Cover photo for Enith Tello's Obituary
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1943 Enith 2024

Enith Tello

March 8, 1943 — March 15, 2024


Beloved wife, mother, sister, and friend Enith (Chen) Tello, 81, passed away at Sanford Health March 15, 2024, after a brief illness.

Mass of Christian burial will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 2 at Church of Corpus Christi, 1919 N Second St, Bismarck. The service livestream will be available on the church's YouTube, available here.

Family will greet guests from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 1 at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Pkwy, Bismarck. A rosary/vigil service will be held at 6:30 p.m.

Enith was born March 8, 1943 in Penonome, Panama, the third of 10 children of Felipe Chen and Elia Solé. Following the death of her mother when Enith was 12, she was raised by her father and her treasured maternal grandmother, Debora Solé.

Enith graduated from the Escuela Normal Juan Demostenes Arosemena in Santiago, Panama, and the University of Panama where she obtained her degree in Spanish Education. While at the University, she met Abel and after a seven-year courtship they married in March 1970. Abel and Enith moved to the United States in 1971 so Abel could obtain his specialty training. While in the States, Elia Enith and Abel Jr were born. They returned to Panama before settling in Bismarck in 1978.

In Bismarck Enith taught Spanish at Shiloh Christian School and St Mary’s High School. She particularly loved the little ones she taught at Shiloh, where she taught from kindergarten on up. In addition to supporting Abel and her children, Enith volunteered with Lutheran Social Services helping refugees from Cuba resettle in the United States. 

Enith was a fantastic cook, and brought her traditional Panamanian recipes to Bismarck. Her New Year’s Eve parties were legendary, with dinner served at midnight at a table filled with all the Panamanian festive dishes, including her tamales made from scratch, where she put Abel to work grinding the corn. Food was her love language, and she was delighted her much-adored grandchildren wanted “abuela steak,” patacones, and rice when she visited. Enith celebrated her birthday, just one week before her death, with her entire family, proudly eating the tres leches cake her nine-year-old granddaughter made from scratch all by herself.

Enith is survived by her husband of 54 years Abel; daughter, Elia; and son, Abel Jr (Betsy); grandchildren, Emilio, Elisabetta, and Nicolas; siblings, Maribel, Lydia, Aneth, Stanley, and Felipe Jr; and numerous nieces, nephews and grand-nephews and nieces. She is also survived by the extended Bismarck Tello clan– Carmen; Tony and Janet; Tim and Julie; Ron and Joyce; Chico and Natalia; Mary and Duane; Christina and Brent; Deanna and Thad; Allison and Eddy; Christopher and Julia; Chris and Yun; Jeff and Amanda; the Bismarck Tellos spread across the U.S. in Arizona, Colorado, California, Minnesota, Texas, and Tennessee, Lauren in the UK, the extended Chen-Sole family, and the Tello family in Panama.  

She was preceded in death by her parents, Felipe and Elia Chen, her grandparents, and siblings Eddy, Camilo, Edward, and Noris.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, No Kid Hungry, or the charity of your choice.



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