Obituary: TANNER, MARY LOUISE

Published: Thursday, July 31 2014 2:55 a.m. MDT

Mary Louise Lyon Tanner 1926 ~ 2011

Mary Louise Tanner peacefully passed away at home on June 29, 2011, surrounded by her husband and children. She was born in Bingham Canyon, Utah, June 17, 1926 to Bishop David Cairns Lyon and Victoria Reed Lyon, the third of four children and their only daughter. Brothers David Reed and Richard preceded her in death; Alan survives her. Mary Lou's remarkable recall of her youth in Bingham Canyon, with its numerous immigrants and distinct geography, was the colorful backdrop for stories that entertained friends and family for years. Mary Lou attended the University of Utah and was a member of Alpha Chi Omega. In 1945, as World War II ended, she reigned as Homecoming Queen. She valued this experience for the unique opportunity it gave her to meet wounded GIs and thank them for their service. While at the University, she met her husband-to-be Earl DeOnge Tanner, a law student and impressive dancer. They married March 22, 1947 in the Salt Lake Temple. Mary Lou graduated with a bachelor's degree in education and taught school for a time. She was a gifted teacher with abundant patience and love for little ones. Mary Lou and Earl are blessed with six children: Earl Jr., Todd (Kathy Vail), Alison (Robert Wright), Victoria (Joseph Southerland), Pamela (Michael Allen), and David (Stephanie Ririe), 21 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren. She devoted her life to her family and her faith. For many years she was a docent at the LDS Church Art Museum and Beehive House. She served a mission with her husband at the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors' Center (1992-1993). At age 79, she donned bright red and yellow clown shoes and graduated from the Priscilla Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp as "Lulu the Clown". Mary Lou had a talent for nurturing lifelong friendships, growing Monet-like gardens and creating beauty all around. She excelled at crossword puzzles and was an avid reader. She loved the sound of the ocean at Del Mar Beach and marveled at the scope and majesty of the Tetons. Her uncanny ability to remember quips of conversations for decades made her delightful company, and no one played Clair de Lune better. A viewing will be held Tuesday evening, from 6:00 to 8:00 at the Larkin Sunset Lawn Mortuary, 2350 East 1300 South. Funeral services will be on Wednesday, July 6th at the Holladay 25th Ward, 4650 S. Naniloa Drive (2800 East) at 12:00 noon. Family and friends may visit one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Mary Lou loves flowers and children. Both are welcome.