Tena Marie Bien

tena bien

May 3, 1956 ~ June 17, 2023

Born in: St. Louis, MO
Resided in: Biltmore Lake, NC

Tena Marie Bien, of Biltmore Lake, lost a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer on Saturday, June 17, 2023. Fortunately, faith in her relationship with our Heavenly Father assures that she will spend eternity peacefully and without the pain and suffering of this temporal world.

Tena was born in St. Louis, Missouri on May 3, 1956, to Kenneth and Blondell Abrams, where she spent a joyful childhood. Her fondest memories were of her summer vacations to Wilmington, NC, where she was surrounded by loving grandparents and a large family of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

After graduation from community college in St. Louis, she worked briefly for McDonald-Douglas aircraft before joining Delta Airlines in 1977. The next 32 years were spent as a flight attendant before retiring in 2009. She loved the travel and the many friends that were part of her exciting career.

Tena loved gardening, cooking and entertaining. She found great joy in being surrounded by friends and family in her home shared with her husband Gary. As a part of the Biltmore Lake community for more than 15 years, they shared a unique, loving, and committed relationship. Gary and Tena were best friends.

Tena leaves behind a loving family who will miss her deeply, including her step-daughters, Michelle (Wadley) and Mistie, her son-in-law, Tim Wadley, and a grandson, Nate Wadley, who she adored. Also, she was a special aunt to Byron (Kelli) Militello, Andy (Sarah) Militello, and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Linda Kay Abrams Militello, and a brother, Terry Wesley Abrams.

Biltmore Church was a special place for Tena. She loved her pastor, Bruce Frank, and was always proud of being a part of the church’s outreach to the community as a part of its commitment to Christ’s ministry. Also, Tena and Gary supported children through the Compassion International Ministry.

Tena’s memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 22, in the Groce Funeral Home Chapel on Patton Avenue. The service will be conducted by Kelvin Moseley, Pastoral Care, Biltmore Church. A formal visitation will not be held at the funeral home, but the family does invite friends to join them at a reception at the Biltmore Lake Clubhouse, 80 Lake Drive, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Thursday, following the service.

Interment will be in Bluebonnet Hills, Colleyville, TX, in July. At that time, there will be a special memorial service for her many friends and relatives that live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

Her family is grateful for the loving care provided by the Messino Cancer Center staff, Mission Hospital Emergency Department, and the Mission Hospital Oncology floor. Everyone was loving, caring, and incredibly professional. Thank you so much.

Please consider a memorial to the Reach Program at Biltmore Church, 35 Clayton Rd, Arden, NC 28704, and Compassion International, 12290 Voyager Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80921.


Memorial Service: June 22, 2023 1:30 pm

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


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Memories Timeline


  1. Tena. You were the light of my life. My heart is broken not only because of my loss but the loss for so many friends and family that loved you so much. Thank you for your smile and your positive approach to our lives together. We were a true love story. I already miss you deeply. Your loving husband, Gary.

    • I think Heaven is lucky. They got Tina ! She was such a fun loving person. Always positive and the glass full. Her smile and light made the world a better place.
      All our love to you Gary

  2. Gary, I have been overwhelmed by this news and feel so thankful to have known Tena. She was one of my very favorite parts of my visits to Biltmore Lake, and I will
    Never Ever drink a glass of Chardonnay without thinking of her, her smile and laugh, and her devotion to you. I know that Heaven received a really fine woman. Sending much love.

    • Suzanne. Thanks for taking the time to sign the guestbook. Tena loved the times she spent with you. She looked forward to your visits. I can’t believe she’s gone. I loved her dearly. GB

  3. Sending healing prayers to your family as you navigate through the coming days. I’m sincerely sorry for the loss of such a beautiful part of your lives. Big Love and hugs to each of you during this difficult time.

  4. Gary, Tony and I are numb with grief. Our world is a little darker without Tena and heaven is glowing with Tena’s heavenly presence. Your love story was so beautiful. We will continue are prayers for you as you navigate this difficult journey. Love you GB. Tony and Kathy Palazzo.

  5. Gary, I am SO heartbroken for you and your families. Tena was so special and definitely a shining light on all around her- one of a kind! I so enjoyed my visits with y’all when I was in town (as Susanne said as well).
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  6. Our hearts ache for the loss of a loving neighbor and a wonderful woman. Her flower beds were her pride and joy and I see her tending to them every time I walk by. Gary know that there is always a cold Manhattan waiting for you next door.

  7. I an truly saddened by the loss if Tena, my dear cousin. I remember the summers when she would come to visit, when we were young. She has always held a special place in my heart. Always fun to be around.
    She is already missed. Sending Love and hugs Gary.

  8. There are no words for the loss I am feeling that my dearest friend is gone. You were like a sister to me and I have so many memories of your laughter and love. Gary, I am so thankful that you came into her life, she loved you so much. Love and prayers for you during these darkest of days.

  9. I was Tena’s hairstylist for about eight years, I truly looked forward to each and every visit with her. She was always so warm, friendly and of course one classy, beautiful lady. We spent so much time, laughing and joking… I loved her laugh. I will truly miss her and feel very grateful that I got to know her. God bless her family and friends with love and comfort.

  10. Tena was beauty inside and out and I know, Gary you have lost a part of your life. I share your loss and the bright light that she gave off to everyone she knew.

  11. Dear Gary……..We lost such a bright light in all of our lives. You and Tena were such an amazing love story. You were meant for each other and how great you found each other to share so much of your lives together. Only wish it could have gone on for so many more years. We are in disbelief that we lost your dear Tena. Such a wonderful, lovely, kind friend she was. She will always be in our hearts. She is with the Lord that you both do love. That will give you comfort. Please know we are there for you. Kristi and Bill

  12. My sweet Delta sister. You always lit up a room with your beauty and your personality. You will forever be one of my nicest memories. Rest well, my friend, in the arms of Jesus.

  13. We have known Tena for over 35 years and she has always been so gracious and a positive shining light for everyone around her. She will be greatly missed, but we will meet again in the beautiful heavenly palace.

  14. Sincere condolences to Tena’s family.

    I knew Tena during the seven years I lived in New Orleans in the ’70s and ’80s. She was always so sweet and full of life! So spirited, she instantly brightened every party and social gathering she attended. Every moment with Tena was a joy and I loved her so! I’ll never forget how she single handedly stopped the show upon making her entrance at Destrehan Plantation just before governor Edwin Edwards was about to address the crowd! It was nothing short of amazing!

    Loved by everyone who knew her she will be so sorely missed. I know her Delta family has to be devastated as well.

    Rest in peace Tena…

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