Tajalliyat Weaver Tejerzdeh, as a young woman in Panama in the 1960s and ’70s, promoted the teachings of Baha’u’llah and assisted development of Baha’i communities among indigenous people for a number of years. She maintained her energetic work for the Faith after moving to the United States.
She passed away February 7, 2012, having lived for some time in Lakewood, California.
In a letter of tribute, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States wrote, “We joyfully celebrate the countless devoted, capable and impressive services to the Faith of Baha’u’llah which she rendered here and in Panama, in various roles — including membership on the National Assembly of Panama — engaging souls from diverse backgrounds, from the time of her declaration until the end of her life.”
Born Famaline Fennell in Panama, she and her sister lost their mother at a young age. The family found the Baha’i Faith through their father’s second wife.
As a youth Tajalliyat was “a fireball in the teaching of the Baha’i Faith in Panama,” according to her sister Felicia Nault, who also participated in much of that effort. She was elected to the country’s National Spiritual Assembly in her early 20s.
In 1969 the sisters formed Panama’s first Baha’i youth club in the rural settlement of Concepcion, and a number of young people were attracted to the Faith through the club, according to a report in Baha’i News.
Tajalliyat helped many Baha’i communities grow and elect Local Spiritual Assemblies among the Guaymi people in western Panama, the Kuna of San Blas, the Choco of Darien in the east, and the campesinos of the central provinces.
“The Hand of the Cause of God Enoch Olinga called her the Black Pearl of Panama,” her sister noted.
After marrying and moving to the United States in the 1970s, Tajalliyat served as a member of the Spiritual Assembly of Palm Desert, California, for a number of years. Her home was open to many phases of Baha’i community life including regular fireside gatherings to share the teachings of the Faith.
She also participated in traveling projects to share the Baha’i teachings throughout California, accompanied by Eddie Diliberto. In recent years she had sustained a regular prayer group among people in her apartment complex.
As she brought up a family Tajalliyat worked for the Riverside School District, and later was self-employed.
Tajalliyat Weaver Tejerzdeh’s survivors include a daughter, Jamay; a son, Damon; a sister, Felicia; and a grandchild, Brooke.
Information from Felicia Nault and the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Lakewood, CA