Raymond Douglas Tanner
July 24, 1932 - September 10, 2014
"I Had a Great Day Yesterday"
Husband, Father, Grandfather (Great and Great-Great), Brother, Cousin, Uncle and Friend
Raymond Douglas Tanner, 82, passed away on September 10, 2014, of heart failure. He died peacefully at his home in Edmonds, Washington, with JoAnn, his wife of 41 years by his side.
Ray was born July 24, 1932, in Oakland, California, to Jack and Mary Tanner. He was welcomed by his older brother, Jack, and was followed by sister Betty. Ray always said he had the most wonderful parents, and childhood. The family also had a very close relationship with his grandparents, as well as a special connection with his Aunt Zelma, Uncle Virgil, and Cousin Dolores, whom Ray considered his sister. They enjoyed trips to Yosemite Park, Utah, and Russian River, California, where his parents would go dancing, while he and Jack would listen to music from across the river.
His love of music was inspired by his brother, a wonderful musician who played with such greats as Lionel Hampton, Chet Baker, Jack Teagarden and Eugene Wright. Jack and Dave Brubeck shared the same musicians at gigs throughout the Bay Area. You could name a song and Ray was able to give you a list of artists that made the recordings. Ray continued listening and enjoying jazz until the day of his death.
As children, Ray and his brother also shared a love of fast cars, starting when Ray and his Dad built Ray's first soapbox derby car. Ray and Jack were members of the Sports Car Club of America. Ray was part of Jack's pit crew when Jack raced on California tracks like 17 Mile Drive in Monterey, in Stockton and the Bay Area. Later in life Ray's love of cars continued. He and JoAnn bought a VW Scirocco sports car in Germany and drove 3,200 miles for a month throughout Europe, before having it shipped home
He moved from California to Washington in 1957, where he began a thirty-six year career with Moore Business Forms, retiring as a Senior Account Executive. He was a natural-born salesman. His sales career began as a young child when he started selling rabbit droppings to his neighbors! Ray received a lot of satisfaction from working in sales, and was quoted as saying, "To have the carrot dangling over your head--and to keep striving for it until you get it--gives me a satisfaction that money can't buy." Ray contended that the basic knowledge of a human being reigns superior--and that seemed to be his strongest selling point. Ray considered his customers as friends and continued to have a life long relationship with many.
He was active in the Seattle Jaycees and the Seattle Data Processing Management Association. He enjoyed children and was always eager to share the joys of his profession and volunteered with the Junior Achievement Program in Seattle, fostering work-readiness, entrepreneurship, financial literacy skills, and using experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential.
Ray and JoAnn were judges for numerous Miss Washington USA Pageants in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. He was a member of the Edmonds Yacht Club. Ray found joy in his membership and fellowship at Maplewood Presbyterian Church, in Edmonds, Washington.
Ray married JoAnn (Faber) Jardine, in 1973 at the Congregational Church, in Richmond Beach, Washington. They were married half of Ray's life and twenty-one of those years were spent in retirement. Their blended family began with their five children, two of their spouses, and two grandchildren ages 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 years of age. Ray's growing family of survivors includes a grand total of forty-seven grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. Three more great-great -grandchildren are expected later this month.
Some of his fondest memories were spent on family boating trips to Lake Chelan, Mount St Helens, Mexico and Canada. Christmas Eve was always the highlight of the year when the entire family gathered at Grandma's and Grandpa's house. Ray loved watching his grandchildren grow and enjoyed attending their sporting events and recitals. He enjoyed taking them to Husky and Seahawk games where he and JoAnn were avid season ticket holders. Most of all he enjoyed making "Grandpa's Famous Sourdough Pancakes," for them when they would spend the night, or for their sleepovers with friends.
Ray and JoAnn enjoyed boating most of their married life. Ray's enthusiasm for water sports began with boats he could tow to use for fishing and water skiing. He was a patient waterskiing teacher for his kids, grandkids and others. As the family moved to larger cruising boats they explored much of Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, Canadian Gulf Islands, and further north. Ray and JoAnn's favorite destination was Princess Louisa Inlet in Canada. They led numerous friends on their first adventure through the Malibu rapids to anchor at the foot of Chatterbox Falls. They made this cruise many times.
Sharing time with friends and family aboard "Foolish Pleasure" brought Ray such joy. There are many wonderful memories of cruising with Edmonds Yacht Club friends. After selling their boat, Ray still enjoyed Puget Sound-- watching the water, boats, mountains, clouds, eagles, and sunsets from the deck of his home.
Ray and JoAnn enjoyed many wonderful trips and felt fortunate to have been able to travel in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii and to Canada and Mexico as well as worldwide. Their travel and cruises took them to many places including Europe, Greece, Turkey, the Holy Lands, Northern Africa, Asia, China, New Zealand, Tasmania, Australia, the South Seas, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, the Yangtze River, the Mediterranean Sea, the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Malta. Their 40th anniversary was celebrated with a cruise from Venice to Rome, spending additional time in Venice, one of their favorite cities.
Ray will be missed and loved by all who knew him for his love, gentleness, positive attitude, and wonderful sense of humor. He loved America and trusted in the Lord. He believed that your attitude, not your aptitude, was most important for happiness and success. When asked in his final days if he wished he had done anything more, his reply was, "I had a great life, with no regrets, and I would like everyone to know, when I pass, "I had a great day yesterday." He fulfilled his bucket list.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Jack Lyonial Tanner and Mary Arvilla Earl and his brother Jack Earl Tanner.
Ray is survived by his wife JoAnn, his sons, Ray Jr (Cheryl), and Greg (Olga Luna); his daughters, Patti Padgett (Jay), Janet Wade (Dave) and Diane Jardine, 15 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild. He always stood by his family regardless of their decisions.
There are four generations of Raymond Douglas Tanners, and Raymond IV recently told great-grandpa Ray that if he has a son, he will be named Raymond Douglas Tanner V as a special tribute to a loved and cherished grandfather.
A Celebration of Life Ceremony for Ray will be held at Maplewood Presbyterian Church 19523 84th Ave W. Edmonds, Washington Sunday September 28th, 2014 at 2:00pm
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations to: Maplewood Presbyterian Church 19523 84th Ave W, Edmonds, WA 98026 In Honor of Ray Tanner
The Fallen Limb
A limb has fallen from the family tree. I keep hearing a voice that says, "Grieve not for me. Remember the best times, the laughter, the song. The good life I lived while I was strong. Continue my heritage, I'm counting on you. Keep smiling and surely the sun will shine through. My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest. Remembering all, how I truly was blessed. Continue traditions, no matter how small. Go on with your life, don't worry about falls. I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chin. Until the day comes we're together again.
His Journey Has Begun
Don't think of him as gone away his journey's just begun, life holds
so many facets this earth is only one.
Just think of him as resting from the sorrows and the tears in a
place of warmth and comfort where there are no days and years.
Think how he must be wishing that we could know today how
nothing but our sadness can really pass away.
And think of him as living in the hearts of those he touched...for
nothing loved is ever lost and he was loved so much.