Lola C. Tanner, 95, died on Saturday, August 12, 2017.
Lola was born October 13, 1921 in Searcy, Arkansas, to Merrel and Amma Ballard Cross. When she was still just a baby, her father took his little family to Kansas City, where he eventually established a lifelong grocery business that, during the Depression, allowed many of his customers to survive the hard times. Velma, Lola’s little sister, was born five years after Lola. Velma adored her big sister who let her go almost everywhere with her.
Lola attended the Webster School (now the Webster House), Central High School and Donnelly Business College. While working at her first job, as secretary at Siebenthaler, a division of Airplane Co., she and her boss, Preston Tanner, fell in love and were married April 24, 1940. Like most married women of the 1940’s, Lola stayed home with their two children, Bonnie and Geoff. She was an expert seamstress, sewing fashions for herself, clothing for her children, slipcovers for the furniture, curtains and draperies.
In 1949, Pres quit his job as sales manager for Bendix Radio Corporation in Baltimore in order to start a new venture in television sales which had recently been introduced to Kansas City. They settled in Prairie Village, near 75th and Mission Road. Living in this microcosm of the Midwest with neighbors who had arrived from everywhere produced long, strong friendships and an active social life. Lola went back to secretarial work in 1950 at Anchor Casualty Company. As she and the company grew, Lola became executive secretary and claims adjuster. Lola was an inspiration to all who knew her. A massive stroke in 1967 changed her life, but her determination to overcome the hurdle of paralysis allowed her to walk again, to drive, and to return to work. After her retirement in 1988, Lola was able to spend more time traveling with family members and pursuing her love of reading, especially historic novels, crossword puzzles, and watching movies.
We kids remember all the times when we were sick or sad and Mom was there for us. She had a way of calming and making things better. Mom seemed to always give, not expecting anything in return.
Lola was preceded in death by her parents and by her husband, Preston Tanner. She leaves her children, Bonnie Martin (John) and Geoffrey Tanner; sister, Velma Kathleen Ballentine; grandchildren, John Henson (Tan), Beverly Dillman (Chris), Ryan Tanner, and Jennifer McCoy (Josh); numerous great grandchildren; and one great-great granddaughter. A special thanks to Lola’s caregiving team and to Vitas hospice care.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Monday, September 11, 2017, at the Overland Park Chapel, 8201 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS 66204.