TANNER, NANCY B. - died Sunday, June 30, 2013, in Knoxville, TN, in her 97th year. Nancy Burnham Sheedy was born in Seattle, WA, on June 14, 1917, the daughter of Joseph Edward Sheedy and Ella Burnham Sheedy. As a child she lived in London, England, Palo Alto, CA, Saranac Lake, NY, and Staten Island, NY. She attended Staten Island Academy for high school. She then attended Mount Holyoke College (1939 A.B., Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard University (1940 Ed.M.). In 1940 she joined the faculty of East Tennessee State College, Johnson City. Nancy B. Sheedy and James T. Tanner were married on August 15, 1941. They moved to Knoxville in 1947. She was on the faculty at the University of Tennessee (as was her husband), teaching remedial reading. She was preceded in death by her husband (1991); son-in-law Shoichi Terashima (1995); and grandson Michael Tanner (1995). She is survived by son David Tanner and daughter-in-law Marcia, Gainesville, Fl; daughter Betsy Tanner, Decatur, GA; daughter Jane Terashima, Richmond, IN; six grandchildren: James Tanner (wife Tammy), Robert Coleman (partner Katy Warner), Nancy Stickelman (husband Kevin), Maki Horibe (husband Shusaku), Mia Terashima, and Sara Terashima; and three great-grandchildren: Lucy Stickelman, Mary Stickelman, and Shotaro Horibe. Despite the family being widely dispersed, she made sure that all got together at least once every year or two. She often kept her friends and family in stitches. All of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were able to visit for her 96th birthday, June 14 of this year, or shortly afterward. She shared her husband's love of nature and birds. Shortly after their wedding, they visited Louisiana where she saw one of the few remaining ivory-billed woodpeckers. She was perhaps the last living person to have seen this bird, and she became an expert on the ivory-bill after her husband's death, giving lectures and interviews on the subject around the world and contributing to several books on the subject. She was a member of St. John's Cathedral, Knoxville, and served in a variety of roles in the Daughters of the King, the Episcopal Church Women, and the vestry of St. John's. A memorial service will be held at St. John's at 5:00 pm on Monday, August 5, 2013. Instead of flowers, friends may make a contribution either to the Music Fund of St. John's Cathedral toward bells and bell music or to the University of Tennessee Library. East Tennessee Mortuary Svc. 539-2458
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Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from July 3 to July 7, 2013