Saretha Mae Tanner

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(July 14, 1921 – August 23, 2015)

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FUNERAL SERVICES: 10:30 am Friday, August 28th at Harrell Memorial Chapel.

VISITATION: 5:00-7:00 pm Thursday, August 27th. at Harrell Funeral Home.

INTERMENT: Pecan Cemetery.

Seretha Mae Ascue Tanner, 94 years young. “Mama, Grandma, Aunt Mae,” peacefully slipped into the arms of Jesus on Sunday morning, August 23, 2015. Seretha Mae was born to Fred Harrell Ascue and Edna Chloe Caudle Ascue on July 14, 1921 in Carlton, Hamilton County, Texas. She was the 6th of 7 children born to Fred and Edna. She is preceded in death by her husband, James Harrison Tanner, her parents, Fred and Edna Ascue, and all her siblings, Ozell Temple Ascue (Gladys), Conrad Thomas Ascue (Lee), Carmen Patalpha Ascue Fox (Milton Taft “Son”), Woodrow Wilson Ascue (Mae), Milton Byron Ascue (Marguerite) and Wanda Colleen Ascue and her son-in-law, Gregory Leon Munoz.

Mae is survived by her children, James Lynn Tanner (Annemarie), Burl Lee Tanner (Kathleen), and Charlotte Jean Tanner Munoz, her grandchildren, James Harrison Tanner II and Jessica Jade Tanner Wing (Jordan), and her 3 great grandchildren, Marcus Saurina, and Alexstrasza and Azriel Marrow, along with nieces, nephews and many, many “adopted” children who called her Mom Tanner or simply Aunt Mae.

Seretha Mae began her life in Carlton, Texas on July 14, 1921. She lived and played in and around the Carlton/Alexander area throughout her school days. She was on the girl’s basketball team and graduated from Alexander High School. After high school she moved to Abilene to attend business college and eventually ended up in the Rio Grande Valley, where she worked as a telephone operator and bookkeeper. There she met and on May 10, 1942 she married the love of her life, James Harrison Tanner. Since Jim was a Navy man, they lived in Norfolk, Virginia during most of the war years. Upon discharge from the Navy in the mid-40s they moved back to Texas to begin their family, eventually returning to South Texas and building a home in Pharr. They also began a ground crop-spraying service, Tanner Spray Service, a thriving business for many years which Mae continued even after the death of her husband in 1974 until she retired in 1985. Mae remained in the Valley until 1995 when she moved to Conroe, Texas to be closer to family and she lived in her own home until she moved on to her eternal home on Sunday August 23, 2015.

Mae was well known for her passion for genealogy. She could, and often did, turn many conversation around to genealogy and would talk about it for hours. She spent many, many hours researching in courthouse records (before the days of computers) and traveling around the country in search of cemeteries and libraries that might hold clues to the mysteries of her ancestry. Once she was unable to travel as much, she turned her researching to the internet, proving once again that you’re never too old to learn. One of her most prized accomplishments was helping to rediscover the Caudle Cemetery and “bringing it back to life” after which she was instrumental in obtaining a historical marker for this cemetery and also one for another Erath County cemetery, Pecan Cemetery. It is at Pecan where her family is buried and where the final resting place for her earthly body will be.

In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations be sent to one of the places that were close to her heart. Donations may be made in her memory to (1) The Caudle Cemetery Fund c/o Ray Caudle, 13924 Delta Drive, Venus, TX 76084 (2) Pecan Cemetery c/o Martha Starnes, 650 CR-353, Dublin, TX 76446 and/or (3) Montgomery County Genealogical and Historical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 867, Conroe, TX 77305 (


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