Michael Kurtis Tanner, 37, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, Jan. 23, 2009, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage.
Kurt was born on Nov. 2, 1971, in Tanana and was the son of Mike and Maudry Tanner of Fairbanks and the brother of Kim Tanner-Radman, Scott Tanner and Patrick Tanner.
Kurt graduated from West Valley High School in 1990 and went on to attend the Al Collins School of Graphic Arts and Design in Tempe, Ariz., graduating in 1992. He joined the Air National Guard in 1996 working as an aerial photographer which involved hanging out of helicopters while taking pictures. For the past few years, Kurt lived in Anchorage with the love of his life, Cindy Olanna, and her children.
Kurt was well known among his family and friends as a fun-loving and outgoing person who could always crack a joke within seconds to make people laugh. No matter where he went, he always had his harmonica nearby, and brought many a smile when he performed. He performed at a couple of family weddings and at the drop of a hat would perform with live bands, never skipping a beat. He even went as far as to jump in with a band in New Orleans at Mardi Gras. He and his cousin Eric performed also in Las Vegas. Kurt loved to socialize, make people smile and was the life of any party.
He is survived by his daughter, Ashlynn Young; parents, Mike and Maudry Tanner of Fairbanks; siblings, Kim and Marty Radman of Naperville, Ill., Scott and Faye Tanner of Tanacross and Patrick and Sheena Tanner of Fairbanks; grandparents, Laura Pitka of Galena and Jack and June Tanner of Walnut Creek, Calif.; girlfriend, Cindy Olanna and her children, Jonteil, JC, Kile and Kolen and her grandchild, Brooke; nephews and nieces, Wyatt Tanner, Cody, Alexia and Alyssa Radman, Carl Sweetsir, Flynt, Kade and Scott Tanner Jr., Georgia and Silas Arnold and Hailee Tanner; aunts and uncles, Gerald Pitka, Cathy and Alan Evans, Albertha and Chris Sommer, Christine and Jerry Twitchell, Terry and Nancy Pitka, Randy Pitka and Martha Demoski, Edward Jr. and Pam Pitka, and Joyce Huntington, Kathy Keyes Sweet, Sharlene Strassberg, Paula and Andrew Sommer, Eileen Pitka,
Cathy and Jim Capponi, Terry Tanner, Tim and Dee Tanner and Peggi Tanner; along with his many beloved cousins, in excess of 40 known cousins and was expecting his first great-niece to join the Tanner clan within the next week; and many, many more dear friends. If we overlooked anyone, please forgive us as our family is large and friends are plentiful and a blessing to all.
He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Edward Pitka; his uncle, Stanley Huntington; and cousin, Daniel Huntington.
At 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 27, a visitation and potluck will be held at the Tanana Chiefs Tribal Hall. A funeral will be held at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at the tribal hall followed by a potluck at 5:30 p.m.
Arrangements were by Fairbanks Funeral Home and Crematory.
Please visit newsminer.com/obits to sign the online guest book.