Seymour Eugene Tenenberg, better known as Si, was a man who not only served his country but cared deeply for his community.
He showed his love by sending care packages overseas to American heroes and by motivating those around him to give back.
Saturday, community members celebrated his life and legacy at the San Luis Obispo Veterans Memorial Building.
With American flags and leather vests, the Patriot Guard riders gave Tenenberg a last farewell.
“People have heroes in their life. My dad was and always will be my hero,” said Bonnie Lancaster, Tenenberg’s daughter.
A true American hero who served with honor.
“Si Tenenberg was faithful to his country beginning at the young age of 17 when he enlisted to serve in the Marine Corps,” said San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow.
Tenenberg’s wife, Marylin, now holds onto his folded flag.
“My father was a man who was incredibly loving, kind, generous, faithful to the core,” Lancaster said.
Tenenberg created an army of volunteers in 2006 to supply more than 23,000 care packages benefiting around 250,000 deployed military personnel, often teaming up with KSBY News.
One of those recipients was Robert Tolan in Afghanistan back in 2013.
“Candy, lemonade packets, tabasco, pepper, things you take for granted here,” Tolan, founder of Welcome Home Military Heroes, said.
A troop care package’s mission that reached those in need overseas and a project that helped Tenenberg make loyal friends along the way.
“Hand warmers, feet warmers, things like that, so we could give out to the children if we saw any need,” Tolan said.
“As time went on, we realized how much work it was for him (Tenenberg) and realized he needed not only our hands and our hearts but our help financially as well,” said Rusty Hobbs, American Legion Riders Post 136 member.
Tenenberg died on February 28 at the age of 87.
“Four hours before he passed away, he was on the phone making sure certain requests were being fulfilled. He just had to make sure,” Lancaster said.
“Welcome Home Military Heroes will carry on Tenenberg's noble mission.
“He's the motivator to keep it going. I want to live in his footsteps,” Tolan said.
“In his honor, in his name and for the good of our troops, that is what it is all about,” Hobbs said.
Anyone who would like to volunteer and continue building on Tenenberg's mission of sending care packages to troops overseas can click here.