Cover photo for Karla Tennyson Abdelghany's Obituary
Karla Tennyson Abdelghany Profile Photo
Karla

Karla Tennyson Abdelghany

d. November 4, 2020

Karla Tennyson Abdelghany was born in San Diego, California on February 6, 1953. Her father is Raymond Tennyson, age 95, and her mother was Wilhelmena White Tennyson who passed away in 2018 at the age of 88. She has two sisters, Gayle Tennyson Byrd of Philadelphia and Allison Tennyson Ibrahim a resident of Kuwait. Karla’s brother, Raymond Tennyson, Jr. passed away in 1965 as a baby. Karla was what people describe as an unselfish "Servant Leader." She taught and was an administrator for 25 years in the School District of Philadelphia and was the long-term caretaker of her elderly parents while she worked - and never missed a day of work. She was a no-nonsense dedicated-to-truthfulness-in-action warrior for doing the right thing without excuses. She was the Dean of Students and disciplinarian in the largest middle school in the district. Karla meted out student justice with a firm, but kindly, style. She sought transformation, not "punishment." She never garnered one complaint in 25 years from parents about her treatment of their children. Why? Karla treated her charges like they were her own. Karla did not have children, but there are thousands of Philadelphia’s school children who benefitted from her “parenting.” Karla graduated from Cardinal Dougherty High School and then Rosemont College, earning a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She then earned a master’s degree in Social Studies from Temple University’s College of Education and began her teaching career with the Archdioceses of Philadelphia. Then, Karla earned a degree in K-8 Elementary Education and a principal’s certification from St. Joseph’s University and an Educational Science in Technology certification from Drexel University, which was the first programs offered in the Delaware Valley. There is no missing that Karla was one of the most beautiful women in the world, and that is saying a lot given her mother was stunningly gorgeous. She was so captivating that Ford Modeling Agency in NYC relentlessly tried to recruit her for modeling, but she was modest about her gift and considered standing in front of people preening a frivolous pursuit. She had other "service" plans to make the world a better place, such as earning those two master’s degrees and principal and technology certifications. She was a role-model and adviser for her younger family members. She loved her sisters, nieces and nephews, brothers-in-law, cousins, aunts, and uncles in ways no one will ever be able to repay. She lived with honor and grace, was always a lady, and was often the smartest person in the room. With her sharp wit and clever sarcasm, she could deliver the truth so fast, and on the mark, people had to put themselves on pause to try and process what they heard. She was witty and hilariously clear on the joys and nuanced challenges of life, enjoying both the amusement in everyday life as well as being committed to the hard work of paying bills and unwaveringly keeping family obligations. What a loss...to our family and the community. A great one has left her mark. She now goes to join our mother, powerful force in our family another giant of service in teaching, and to spread her wings over her brother. Farewell, Dear Karla. Yours was a life well-lived. Karla is survived by her father, two sisters, and multitude of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins who loved and cherished her. Karla Tennyson Abdelghany will receive a Catholic Mass of Christian Burial and be interred in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery next to her mother.
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