Roger Peter Tennis
1946 - 2021
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Roger Peter Tennis

Sept. 12, 1946- March 25, 2021

Roger Peter Tennis passed away March 25, 2021 after a short, but courageous battle with colon cancer.

Affectionately known by many as "Rog," he was born Sept. 12, 1946 in Poughkeepsie, New York to Peter (Pete) J. Tennis and Margaret (Marge) E. Tennis. He developed a passion for movies at a young age and ran his own "movie theater," charging neighborhood kids to see the latest flicks.

That love of film took him down the path to broadcasting, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in broadcasting/film from New York University. He was amongst the university's first class of broadcasting engineers. While at NYU, he began his career interning for various stations and programs, such as the Ed Sullivan Show and Columbia Recording Studios. He obtained his First Class FCC Engineering License in 1967 and went on to work for several networks, including CBS. He eventually retired after 27 years as a senior broadcasting engineer from KAET-Channel 8, a PBS affiliate.

In addition to editing "The Best Of 'Are You Being Served?'" Roger co-produced and directed the Beatles music documentary "Eight Arms to Hold You" for PBS. It is one of the earliest over-the-air stereo television broadcasts.

After retirement, he immersed himself in his next major life role — a celebrated movie critic and film historian. He was an active voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, which presents the Critics' Choice Awards each year. Roger and his wife Janet attended the Critics' Choice Awards for many years, getting to know several celebrities. He co-created CLIPS-Cinema Lovers Info Program Site, a long-running nationally syndicated, award-winning TV series. He was also co-founder and vice president/treasurer of the Phoenix Film Critics Society.

Roger was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his beloved wife of 45 years, Janet, his daughters Michelle Tennis & Margaret Rodriguez (son-in-law Nathan), and son Mark. He is also survived by his sister Patricia (Patty) Derrigo and brother-in-law Angelo, brother- and sisters-in-laws (Michael and Charlene Maville; Patricia Blum), nieces and nephews, cousins and many other cherished friends and colleagues.

Roger's remains will be cremated; As he would say, "he finally is making an ash out of himself…get it?"

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance through its website at ccalliance.org. Donations can also be made to Hospice of the Valley (hov.org), which provided compassionate care and support to Roger and his family in his final days.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date when it is safe for gatherings.




To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Apr. 1 to Apr. 6, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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12 entries
April 8, 2021
PEACE
Peace in the heart now that rest has come.
Peace in the mind now that suffering is over.
Peace in the soul of the loved and beloved.
(author unknown)
So many memories: Roger was always a joker, loved his profession and sure had a handle on it.
Janet and family, you are in our thoughts and prayers now and always. May your memories comfort and bring peace to all of you.....
God’s Peace,
John Sivak
Susan Sivak Hadala and family
John Sivak
Friend
April 8, 2021
I had the privilege of working with Mr. Tennis, Roger many years ago in New York. Through the thick and thin challenges of Television production we have a long list of successful ventures. With the factors of Distance, Time and Professional changes I lost track of Roger's creative adventures. He was a one of a Kind, A Gem in our business. He will be missed.
Dan McKenrick
Friend
April 6, 2021
My dear brother and only sibling. I miss Roger more than words could ever express.
Patty Derrigo
Sister
April 6, 2021
I had the pleasure of working with Roger for almost a decade at KAET. Always had a smile on his face. And his film knowledge was extraordinary. A huge loss.
Paul Atkinson
Friend
April 5, 2021
Roger was one of my favorite people at Channel 8. He was always kind and shared his wit with ease. It's been almost 40 years since we last worked together, but I still remember many of his stories and cherish the times we spent together. RIP Roger.
Eric Temple
Coworker
April 5, 2021
Sadly, I didn't know Roger personally, but came to know him through his intelligent, insightful and kind daughter, Michelle. She has many of his attributes. As I read this remembrance, it occurs to me that Roger lived his life very fully and completely and was bold enough to follow his passion throughout his life. That is so totally inspiring to me. Thank you to Roger for setting this example -- and thank you to his family for always providing the support and love to do so. I know Roger will be sorely missed by his wife and children. But his impact continues through them as well. Sending my love and prayers!
Emily Soccorsy-Heetland
Friend
April 5, 2021
Such a sweet man, so kind and funny and I loved his passion for movies!
Kathy Cano-Murillo
Friend
April 5, 2021
It was wonderful working with Roger over the years. His post-screening comments were always so fun - he always had a fun way to incorporate the movie theme or title in his comments. He was the nicest & kindest man and we will truly miss working with him. My most recent memory of Roger was while we were at a screening, shortly before the pandemic began, when he offered to walk me to my car after we had dealt with a difficult person. A true gentlemen and lovely man. We will miss him. Sending Janet and his family a giant, virtual hug and my sincerest condolences.
Jessica Sotelo
Friend
April 5, 2021
I remember Roger from my days at Barclay Communications. He (and Janet) would always come to the press screenings for the upcoming movies. He loved the movies and would always tell me a fact about the movie or the director or just trivia. I was always impressed with his knowledge with all things film. He would always stand up and say hello to everyone. He will be misse.
Vicki Richardson
Coworker
April 5, 2021
Although I have never met Mr Tennis in person, I got to know him thru his daughter and dear friend, Michelle. My mother and I would like to express our sincere condolences to the Tennis Family. Our prayers & love are with you ♥
Carla & Carol Jefferson
Friend
April 5, 2021
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief. We have known Rog for 60 years. He was a great friend and will be missed..
Laura and Joe Amedeo
Friend
April 5, 2021
In my younger years, (he's Michelle's dad, whom I've known for 30 years), Roger was always so kind and caring to me. He ALWAYS had a joke to tell! He had a knack for making me laugh and smile. No matter what I was going through. He and the entire family would always open their home to me to come visit. He was a GREAT man and I'm sorely going to miss him.
Heather Peterson
Friend
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