Burl Tanner


(October 06, 1948 – September 30, 2020)

Burl Lee Tanner, 71, peacefully passed away Wednesday afternoon, September 30, 2020 from heart failure after a brief illness. Burl was born to James Harrison Tanner and Seretha Mae Ascue Tanner on October 6, 1948 in McAllen, Hidalgo County, Texas. He was the second of three children born to Jim and Mae Tanner.  Burl was preceded in death by his parents.

Burl is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Kathleen C. Tanner, his siblings, James Lynn (Annemarie) Tanner and Charlotte Jean Tanner Munoz, his children, James Harrison Tanner II and Jessica Jade Tanner, and his grandchildren, Marcus Saurina, and Alexstrasza and Azriel Marrow.

Burl began his life in the Rio Grande Valley in 1948.  He lived in Pharr, Texas with his parents and siblings throughout his school days and graduated from Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School with the Class of 1966.  In 1968 at the height of the Vietnam War, Burl enlisted in the United States Air Force where he became a Nuclear Weapons Specialist and proudly served our country in Vietnam and fought for our freedoms.  After leaving the Air Force, Burl was a free-spirit and traveled around the country for a number of years, moving back to the Valley for a period of time and then finally settling down in the Houston/Conroe area in the mid 1980’s, where he lived until his death.

Anyone who knew Burl, knew he was always big into sports of any kind, including football, basketball, baseball and track. He was known for often telling stories from his high school football glory days when the mighty PSJA Bears went all the way to State!  He loved being a Bear and a star running back! Number 82 was always in on the action when he was on the field!  In more recent years, his love for sports never waned and he watched any sports event broadcast on TV, he wasn’t even picky about who was playing, although he was partial to his beloved Texas Longhorns, Houston Texans, Astros & Rockets and of course, TCU!! This love of sports expanded over the years to include golf, which he always enjoyed playing with friends.

But more than all of that, Burl dedicated his life to service for others. He was a devoted husband to Kathy, always ready and willing to do anything to make life better for her and for all those he loved. When his mother, Mae, was diagnosed with dementia, he was there for her day in and day out, taking care of her until her death in 2015. He had a soft spot for unfortunate kids and in 2009, he and Kathy were instrumental in the formation of The Treehouse Center for Girls in Conroe, Texas. He loved the girls who are blessed with the opportunity to live there, and they loved their “PeePaw”.

His absence from the lives of his family and friends will leave a void that only he could fill.  He will be missed by so many.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to The Treehouse Center, Conroe, Texas, https://thetreehousecenter.org, 936-273-3453.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Harrell Funeral Home, 112 N. Camden, Dublin, TX 76446.

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