Born to David Ralph Tanner and Edith Chloe Kimber Tanner on September 22, 1932 in the old Thomas Dee Memorial Hospital in Ogden, I was the youngest of six children. I was born under the covenant as were all my sisters and my brother. I attended school in Brigham City except for one year (I believe it was the 4th grade) when I went to Grouse Creek. I graduated from Box Elder High School and from their Seminary there. One year while I was going to high school, Floyd Tanner stayed with us to finish out his high school. I don’t remember if it was for only one year or for two years. In my senior year, Colleen Roberts and Verna Kimber stayed with us while they finished high school. It was interesting because Verna had many of my classmates calling on her. I was tongue tied on what to say cause many of these guys I had gone to school with for the better part of eleven years and they were considered my friends at school.
After graduating, I went to work for Utah General Depot for two years and finally realized that the people earning good money there were either educated or trained and not just high school graduates. I decided to go to college at Utah State and I majored in Electrical Engineering. I went to college my first year with Eldon and Alan Shaw who were both majoring in EE. Having had an abhorrence to taking stupid orders, I told the ROTC where to go and how to get there. I didn’t need the deferment since I was 4F because of a broken ear drum. That summer, they took me down to Ft Douglas and reclassified me 1A and I was drafted on my 21st birthday. So much for being independent and stubborn and not playing by someone else’s rules.
Fortunately, the peace treaty between North and South Korea was signed while I was in basic training. Thus, I was assigned to Advance Engineering basic training rather than Advanced Infantry basic. I spent most of my two years at Ft Leonard Wood Missouri (or Misery as we called it.) This was a pretty uneventful time in my life. I made no fast friends and was very happy to be released the day before my 23rd birthday.
I flew home (which was my first flight on a commercial airplane) so that I could be in Provo in time to register for college at BYU. I had previously changed my major to Math (from EE) and continued studying for my degree in that field. I spent two quarters at the “Y” and then I ran out of savings and had only my GI bill to pay for my school expenses. I did have a good time at BYU but I really received my education at USU. I graduated in 1958 with a BS degree in Math with a strong minor in Physics.
At the time of my graduation, I was dating a girl from Brigham City named Kay Jean Nelson. That next October, we were married in the Logan Temple. This union gave me four daughters, Danni, Donna, Kathy and Julie. Danni and Donna have never married and work as pharmacists in Ogden. Kathy has been married twice and has a boy (21) and a girl (17) and she lives with her husband, kids and 3 step kids in Kearns. Kathy is a radiology technician at St Marks hospital in Salt Lake. Julie is married and has a 13 year old girl and paternal twins (ages 9). They live in Mountain Home, Idaho where her husband Clay works as a Master Plumber. She works part time at the local hospital as a billing and admissions clerk.
I worked at several places during the next few years including, Dugway, Hill AFB, Hanson and Smith Engineers, Thiokol, Hercules and Process Systems Inc. PSI moved us to California where after about a year, I went into business for myself as a computer consultant. We lived in California for about 6 years and the last year I moved my family back to Utah and flew from SLC to John Wayne Airport in Orange County every two weeks. This lasted for about 9 months and then I had my first heart attack. This ended my consulting career and I spent six months recovering. They had not perfected bypass surgery at that point.
About two years earlier, my brother Dean had his first heart attack. In 1985, Dean had his second heart attack and died in the hospital in Brigham City. It was the day before his 57th birthday. Dean and I were not only brothers but good friends and I still miss him at times.
My wife Kay died in 1990 at the age of 55. Our four girls were grown so that I wasn’t a widower with a small family to raise. Later that year, I met a divorcee at a singles dance by the name of ElizabethBonham (her married name and the last name of all of her children at the time.) She had moved out to Utah County from South Carolina where her and her first husband lived for nearly 20 years before they were divorced. They have 5 children (2 boys and 3 girls.) Their names are Chris, James, Amanda, Suzanne and Heather. Her husband was never a member of the Church but Liz was a convert and had all five of her children baptized. In fact, she was converted to the Church after her first son was born. Her husband started the lessons but when they got to the Word of Wisdom, he didn’t want to go any further since he was and is an alcoholic.
While we were dating, we were getting serious opposition from both my girls and her children. Thus, we ran off to Nevada and got married so that we could stand together against their objections. We knew they could not object to our marrying since we were already married. Looking back, this was probably a foolish thing to do but it sure worked out right for us. Her two girls at home, Heather and Suzanne, were 12 and nearly 16 at the time. Her other three kids were grown and out on their own. Suzanne and later the Heather gave us a hard time and the Suzy still does to this day. A word about Liz’s kids. Chris is the hospital administrator in Madison, Ga., is married and has four children. James is in the Navy, is currently getting a divorce and has two children. He has been stationed in Virginia but was just moved to Ohio. Amanda is married and has three children and lives in Kearns. Suzy is estranged from her husband and has 3 children and lives here in the Provo/Orem area. Heather lives in Atlanta, Ga and is about to have her first child.
After we were married, I went to work for WordPerfect for about 3 and ½ years. In 1994, I got caught in the first ever layoff for that company. They gave us two months pay and benefits to find another job and in the middle of this two months, I had my second heart attack. This resulted in several procedures including two angioplasties, quadruple bypass, and a few atrial fib conversions. Later on in the year I had pneumonia and also had to have a pseudo thyroid gland removed. It was a bad year for me health-wise and financially since it took more than a year before I could go back to work.
In 1996, Liz had to have a two spinal vertebrae in her neck fused because of ruptured discs. She couldn’t work for 12 weeks and so we bought a fifth wheel and went back east to visit her son and mother. Her son lives in Georgia and her mother in Florida. It was an interesting trip and I learned that my Chevy pickup could not pull the fifth wheel very well. We brought Liz’s mother back with us for a short visit and then flew her to San Antonio to visit her eldest son. Liz’s parent’s family almost mirrors my own parent’s family. They have four girls and two boys also. The only difference is that the two boys are not the two youngest; there is a girl born in between the eldest boy and the youngest boy. The other three girls are older than the boys and Liz is the second child.
In 1999, my wife Liz decided she was tired of working as a nurse and so we rented our house, loaded up our fifth wheel and went back to Georgia for about six months. Although our quarters were cramped, we had a wonderful time back there and made several new friends. Liz got to visit with her eldest son, her sisters and mother and even some of her one sister’s children. All in all it was a wonderful six months with one exception. During the Sunday Morning Session of October General Conference, I had what the doctors called a Global Transitory Amnesia episode. I remember watching conference and getting up and going to the bathroom and the next thing I knew I was in the Emergency room in the hospital in Clayton Georgia. I lost my memory for about 3 hours and since the emergency room in Clayton Georgia could not make the necessary tests to see what was wrong, I was taken to Atlanta (about 90 miles away) and tested there. There was no treatment necessary or available and the doctor told Liz it could happen again at anytime and just to wait and it would pass.
In December, we lost our renters and had to come back home to Orem. Liz went back to work as a nurse and in the next year or so moved from home health to being a certified wound care nurse. This took many hours of study and taking a national exam to get certified. She was instrumental in starting the Wound Care Clinic at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.
During this time, I was working part time teaching math and accounting at Provo College. In August of 2001, we bought a one level house just ½ block from our old one (which is a two story twin home.) We moved into the new house and rented our old one. We had previously built an apartment in the basement of the old house and so we had two rental incomes.
In early 2002, Liz got tired of all the office politics at the wound care clinic and took an early retirement. We had sold the travel trailer a year or so earlier and thus we rented our one story home and took off to stay with Liz’s son Chris in Georgia and her mother in Jacksonville, Florida. It is about a 5 to 6 hour drive between Jacksonville and Madison, Georgia where her son Chris lives. Before we left for Georgia, Chris’ wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. They have four children whose ages ranged from 5 to 12 at the time. We helped with the kids while their mother was undergoing chemotherapy, surgery and then radiation therapy. In July, we came back for a short time to see about the renter of the basement apartment who had stopped paying his rent. We re-rented the apartment and then the upstairs or main house renter lost his job and had to move back to Colorado. We cleaned up and repaired the main house and in the middle of this, Liz had to return to Georgia to help Chris wife because her treatment was making her ill. I finished cleaning and repairing the house and rented it again. Liz flew back to Utah and we loaded up our truck and an open trailer and moved our furniture back east. This took us five days instead of three because we had to keep replacing the tarp on the trailer since it would rip to shreds in a few hundred miles. We stored most of our furniture in Chris’s basement and a few things at Liz’s mothers.
We spent most of 2002 traveling between Jacksonville and Madison and looking for a house we could buy back there in either Georgia or Florida. In December, we got notification from our apartment renter and our one-story house renter that they would be leaving in 30 days. In January, the main house renter quit paying his rent so we packed up our car and headed back to Orem. We had trouble ousting the main house renter and finally took possession of the house again on January 27th 2003. It took us forever to get the house back in shape. Mainly because I have no energy and it takes me about four times as long to accomplish anything than it did just a few years ago. Anyway, Liz decided to go back to work and chose a company called Vista Care which does Hospice Home Health. In the latter part of March and the early part of April, I flew back to Jacksonville, picked up my truck and bought a covered trailer (no more tarps for me) and loaded up our furniture and headed back here to Orem. I had a couple of problems with the truck but otherwise everything went well.
When we got back to Orem to see about the two houses and apartment, we found out we could not rent the apartment to other than a relative. Liz’s sister and her husband wanted to come out here for an extended visit and so we decided to fix the apartment up for her. Before she came, their mother went in the hospital and Liz’s sister said she needed to stay and help her mother for the duration. Their mother is 86 years old but still pretty spry.
In June, Liz’s daughter, Suzy, lost her apartment through a fire, didn’t have a job and her estranged husband quit paying child support. We let her and her three kids move into our basement apartment until she could get her life squared away. Big mistake!
In November, the tenants in the one-story house gave us 30 days notice that they were going to move. We were then faced with a choice of moving into the one-story house and selling the two story house or selling the one story house and staying in the two-story house. We opted for the former because it would force Suzy to get her own apartment and get on with her life. This did force her to look for a new apartment but she never did find one. On January 4th Liz and I and Liz’s other daughter, Mindy, and her husband packed up all Suzy’s junk and stored it in half of our garage. We have since cleaned the apartment and pretty well are ready to sell the two story house.
Last Wednesday January 14th, the court gave I and Liz temporary custody of Suzy’s three children. How long this will last is anyone’s guess. That means that at 71, I am again raising three children, ages 3, 7 and 10. Isn’t life exciting? And the saga continues.