Lewis Tenney remembered as great leader, mentor
HEBER - Tributes to the late Lewis Tenney Jr. are rolling in at almost the same rate as his accomplishments.
"With the death of Lewis Tenney Jr. on Aug. 8," said Steve Brophy of the Arizona Cattle Growers Association and President of the Aztec Land and Cattle Company, "northern Arizona lost one of its giants - a giant in stature, a giant in accomplishment. He was a worthy descendant of pioneer ancestors -the Tenneys and the Hamblins - who lead the settlement of northern Arizona beginning in the 1870s. Among other achievements, they were the first with the wisdom to develop deep and trusting relationships with the Navajos and Hopis, which in no small part made possible the peaceful settlement of northern Arizona by non-Indians."
Tenney, who was born Dec. 30, 1942 in Phoenix, will be remembered as both a businessman and statesman.
Companies that he either owned or managed include Heber Chevron, Canyon View Motel & Trailer Park, Exon Station and Restaurant, Heber Lumber & Hardware, Tenney Trucking, L.N. Tenney, Jr. Co, Precision Pine & Timber, Inc., Forest Management, Inc., Transporting Renewable Resources, Inc., Precision Lumber & Hardware, Inc., Best Western Sawmill Inn, Raging Bull Investments, Papa John's Pizza and Tenney Door andTrim.
Boards he sat on include the Sitgreaves School District, Heber Water District, Heber-Overgaard Fire District, Heber-Overgaard Sanitation District, Heber-Overgaard Unified School District, Heber-Overgaard Chamber of Commerce, Snowflake Unified School District, Navajo County Planning & Zoning Commission, Navajo County Board of Supervisors, Grand Canyon Council-BSA, County Supervisors Association, AZ/NM Coalition of Counties, Eastern Counties Organization, President Arizona County Supervisors Association, Member of Executive Board of National Association of Counties, Member of Arizona Criminal Justice Commission and Natural Resource Working Group.
"Lewis's life," said Brophy, "continued his ancestors' tradition in a very different world. His dedication to his community ranged from always extending his over-sized helping hand to neighbors, to the gentle smile and kind words he had for friends and strangers, to service on countless public entities, including leadership of the Navajo County Board of Supervisors, to answering the highest callings of his faith. He was a leader of leaders. He was selfless, kind, and dedicated. He will never be replaced, and what he did for our community will long endure."
Tenney's religious affiliations included the Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Snowflake Stake High Council Member, Bishop of the Heber Ward , 1st Counselor of the Taylor Stake , President of the Taylor Stake, 1st Counselor of the Mesa Arizona Mission Presidency and President of the Snowflake Arizona Temple
Andy Kunasek, Maricopa County Supervisor (District 3), upon learning of the death, said "Lewis Tenney was a great man, and a mentor. There is no greater compliment, or measure of a man, than to leave behind a legacy. Lewis left a tremendous legacy that will live on in the good works and unsurpassed leadership of his son, David."
Don Stapley, Maricopa County Supervisor (District 2) said "I am saddened to hear of Supervisor Tenney's passing. He was a great man dedicated both to family and community. I will miss working with Supervisor Tenney, but take comfort in the fact that he lived a life full of joy and family."
James Palmer, Graham County Supervisor (District 2) said "Supervisor Lewis Tenney was a great leader and a teacher and a mentor to me when I was a young supervisor."
Richard Lunt, Greenlee County Supervisor (District 3) said "He was a jewel of a man who was a visionary in many aspects of his career."
Mark Herrington, Graham County Supervisor (District 3) said "I have known Lewis Tenney since I was 17 years old and he and I have become good friends. I worked with him as a supervisor and as a member of the Eastern Counties Association. Lewis's kindness, his manner, the thoughtful way that he did things made him very effective in everything that he did. He made everyone feel like they were important to him. I can't think of a more honorable man."
Max Wilson, Maricopa County Supervisor (District 4) & County Supervisors Association President said "Supervisor Lewis Tenney was a gentle, fair man and great leader who was dedicated to his family and service to his community. He made governing and leading about people and not politics, we will miss his company and his warm personality."
Mary Rose Wilcox, Maricopa County Supervisor (District 5) said "I had always thought Supervisor Lewis Tenney was a strong person, both my husband and I had the privilege of knowing him. He had that Arizona spirit, which taught people how to live a good life. His spirit will live on, especially in his wonderful son David."
Carol Springer, Yavapai County Supervisor (District 1) said "Lewis Tenney he will be missed. The Tenney family is highly recognized all over the state of Arizona for their public service. And his passing will be mourned by many."
Tommie Kline Martin, Gila County Supervisor (District 1) said "Lewis was a real leader, a visionary who had enough of a business background to bring that to everything he did. He understood the true role of government. If it wasn't for Lewis we wouldn't have the Eastern Counties Organization, him and Jake Flake put it together. Just saw the need for these five counties to come together to deal with economic development, especially regarding natural resources. He just was a very gentle leader, he made you think you were doing the leading, he brought the best out in people, he lead by example, made you want to pay attention and want to follow him, just like breaking horses, he did it soft. He was a really a good guy, somebody to look up to, and we don't have many of those. He was a gentle giant, a quiet leader who always managed to say exactly the right thing at exactly the right time."
Craig Sullivan, Executive Director, County Supervisors Association said "During his service as a Navajo County Supervisor and CSA president, Lewis Tenney was a strong, focused leader who built successful coalitions by building lasting friendships. He also was an outstanding role model for all of us, demonstrating that selfless, dedication to public service can improve our communities and leave a remarkable legacy. He will be dearly missed by county officials across Arizona."
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