Tena Paulette Vanderlinden

Tena Paulette Vanderlinden, age 61 of Oak Harbor, WA went to be with our Lord at 6:30 PM on Friday, January 26, 2018.


Tena was born January 24, 1957 to Mary Lou Hipkins and Lester Alan Chitwood in Macon Missouri.


Tena worked at bringing out the best in people and the best from each day. Homeless by age 12, she struggled to become an accepted person. Perhaps that’s why she became so accepting of those she ran into and, eventually, cared deeply for. She adored the Dragon Boat team, the LDS church, her Wednesday Bible study, the ElderSpace group she hosted, ukulele jam sessions with her son, her exercise classes, travels abroad with her daughter, and just being with family whom she deeply loved.


Tena was energetic and loving. A strong and sensitive soul. A woman of character who lived a life of great significance. She taught all of her children at home.
She was a musician of guitar, cello, and ukulele, encouraging music in all her children so that they all have gained their own musical ability. She was an avid gardener, turning dense brush into a pleasant place for birds, her squirrel, and people. She made everywhere beautiful. Long walks in the woods were her joy. She loved to cook for people, for her family, for her neighbors, and friends. She held tea parties and loved lemon curd. She was a poet.


Tena was the amazing wife of Scott Vanderlinden and mother to their seven children: Naomi (40), Natasha (36), Sierra (33), Amon (29), Jasmine (25), Shalana (22) and Detrik (19) as well as three Vietnamese orphans and any others who needed a place to stay. She leaves behind six grandsons: Dawson, Rylund, Holden, Creed, Beau, and Sawyer. Her sister Corissa Denise Fansler, and many nieces, and nephews, as well as cousins and friends whom she loved very much. She is preceded in death by her father, Lester Alan Chitwood and her adoptive mother, Olive Tharp.   


A memorial service was held Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at the Latter-Day Saints church. Graveside services are to follow on some later date at the Sunnyside Cemetery in Coupeville, in view of one of her favorite walks.


To say she will be missed is a sentiment of immense understatement.