Autumn Reese Tennison

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

-Jeremiah 29:11

Autumn Reese Tennison, 21, of Robinson Illinois passed away in Malibu, California on March 7th, 2022. She was the daughter of Eleanor Atienza-Tennison and Gary Tennison, and sister to Noah Tennison.

Autumn was a soft-spoken soul who often expressed herself through her art, writing, and fashion. Once graduating from Robinson high school, Autumn began attending Pepperdine University as a biology major, where soon after, she switched to creative writing where her passion for short fiction & poetry would thrive.

She loved going to the beach, cooking recipes from home, her dogs, her friends, and her family. Autumn was a member of Pepperdine’s chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta and dreamed of one day working at a publication for preserving the oceans or fashion publication like Vogue.

Thank you to everyone who attended the memorial, you are all so deeply appreciated.
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Cydnee Weber

I’ve known Autumn since we were babies, so we have a lot of fun memories together. One funny thing that we used to do would be to set up a tent in her parent’s living room and pretend that we were going camping. We’d set up a “fire” (which was a lamp) and “roast marshmallows” over it. We’d stay up way too late watching movies like Twilight, and eating way too many Slim Jims. We also had a lot of make overs and “fashion shows” where we’d dump glitter into our hair and wear the brightest colors of eyeshadow because for some reason we thought that looked good.

The picture that I included is from high school, and it was taken on a Game Day which is why we’re both wearing maroon. Autumn and I were both on the tennis team in high school, and we always had a great time at practice and during matches. She never failed to make me laugh, and her memory will live on forever in my heart.

Arianna Schott

I met Autumn my freshman year here at Pepperdine. From the get go it is so evident that Autumn was such a kind soul. We became particularly close before our Junior year. I had just gone through my first break up and was devastated. Autumn was going through something similar and although my relationship was much much shorter she not once made me feel like my feelings were invalid or my problems were too small. She was always there for me and I hope she remebers me the same. She was a great friend and great support system. She always reminded me to treat myself kindly and know my worth. I hope she knew how loved and appreciated she was. She was an angel in this world and now she is an angel watching over us.
I attached a picture of us at the beach that has been my wallpaper since before her death and will remain my wallpaper for long after.

Samantha Proctor

Autumn was one of the first friends I made at Pepperdine. I’ll never forget meeting her in a taco bell drive through, buying her taco bell, and her asking for more sauce (haha). She was the kind of person that always knew how to brighten any moment, and her gentle spirit is something I will always carry with me. I cherished her friendship our sophomore year, when she almost moved in with my roommates and I in our apartment in Beverly Hills. We were so excited to have her presence with us even more. I always wanted the best for Autumn, and she always wanted the best for me. She was a constant, a person I could always rely on, someone who defined my Pepperdine experience. With her heart for creative writing, I related to and admired her creativity immensely. It has been a privilege to become even closer with her best friend, Justin Selva, as I feel her spirit in his all the time. She truly had the power to change lives- just like she changed mine.

Grace Navarro

Autumn was not only one of my first friends at Pepperdine, but she was the first person in Theta that welcomed me with open arms. My freshman year, Autumn and I did so much together, and there was never a dull moment. From driving around LA/Malibu just for fun photo shoots, trying new restaurants, watching the sunset at the beach, late-night heart-to-hearts, thrifting, getting ready together while blasting music for a girl’s night out, or adopting a beta fish named tesla for our apartment in Drescher.. it’s hard to pinpoint my favorite memory with her because there were so many. I am forever blessed to have encountered such a sweet soul as hers. The imprint she made on my life during the time I knew her is something I will carry with me forever. When times get tough, I feel comfort knowing she’s watching over all of us. Whenever I see a butterfly or the beautiful colors in the sky, I am reminded she is still here with us.

Adriann Randolph

I met Autumn at Katie Veenstra’s birthday party at KCL. We were both super young. I remember Autumn being so welcoming to me and we clicked at first sight. Ever since that interaction, Autumn has always been my go to friend. Autumn has taught me a lot of life long skills that I will forever use. She is such a loving, beautiful, and inviting person who would bring happiness to me even when I would be down. I would always look forward to going over to her house to eat Nutella (so glad she introduced me to that).

This picture was taken at a basketball game at our high school. She was always so supportive of me and will always be with me everyday!

Anna Earle

Autumn was always so sweet to me and had such a genuine presence about her that I really appreciated at Pepperdine. Her grace, beauty and love is remembered by many today and everyday. She really made a difference and impact on people’s lives and I am so grateful to be one of them.

Gracie Shidler

I don’t remember meeting Autumn, but I do remember playing Barbies and Bratz with her at a very young age and ever since then Autumn has always been a friend. Eventually playing with dolls soon turned into talking about boys, school, and making so many memories. My favorite thing about Autumn was how every event or milestone needed to be celebrated. She would always make you feel so special for the little things and any birthday or holiday meant we should all get together. Autumn gave the best advice and talking to her would always brighten my day. Happy birthday, Autumn! I love and miss you so much!

The picture I’ve included was taken the summer before junior year of high school. I chose this picture because we all look so young and happy. That summer we went fishing a few times, which I believe we had done right before this picture was taken. I’m not sure why we decided to fish, because none of us knew how to but it was always a good time.

Savannah Fitts

I met Autumn in 3rd grade and without hesitation, we became best friends. She was a part of some of my favorite memories. We had dance parties, we cooked, we did our makeup, we would jump on the trampoline, and swim in the neighbors pool. We always had a lot of fun together. One of my favorite and most silly memories was when we looked up iguana farts on YouTube because I didn’t believe that her iguana Brian would fart in the bathtub. She definitely proved me wrong and we had a really big laugh about it. ❤️ Happy Birthday Autumn 🦋

Amber Hillard

Autumn and I started hanging out our freshman year of high school and soon after we became very close our sophomore year. I could always count on her for advice about anything and everything. She wanted to genuinely help anyone she could, and would do so without any judgement.

One of my favorite memories is when we went to her grandparents house in Paris, IL to paddle boat on the pond in their back yard. We thought it was fun to play the game where we rock the boat back and forth, until the boat started taking on water and we barely made it back to shore. I’ll never forget how much fun we had that day, laughing with tears in our eyes until our stomachs hurt.

The photo attached is from a photo wall in my room that I made. I chose to put Autumn in the middle with the thought that I know she’s here along side myself and all my friends making memories each step of the way. Although I may not be able to physically see her, I know she’s here with me. Happy heavenly birthday, Autumn. We all miss you so much ❤️

Sami Johnson

I’m not really sure how I met Autumn, but I do remember hanging out with her in groups when we were in middle school. After that, Autumn was always around. In high school, she was always a staple of the friend group, she always wanted to host events and get everyone together. I always enjoyed hanging out with Autumn, as we would get together with a few of our girl friends and have Christmas get togethers where we would exchange gifts. My favorite thing about Autumn was that she had such a radiating personality, and loved to have fun with all of us together. Happy heavenly birthday, Autumn! I love and miss you so much🧡

I attached a picture of the last day of high school, where it was “bring your pet to school day”. We were all taking pictures with our pets and each other, but this one stood out because she always had this amazing smile that lit up the room!

Pamela Lim

Autumn’s 21st ❤️ her smile

Pamela Lim

Autumn’s 21st at Saddle Ranch

Pamela Lim

4th of July 2021

Pamela Lim

So precious !

Pamela Lim

Green team 💚 we played games with our friends

Pamela Lim


Pamela Lim

Dinner with the Tenni.

Out of the many people that I met in 2021, Autumn was the most special girl. She made me feel loved instantly. She was appears about to make those around her feel loved.

Sydni Bailey

Autumn was the type of friend to always hope for the best for you.  She was always there for a pick me up, a compliment, or just as a friend to vent to.  I can remember I was having a rough time and Autumn was helping me through it and I very vividly remember her saying “I just want you to be happy and I don’t think this is the right thing for you.”  That’s all she ever wanted, was for the people she loved to be happy. She had the most beautiful and contagious smile that I miss so much.  She was one of the most selfless people I know. There wasn’t a single time that I spent with Autumn that I wasn’t laughing and having the best time of my life.  She always wanted to do something. She always wanted to hang out or get dressed up or go to Terre Haute.  Autumn never failed to be the best friend she could possibly be, always checking in and reaching out.  And this was something she did when we saw each other every day in high school, and she continued on to when she was in college across the country. 

A few of my favorite memories with autumn have to include going to the sectional championship basketball game with her. We had to convince her parents to let us drive separately because we missed the sign ups for the pep bus, but we had the best time just the two of us attending the game. She wanted to get dressed up and follow the beach theme, but I didn’t, so she made me compromise and wear one of her lifeguard hoodies. Another memory would be when a group of us went out to eat and then we hung out with some friends at LTC afterwards and had a bonfire. After that night she was always reaching out asking when we were going to go to another bonfire and hangout with everyone again. Another favorite memory is when Autumn, Laura, and I made an ice cream trip to all the way to Sumner. Autumn was the best friend always down to do anything as long as she got to be in your presence.

Happy birthday sweet girl💗

Sydni, Joey, Luke, Will

One of the most memorable parts of our friendship with Autumn would have to be family game nights. We would often get together, the five of us and just play board games, card games, and even games through the tv. The guys taught Syd and Autumn how to play poker. When at Luke’s house, we would play pool and ping pong. We would always make sure we had plenty of snacks and drinks for these family game nights. Most of the time Autumn would message Sydni wanting to go pick up snacks beforehand or carpool so they could arrive at the same time together. Autumn never cared what we were doing, just wanted be around us all and spend time together.

Another happy memory that we all share with Autumn was going fishing. They boys had to teach Autumn and Sydni how to use a bait caster. Autumn struggled with this and got the line tangled up so often that Luke spent more time fixing Autumn’s than fishing himself. However, this day was full of laughter and memories that all of us cherish.

Ellia Melin

I met Autumn during my senior year of college and I cannot be more grateful that I did. As soon as I met her, I knew she was going to be my little, and I made sure that everyone knew it. Even if she hadn’t been my little, I would have made such an effort to get to know her, but God really blessed me with Autumn. I love Autumn like she is my little sister and my best friend.

From going out to the Malibu country mart to sit on a bench and talk for hours, to shopping in stores we couldn’t afford, Autumn knew how to have a good time. One day we met up at the beach to listen to music with Justin. That day was perfect. The vibes were everything.

Autumn was worth the sometimes over an hour drive just to hang out for a bit. I have included a photo from the first time that we ever hung out in person. She wasn’t my little yet, but she was definitely my friend. We went to Saddleranch in Hollywood with other Thetas. I wanted to order a giant cotton candy tower, and obviously Autumn encouraged me to because it would be cute in pictures. It melted from the lights before pictures could be taken though lol. She also dragged me to take a photo with a famous YouTuber… I was terrified and she was confident and like “we’re doing this let’s go.” She

Ellia Melin

Greek Family dinner in Malibu for Autumn’s 20th birthday

Ellia Melin

Dinner at Dukes Malibu with Pam and Autumn

Ellia Melin

Disney Channel Games night at my house… green team for the win

Madison Fabbian

Autumn has been one of my biggest blessings at Pepperdine. The closer I got with her the more I loved her. Our friendship was effortless. No matter what we were doing it was impossible to not have fun. Whether it was writing a 10 page religion paper the night before or making tiktoks in world market for no reason, or searching for a machine gun Kelly lookalike, Autumn made my life so much better. She still makes my life better as I try to be the friend to others as she was to me. I was able to be myself around Autumn and never had to worry about her judging me.
My first memory of Autumn was when we went to saddle ranch after she just got her bid from theta. I remember feeling so lucky theta was able to get someone so cool and sweet as Autumn. As we were eating we recognized the famous tiktoker Griffin Johnson, parked besides the restaurant, and we were all fan-girling. At this moment Autumn got up and started walking towards him. We all looked at each other and thought “what the heck is she doing?”. As Autumn walked up to the passenger window we saw Griffin with a huge smile on his face and say “Tennison?!”. Autumn so nonchalantly knew one of our favorite tiktokers. I already thought Autumn was cool but this just made her so much cooler.
Autumn was one of the most humble people I have ever met. She was beautiful, smart, funny, loving, creative, artistic, and it never came across like she knew just how incredible she was. When I think of Autumn, I can’t help but smile. She said the funniest, most out of pocket things, and it was always unexpected. She was always down to hangout or go on random adventures or go get food (especially PF Changs). She was also there for her friends any time of day or night, and never let anyone feel alone. I love and miss you so much Autumn! Happy birthday sweet girl❤️

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