Sandra Diane Tennyson

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Sandra Diane Tennyson, 64, of Columbia, Mo., formerly of Blytheville, passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020 surrounded by her family.

She was remarkable in many ways, but primarily in that she maintained an unwavering enthusiasm for life. She loved to share all her favorite things with her family and friends, often declaring they must try this or that dish, must hear this particular song, must travel to this specific locale, and absolutely must float the Current River or watch a Cardinals ballgame. She was impatient with tepid responses and wouldn't rest until she stoked the same joi de vivre in those around her.

She had more purses and shoes than Imelda Marcos and a keen and tasteful eye for such accessories. This particular talent went unappreciated by her husband and three boys, but was enjoyed by her two granddaughters, on whom she doted.

Of all her changing enthusiasms, she reserved her greatest love for children and dogs. She was magnetic in this regard, a modern day Pied Piper. To her grandchildren and even her grandchildren by proxy (which included almost all the children she met), her presence was no less than magical. And they all shared a deep and abiding love for jellybeans. She made holidays especially memorable, and they simply won't be the same for any of us now that she's gone.

She was a steadfast champion of underdogs, and it's noteworthy that on many occasions, when she would pull up to say hi to the various groups of the homeless and needy people in Columbia (where she's made her home for seven years), they greeted her warmly and by name. She was consistently generous, and she never judged anyone for their life choices and believed that everyone just needed a leg-up sometimes.

She wished to be cremated and taken to the Current River, the resting place of her old beloved dog Jake. Infectiously enthusiastic in even this decision, the rest of her family wants to eventually follow her there. Plans for a memorial service will be spread to friends and family in the coming days.

She is survived by her loving husband of 44 years, David, sons Jeff, Kit, and Zach, and two grandchildren, Alex and Bo.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Humane Society of Columbia.