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Madge Coline Tenuta

Former Soldotna resident Madge Coline Tenuta died Monday, Dec. 1, 2003, of natural causes in Atlanta, Ga. She was 86.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at the First Baptist Church in Ballinger, Texas. Interment will be in the Santa Barbara Cemetery in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Jan. 3.

Mrs. Tenuta was born Aug. 14, 1917, in Knoxville, Iowa, to Ben and Alma Craig. She was raised as a farm girl and was proud of her heritage. When she met Mills Tenuta at a dance in the late 1940s, it was love at first sight, and they were married in Acapulco, Mexico, soon after. They were remarried in Tucson, Ariz., on Nov. 21, 1950.

Mr. and Mrs. Tenuta came to Alaska in 1982 to live with her eldest daughter, Marti Steckel. Shortly after arriving, Mr. Tenuta died and Mrs. Tenuta moved in with her daughter, Marti, her husband, John, and their two children.

She began to volunteer at Soldotna Elementary School and was hired as a full-time aide and tutor, known as "Grandma" to the kids. Her office was always filled with children and staff. She was active in organizing events for Christmas and was recognized by the school district as Volunteer of the Year.

She also was active in the area Girl Scouts of America program and was assistant leader for many years. In the summer, Mrs. Tenuta was the head cook and bottle-washer of the Casa Norte Bed and Breakfast, which was owned by her daughter and son-in-law.

After the death of her daughter, Marti, in 1996, Mrs. Tenuta moved to Ballinger to be closer to her other children. She joined the First Baptist Church and was a member of the Ballinger Garden Club.

"She was an energetic ray of sunshine and will be remembered for her dedication to her family and her positive contribution to all she met," her family said.

Mrs. Tenuta was preceded in death by her husband, Mills Tenuta, and daughter, Marti Steckel.

She is survived by her son, Robert Junkins, and his wife, Susie, of Melbourne, Fla.; daughters, Tonni Tenuta, of Tempe, Ariz., and Jodie Boggess and her husband, Paul, of Ballinger; son-in-law, John Steckel, and his wife, Jacquie, of Kenai; grandchildren, Tonya Hall and her husband, Travis, Travis Boggs and his wife, Jen, Angela Junkins, Sienna Steckel, Christina Velardo and Michael Velardo; and great-grandchildren, Austin, Jacob and Tatiana Hall.

Condolences may be sent to Jodie Boggess at (address removed).

Source: Peninsula Clarion, December 12, 2003



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