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Newsman Garvin Tankersley, 85

The former managing editor who raised Arabian horses in Tucson is remembered as a ‘lovely man.’

MARY BUSTAMANTE Citizen Staff Writer

Services for Garvin E. Tankersley, a local businessman and former managing editor of the Washington Times Herald, will be held tomorrow.

Mr. Tankersley, 85, died today of pneumonia at his Tucson home, family members said.

Mr. Tankersley, known to friends as ”Tank,” started as a photographer at the Times Herald in Washington, D.C., in the mid1930s. He rose to become managing editor before leaving the paper in 1952.

During World War II he served as a civilian in the armed forces.

He was a director of the Tribune Co. of Chicago from 1973 to 1981 and was a founding member of Potomac Valley Bank in Maryland.

Mr. Tankersley and his wife, the former Ruth ”Bazy” McCormick Miller, moved to Tucson in 1971.

The couple raised Arabian horses here.

Mr. Tankersley was a member of the Tucson Medical Center board.

”I’ll remember most his gentlemanly manners, good sense of humor and charming wit,” said Jeff Townshend, a friend for 25 years.

Mary Margaret Lynch, who also has known the family for a quarter of a century, said Mr. Tankersley was ”a lovely, lovely, lovely man.”

”He was so bright, so knowledgeable about world affairs. He was a newspaperman, and he stayed very conversant with what was going on worldwide,” she said.

Friends admired Mr. Tankersley’s constant encouragement for his wife, who founded St. Gregory College Preparatory School.

”I knew him as a very supportive and interested gentleman who was Bazy’s great counselor and was always in the background to help out,” said longtime friend Hermann Bleibtreu, a professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona.

George Rosenberg, a former managing editor of the Tucson Citizen, said the fact that they both had been managing editors caused them to ”talk a lot of newspaper talk.”

Daughter Tiffany Tankersley Wolfe said her father was the most kindhearted person she knew and the ”most devoted father, husband and grandfather imaginable.”

”He will be terribly missed by everyone in the family. It will take a long time before I get used to him not being here,” she said.

Survivors include his wife; son Garvin E. Tankersley Jr. of Maryland; daughters Tiffany Tankersley Wolfe of Tucson and Anne Sturm of Maryland; stepchildren Mark Miller and Kristie Miller; 10 grandchildren; four sisters and three brothers.

Services will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Al-Marah Arabians farm, 4101 N. Bear Canyon Road.

The family requests contributions be made to Casa de los NiƱos, 1101 N. Fourth Ave., Tucson, Ariz. 85705, or to the scholarship fund of St. Gregory School, 3231 N. Craycroft Road, Tucson, Ariz. 85712.

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