In Remembrance of Robert Hampden Tener

12 December, 1925 ~ 30 December, 2016
Falkland, BC, Canada

DR. ROBERT HAMPDEN TENER, December 12, 1925-December 30, 2016. Robert Tener, 91, of Calgary, Alberta, passed away suddenly on December 30, 2016. Robert is survived by his so... Read more >
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DR. ROBERT HAMPDEN TENER, December 12, 1925-December 30, 2016. Robert Tener, 91, of Calgary, Alberta, passed away suddenly on December 30, 2016. Robert is survived by his son Colin (Ann Gronow) of Toronto, daughter Janice (James) Sanford of Calgary, and granddaughter Taylor Sanford of Calgary. He is also survived by his older brother John Tener of Ottawa, and his sisters, Doreen Chutter of Kamloops, Kathleen Shea of Penticton, and Veronica Cameron of Grange-Over-Sands, England. He is predeceased by his loving wife, Jean, and brothers, David and Gordon Tener. Robert also leaves his brother-in-law Ron Baker, and sister-in-law Trudie and numerous special nieces and nephews.

Robert was born in 1925 to Charlotte E. Simpson and John F. Tener, Jr. in Falkland, BC, a farming community in the interior of British Columbia. The family story relates that he was born the second of six children in a log cabin in a December snowstorm. It was the encouragement of his mother towards higher education and childhood financial insecurity that drove his desire to pursue education at the University of British Columbia (UBC) as a young man. His journey to complete his undergraduate degree was not without difficulty, however, as he had to interrupt his studies several times to work in frozen food factories and sawmills to pay for his tuition and living expenses. In 1947, Robert was granted a BA in English from UBC. He continued on and completed his MA in 1949. Following the completion of his MA, Robert taught high school for a few years before continuing towards his Ph.D. In 1954 he met and in 1955 married the love of his life, Jean Baker, a university student and the sister of a friend at UBC. The congregation was delighted that the Minister married them ďin sickness and in wealth.Ē Together they began what would be a very happy marriage. Their first child, Colin, was born in 1956 in Vancouver. Robert and Jean then immediately left Canada for England so that Robert could work on his Ph.D. During the time as a Ph.D. student, Robert and Jeanís second child, Janice, was born in London, England, in 1958. Robert completed his Ph.D. in 1960 at Birkbeck College, at the University of London. The family then returned to Canada and UBC where he taught for two years. Robert soon realized that there were a number of people ahead of him who were trained to teach Victorian Literature at UBC and that it would take many years to move ahead. With help from friend, Professor Ian Adam, whom he had met while they were both graduate students in England, Robert applied and was hired by the newly established branch of the University of Alberta in Calgary. With a growing English Department, Robert soon found a secure and happy place as a professor and Victorian Literature specialist.

Robertís love of English literature led him to research and become a leading world expert on the Victorian editor and critic, Richard Holt Hutton. Robert wrote and published two books and numerous articles over the years about R. H. Hutton, identifying articles previously not attributed to Hutton. Robert was a keen scholar reading extensively in many disciplines his whole life, especially in the sciences. He was also instrumental in the early development of the University of Calgary Library. Robert retired from the University of Calgary in 1991 after 30 years of devoted service. During that time Robert and Jean made numerous friends and they will be remembered for their famous dinner parties where they were gracious, fun-loving hosts. Jean and Robert have recently donated their personal library collection to the University of Calgary.

After their retirements, one of the highlights of Robert and Jeanís lives was the birth of their only grandchild, Taylor Nicole, in August of 1997. Robert and Jean also celebrated 60 years of marriage on May 21, 2015. Robertís friends will miss his dry sense of humour, keen intelligence and generosity. Robert was a good friend, wonderful father and loving, attentive grandfather.

Many thanks to the administration and care staff at the Manor Village at Rocky Ridge, Calgary, for their care and understanding.

Condolences and special memories may be sent to under Robert Tener. In lieu of flowers please donate to the University of Calgary through the Robert and Jean Tener Anniversary Bursary.

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