Sarah Jean (Jeanie) Tanner, 79, of Riverton, Wyoming passed away on November 25, 2019 at the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, Wyoming. At the time of her death she was surrounded by her loving family, including Zoey Steele, the newest addition to the family at 18 months of age.
Jeanie was born March 30, 1940 to Willard (Bill) Tanner and his wife, Roma Claudine (Reed) Tanner. At the time of her birth her father worked for the Burlington Northern Railroad. Consequently, she spent her early life living in a converted railroad car along with her parents and 3 brothers until the family moved to Newcastle where her father was employed by the Sioux Refinery.
While in high school her future husband returned from the Navy and because of a common love for dancing it didn’t take long for them to become involved and to enter into a long, loving relationship. On May 23, 1957 she married Francis H. (Frank) Tanner (no known relation) in Rapid City, South Dakota and spent the next 62 years dancing with that same partner.
The couple attended Black Hills State College and then moved to Buffalo, Wyoming where Frank taught for several years. It was during that period that the couple was blessed with the arrival of two of their three children, Diana Lynn and Michael Reed. The couple left Buffalo in 1968 to attend graduate school at the University of Wyoming. During that period a third blessing, Mark Allen, arrived to share the cramped quarters of student housing.
Following graduation, Frank was employed by the University so the couple remained in Laramie until they moved to Riverton with the Wyoming Commission on Aging in 1982. Shortly after their arrival in Riverton, Jeanie became involved with the local genealogy group and so spent most of the rest of her life tracing both sides of the Tanner family. However, in spite of all the work she did trying to connect the two sides of the family she was never able to find a common ancestor even after walking countless cemeteries and courthouses dating all the way back to the pre-Revolution War period. In addition to dancing and genealogy she loved ATVing, camping, fishing, quilting and especially bossing her loving family.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by one daughter, Diana Cooper of Crystal River, Florida and one son, Mark Tanner and his wife Sarah of Florence, Massachusetts, granddaughters, Kaylan Steele and her husband Bryan, Jerin, Emma and Caroline, three great-grandchildren, Sophia, Michael and Zoey Steele, one brother, Russel and his wife Dixie, one sister, Bonnie Sisneros and her husband Manuel and numerous beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws but no known outlaws despite Frank’s claim to the contrary. She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, Francis Duane (Jack) and Merril (Pete) and her son Michael.
No services are planned at this time. Cremation has taken place and the ashes will be taken to the Tanner family plot in the Cold Springs Historical Cemetery east of Pringle, SD at a later date. Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.
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