H. Max Tanner

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H. Max Tanner H. Max Tanner, 87, peacefully passed away on Monday, April 8, 2013, in Oro Valley, AZ, after a rapid decline from dementia. Born in Newton, IL in 1926, he was the son of Harry S. and Alta F. (Adkins) Tanner and brother of Norma. He graduated from Newton Community High School before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1944. At the end of the war, Max went on to college, completing his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration at Michigan State University in 1948. Max began his career with Auto-Owners Insurance based in Lansing, MI in 1948 and was assigned a territory as a Special Agent (Marketing Rep) back in Illinois where he met and married the love of his life, M. Lou (Mattingly) Tanner in 1950. Together they raised 4 children, Michael, Ann, Barbara, and Patrick. His career with Auto-Owners Insurance Co. spanned 4 decades, relocation to Lansing, and many new responsibilities. He took great pride in the company he so faithfully served. He believed that opportunity comes to those who work hard and he learned work ethic from laboring with his father and mother on the family farm. He valued education and was the first Auto-Owners associate to earn a CPCU (Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter) designation and was responsible for many industry "firsts" including the Company Incentive Travel Program. Advancing from Marketing Rep to Vice President, First Vice President, Executive Vice President, President, and CEO and Chairman of the Board, Max retired in 1990, leaving a professional legacy that continues to honor him and the business he loved, at Auto-Owner's "H. Max Tanner Memorabilia Room" in Lansing, MI. and Auto-Owners "H. Max Tanner Building" in Traverse City, MI. Following retirement, Max and Lou have resided in Oro Valley (Tucson) and Traverse City, MI. Hallmarks of Max's personal life were his love of family, friends and travel. Holidays and special occasions were always joyous family/friend gatherings. Max and Lou traveled the world both with Auto-Owners and on their own, accompanied by special friends and family. He also contributed to the Lansing community through his service on the Sparrow Hospital Board of Directors. Max is survived by his devoted wife, Lou; children: Michael Tanner (Lynn) of Lansing MI and Oro Valley AZ, Ann Looyenga (Roger) of Vonore TN and Oro Valley AZ, Barbara Cooper (Ron) of Martin TN, and Patrick Tanner (Julia) of Lansing MI; grandchildren: Andrew Tanner, Justin Looyenga (Amy) of Traverse City MI, Nathan Looyenga of Los Angeles CA, Paul Tanner (Nicole) of Tucson AZ, Ashley Tanner of Lansing MI, Sean Tanner (Nicki) of Lansing MI, and Megan Brooks (Dan) of Tucson AZ; great-grandchildren: Kelsey Tanner, Vada Tanner, Ryan Max Looyenga, Riley Tanner, Aiden Tanner, and Matthew Looyenga; special nephew Tom Calder (Joan) of Oro Valley AZ. A memorial service and celebration of Max's life will be held in Lansing MI at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to your own charity or church of choice in Max's memory or to the following: , www.alz.org Casa de la Luz Hospice www.casahospice.com On Max's behalf, his family thanks you for the friendships, relationships, and affiliations that enriched him and made his "a life well-lived".

Published in Lansing State Journal on Apr. 11, 2013
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