Susan Jane Baird Tanner

February 12, 1923 ~ November 4, 2020 (age 97)


It is with a heavy heart to announce the passing of Susan Tanner, 97.  Susan passed away on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at her daughter’s home surrounded by family.  She was born in Dallas, Texas to Robert and Cora Baird and was the youngest of nine children.  Susan waited a whole week after graduating from high school to marry Clarence H. Tanner on June 6, 1941. Susan and Clarence were married for 65 years.

The couple moved to Santa Fe, NM so Clarence could help with the development of the National Laboratory in Los Alamos, where they later resided.  After Clarence joined the Navy during WWII, Susan, along with their young son, moved back to Texas and lived with family.  After the war, the young family moved to Albuquerque, NM where they lived for a number of years.  There, the family grew to three children.  While the oldest son was in college, the family moved to Fairfax, VA in 1962, where they had their fourth child.  Susan then spent the last four years as a resident at Heartfields Assisted Living in Fredericksburg, VA to be close to her daughter.

Susan was welcoming, patient, accepting, and always had an open door. She was also known to have a unique personality. You’d never know what you would find when walking into her home or what she would pull out of her purse.  She collected rocks; many, many rocks.  Friends and family members would often bring her one from their travels or even just their yard at home.  Susan also enjoyed working puzzles.  As her eyesight diminished the pieces got bigger and bigger until they were no longer big enough.  Susan loved being around children. One granddaughter called her the “baby whisperer” because she was so good at comforting babies.  Another granddaughter named her “Grand”, because she was.  That became her nickname for all those close to her.

Susan proudly told people she had four children, 11 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.  Her children include Martin Tanner (Bonnie) of Kennesaw GA, Dennis Tanner (Beth) of Wellington FL, Cora da Silva (Robert) of Fredericksburg, VA, and David Tanner (d. 2011). Susan was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, as well as her husband Clarence, son David, and granddaughter Andrea.

Susan will be missed terribly but leaves behind happy memories in all who are lucky to have known her, lots of stories, and many rocks.  God Speed Grand.


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