John H. Tanner Jr.
1948 - 2020
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John H.Tanner, "JT", 71, of Natick, died Friday morning, June 5, 2020, at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Boston, MA. He was born in Springfield, MA, on July 12, 1948, son of the late John and Jeannette (Davis) Tanner, Sr. John moved from South Boston to Needham as a child and graduated from Needham High School, he went on to receive his Bachelors degree in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ. After College, JT combined his love of sports and business when he accepted a position at Herman Sporting Goods, beginning a long and successful career in sporting goods retail. John was a buyer for Richs Department Stores, Lechmere, then representing a number of national Sporting Goods companies, such as Spalding, in the New England territory. His friendly smile, great sense of humor, and ability to listen, and negotiate, established strong business relationships that earned him multiple national recognitions during his career. For 24 years JT lived in Georgetown, MA, where he raised his two daughters, before moving back to the Needham area. John will be most remembered for his outgoing personality, and his unique ability to make everyone he met laugh and feel welcome. His smile and presence always brightened the room. He followed the Boston sports teams and college football, enjoyed golfing, was an avid fisherman, and loved listening to rock and roll. His favorite activities were spending time with family and friends on the water, the green, or manning the grill. Traveling, vacationing on Cape Cod, and family cookouts, are among our most cherished memories. John is lovingly remembered by his daughters Courtney Tanner, of Brighton, Tyler (Tanner)Flores and their mother Marcia Nadeau, his son-inlaw, Michael Flores, grandson, Wesley Flores, of Kingston, NH, his sister Susan Dinneen, of Westwood, brother, Scott Tanner and his wife Robin Tanner,of Needham, niece Leah Sabin and her husband Michael Sabin, of Walpole, nephews Douglas Tanner, of Denver, CO, Michael Dinneen and his wife Katie Dinneen, of Sudbury, great nephews Matty and Drew Dinneen, and a large extended family on the North Shore. Funeral Services will be private and at the convenience of the family. A celebration of life will be planned when family and friends can gather. Arrangements are by the Eaton Funeral Home, Needham, MA. To share a memory or for more information please visit

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Published in The Needham Times from Jun. 13 to Jun. 25, 2020.
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3 entries
June 22, 2020
My family's prayers go to John's family and friends.
I knew John mainly through the loving reports of his parents over many years. I'm sure they were most proud of the way he treated other people, strangers and friends.
Treasure that legacy. This world can really use more "John Tanner" or JT.
Andy James
Andy James
June 17, 2020
I worked with John Sr for many years at Shrink Packaging Systems. He taught me many things and was beloved by his customers. They still asked about him years after he retired.

He always made me stop for lunch and prided himself in that he had never eaten at McDonalds!

Among the many things I rememberer are his sayings, no doubt many learned during the WWII.

Just yesterday I used more fun than people which always confuses people enough which makes them listen. And then they realize exactly what it means and laugh.

He had a gift for people and it sounds like Jr did as well.

Chip Emery
June 17, 2020
Jack was a true friend and a man of wisdom and a sense of humor that was inspiring to everyone he met. RIP. Kevin lally.
Kevin Lally
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