Obituary of Jaris Everett Tankersley
Born on May 13, 1926, in Goodwill, WV, Jaris “Jack” Everett Tankersley of Coal City, WV entered the kingdom of Heaven the morning of Wednesday, June 14, 2023, in his big comfy recliner, surrounded by those he loved, at his daughter’s house in Vinton, VA. He was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Dorothy Marie Cole Tankersley, his infant daughter Diane Marie, mother Lizzie Arrington Richmond, step-father Henry Jackson Richmond, father Everett Hampton Tankersley, his step-mother Eula Otey Tankersley, and brothers William Hampton Tankersley and Lillard Edward Tankersley. Jack is survived by 5 children: Jaris Jr. and wife Angelie, Richie and wife Jeannie, Gregory and wife Stacy, Cheryl Teaford and husband Keith, Thomas and wife Deborah, his 17 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, 6 great-great-grandchildren and his beloved pets. Four nephews and two nieces also survive him.
Known as Papaw by his family (and friends of the family), Jack was immediately a friend to anyone he met and welcomed people into his family with open arms. A wonderful and adoring father and grandfather, Jack always made time to put a smile on the face of the little ones, and he relished in the time he got to spend with his family. He was always making memories with his loved ones with fishing trips, camping trips, “junk runs”, projects around the garage, and long country drives.
Jack was a very religious man and devoted much of his time to the church as a Methodist Lay Minister and later on as an ordained Baptist minister. He performed countless sermons, funerals, and weddings including some of his own family’s weddings. He raised his children in the church, taught them to follow Jesus, and showed them how to live life to the fullest.
He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II where he was stationed on Tinian Island in the South Pacific as a tail gunner on a Boeing B29 Bomber. The whole time he was in the service all he wanted was to get back to West Virginia to the “hairy-legged girl” he had been in love with since he was 6 years old.
Upon retiring from C&P Telephone Company, he founded Tankersley Hearse Service and traveled the Eastern United States with his loving wife by his side for many years. This “Jack” of all trades was able to enjoy many hobbies through decades of his retirement. An avid amateur “ham” radio operator, he would let his grandchildren listen in and raid the giant box of Snickers bars he kept on a shelf. Another of his hobbies, and probably the most notable, was the collection of antique cars he built and restored. Jack could be found in the garage tinkering with something most days of the week. He could often be seen wearing his WWII Veteran hat as he walked the halls of Crossroads Mall or on the benches talking to the many friends he had made through the years. Jack’s memory was unparalleled as he often surprised people with his ability to recall names, dates, places, and details long forgotten by others while regaling us with stories from his 97 years.
Papaw will be missed by his family and fondly remembered by all those that he touched throughout his long and prolific life. He firmly believed that God had his hand on him all along his journey and was grateful for God’s guidance every day. He overcame many challenges with dignity through his philosophy; “The past is in the past. We have to focus on the good and let go of the bad.”
The family would like to extend our deepest appreciation for the love, care, and support provided by Good Samaritan Hospice. Jack absolutely loved every member of his care team.
Per his wishes, he will be cremated and interred next to his beloved wife. The services will be held on Monday, June 19, 2023, at Simpson Funeral Home at 5160 Peters Creek Rd. Roanoke, VA. Visitation begins at 1:00 P.M. with the funeral following immediately after at 3:00 P.M. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Jack’s name to Good Samaritan Hospice at 2408 Electric Rd. SW, Roanoke, VA 24018
In Loving Memory
1926 - 2023
5160 Peters Creek Road
Roanoke, VA 24019
3912 Electric Road
Roanoke, VA 24018
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