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Leon Arthur Tanner, 93
World War II Veteran, Entrepreneur, Author, Publisher, and Historian


Leon Tanner, 93, passed away at 2:00 Friday afternoon, Nov. 3, 2017.

Leon was born Sept. 14, 1924 in Weatherford, to Bill and Ada Tanner. He was the youngest of five children.

Leon was proceeded in death by his parents, and four brothers Noah, Ed, Tom and Harold.

Leon joined the Army as a volunteer at the age of 18, and was stationed in Burma, as a member of the 5332d Brigade (Provisional) during World War II, the youngest in his unit. The unit came to be known as the MARS Task Force, specializing in air-dropping supplies to another deep task force unit. He was a target spotter, interpreting symbols left by units letting him know if it was safe to drop. After the war, Tanner was one of only 38 members of his 120-volunteer unit to return home alive.

Once Leon returned home from the war, he competed in rodeos, he trained horses and sold both cattle and horses.

Leons interest in cattle led him into the restaurant business, opening steakhouses in across the country and a number of automotive dealerships.

Leon returned to Weatherford in 2000 where, along with his life-long friend Mary Estelle Carnes Kemp, founded Nebo Valley Press and eventually they authored five non-fiction books about Parker Countys past.

Leon was well-known and well-loved for his wry sense of humor, his kindness, his good advice and gregarious personality. He was a popular figure at the annual Shaw-Kemp Open House and a knowledgable local historian. He was descendent of T.J. Shaw (who was Leons great-grandfather) who built the Shaw cabin in 1852.

Leon will be greatly missed.

Visitation was held at 1:00 PM Monday afternoon at Galbreaith-Pickard Funeral Chapel at 913 North Elm Street, in Weatherford.
A celebration of Leons life was held at 2:00 P.M.
Interment will immediately follow at Spring Creek Cemetery.
Published on November 6, 2017
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