Francis J. Tanner
RICHFIELD SPRINGS — Francis Joseph Tanner, 78, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday evening, Nov. 1, 2013, in Faxton-Saint Luke’s Medical Center, New Hartford, after a long fight with many illnesses. He had the comfort of his loving family at his side.
He was born on Aug. 21, 1935, in Bridgewater, son of the late Myron and Margaret Kelley Tanner. A lifelong area resident, he was a graduate of Richfield Springs High School.
On July 27, 1957, he was united in marriage with the former Adeline E. LaValley in Saint Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Clayville.
For 40 years Mr. Tanner owned and operated the Tanner Dairy Farm in the town of Exeter as well as being a truck mechanic for the Town of Exeter Highway Department and an auto mechanic for many years at Skinner Damulis Ford and various other car dealerships in the area. He also had a lawn mowing business. He retired in 2010.
Francis was a member of Saint Joseph the Worker Roman Catholic Church in Richfield Springs.
Mr. Tanner had a strong sense of community, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council No. 579, Herkimer, a member of the Dairy League, was a member of the Farm Bureau where he had served on the board of directors, a member of Team “51” AHA and the Army National Guard.
In his leisure time he enjoyed collecting model cars and watching NASCAR races on television, especially his two favorite drivers, Dale Jarrett and Carl Edwards. He was also an avid New York Yankees baseball fan.
To all who knew him, his greatest joy was the time spent at the family camp up north. He was the rock of his family and will be greatly missed.
Surviving him are his devoted wife of 56 years, Adeline Esther Tanner; two sons, Gerald Tanner of Richfield Springs, Thomas Tanner and his wife, Lyla of Burlington Flats; four daughters, Joyce Key and her husband, Edwin, Ann Smith and her husband, Richard, Susan Tanner, all of Richfield Springs, Audrey Warner and her husband, James of Schuyler Lake; his grandchildren, Monica, Rebecca, Wayne, Veronica, Joseph, Gregory, William, Christopher, Matthew, Michael, Darlene, Amanda, Kevin, Nancy, Justin, Laurie, Carrie, Jillian, Kyle, Keegan; and 22 great-grandchildren and their families.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Lawrence Tanner; one sister, Betty Tanner; and grandson, Jarred Romero.
Calling hours for Mr. Tanner will be from 5 until 8 p.m. Tuesday in J. Seaton McGrath Funeral Home, 40 West James St., Richfield Springs.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Saint Joseph the Worker Roman Catholic Church. Interment will follow in Saint Joseph’s Cemetery.
Expressions of sympathy may be made with memorial donations to the American Heart Association. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
Members of the Herkimer Knights of Columbus are asked to meet at the funeral home at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday for ritualistic services.