee. Her father, Dr. Elmer W. Sydnor, was an English professor at Carson-Newman College, a small Baptist liberal-arts college in Jefferson City, and she and her older sister Lucy Ann and two brothers (Elmer Jr.. and Charles Wright), lived in a house on Deborah Street in Jefferson City. Her mother, Lucy Sydnor, was trained as a teacher at Longwood College in Farmville, VA, and taught second grade for quite a few years before her marriage. Frances's grandparents and family lived in Petersburg, VA. She and her sister Lucy Ann spent summers with their aunts in Petersburg, VA.
My mother went to public elementary school in Jefferson City, but was taught to read before the age of four by her mother. She went to Carson-Newman College and majored in English Literature, and then completed a Master's degree in English at University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She went to Peabody College for Teachers at Vanderbilt University to obtain her secondary school English teaching certificate, and her first teaching job was in the coal-mining camp of Pruden, Kentucky, on the border of KY and northern TN. She then moved on to teaching English at the college level, and taught at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA before moving to New Jersey in the late 1950s to teach English at Monmouth Junior College (now Monmouth University) in Long Branch, NJ, where she met and married my father, John Tichy Tehie, who turned 91 on Dec. 11, 2007.
Frances was born with clubfoot, and she had to have her feet put in casts at a very young age. Blessed with a vivid memory even of early events, she recounted this experience for me many times. She also apparently had rheumatic fever in childhood, a condition which is caused by Hemolytic Streptococcus A. This condition, if not treated properly (in those days, antibiotic therapy for this was unknown), would go into the heart and cause severe damage to the heart valves, and this happened to my mother. Over the years, her heart damage became more severe. This condition was not identified early enough; I recall that in 1990, when I was teaching elementary school, my mother was admitted to the hospital and was unable to breathe, one of the first signs of this condition. The internist on call, Dr. Robert Margie of the Summit Medical Group, asked her if she wanted to see a psychiatrist (truly)! Unfortunately, this kind of attitude which can be typical of the medical profession did not help to identify her problem. I believe that if my mother's condition would have been identified earlier, she would still be here today.
My mother wrote at least 1000 poems in her lifetime. Her lifelong friend Jeanne McIlvaine and I published sixty of them in a posthumous volume of poetry, a collection of nature sonnets entitled OR CALL IT HOPE, published by AuthorHouse Publications in Bloomington, Indiana in 2005. Volumes of this book can be ordered from the publisher at: http://www.authorhouse.com. Frances won over 65 awards from national poetry societies, including the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and the Pennsylvania Poetry Society, and was widely regarded as a truly outstanding "lyrical poet." As of March 21, 2007, another book, THE BRIDGE AT ARGENTEUIL, which is a selection of her sonnets about art, music, and literature, is available through AuthorHouse as well. The title of this second book comes from a poem she wrote on her reflections about the painting of the same name by Monet.
A third volume of poetry, EN ROUTE, which is a collection of sonnets celebrating religion and spirituality, is currently in production.
It is my hope that family members and friends will visit this site and leave messages or candles for my mother; I know she deeply would have appreciated it. I am leaving this site up permanently as a permanent reminder of her beautiful spirit, love for all animals and nature, and as a tribute to what a wonderful, loving mother she was.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS WEBSITE IS CHECKED REGULARLY TO MAKE SURE ALL POSTS IN THE MEMORIAL CANDLES SECTION ARE APPROPRIATE. ANY INAPPROPRIATE POSTS WILL BE IMMEDIATELY REMOVED FROM THIS SITE AND THAT INDIVIDUAL WILL BE BANNED FROM THIS SITE.
DUE TO WEBSITE ABUSE ISSUES ARISING TODAY, THE OFFENDER'S COMPUTER IP ADDRESS WILL BE NOTED AND THE AUTHORITIES CONTACTED, AS SUCH CONDUCT CONSTITUTES WEBSITE ABUSE.
BACKGROUND MUSIC: "As Water to the Thirsty", acappella solo by Janice Tehie, soprano.
A poem from the recently released book "The Bridge At Argenteuil" was read at the Nurses' Celebration Day at Mt. Nittany Medical Center, State College PA. For more information, go to: http://www.mountnittany.org/body.cfm?id=221&action=detail&ref=347