03/07/04 — News-Argus columnist Georgia Tanner dies

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News-Argus columnist Georgia Tanner dies

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on March 7, 2004 2:03 AM

Georgia Tanner, popular News-Argus columnist for almost half a century, died Friday at her home in Goldsboro.

She was the widow of Hal H. Tanner Sr., publisher of the News-Argus from 1953 until 1983, and the mother of the present publisher, Hal Tanner Jr.

Georgia Tanner

Georgia Tanner

Mrs. Tanner, 88, had continued writing her Sunday column and remained active despite declining health in recent months. She had been wheelchair-bound since a leg amputation five years ago.

Her last column appears today on page 3D. She was hospitalized for most of the week, but the column arrived before deadline.

Whether she was writing about her Kentucky home, her Goldsboro friends, her love of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, the beauty of nature or those "wonderful Wayne County vegetables," Georgia Tanner captured the flavor of life.

Her writing garnered comments from people in all walks of life, from the convenience store clerk who was confident that mention of a pothole problem in Georgia Tanner's column would bring action, to a television producer in Los Angeles who wrote to tell her how much he enjoyed her writing.

But her writing was not confined to everyday happenings. Once she rode with an F-100 fighter pilot in a supersonic flight from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and wrote an account of her experience for that day's issue of the News-Argus.

The Tanners came to Goldsboro in September 1953 when the News-Argus was purchased by MidSouth Management Co. and Hal Tanner became its publisher. They immediately became leaders in the business, civic and social activities of the community. Hal Tanner Sr. died Dec. 30, 1995.

Funeral services for Mrs. Tanner will be held Monday at 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Goldsboro with the Rev. William Hufham officiating. Burial will follow in Willow Dale Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Hal Tanner III, Greg Robbins, Dr. Brian Stuber, David "Trey" Gurley III, Daniel LaFar and Cooper Edmondson Jr.

Visitation will be Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Seymour Funeral Home.

Mrs. Tanner was a native of Maysville, Ky., the youngest of four daughters of George and Ginny Turnipseed. Her father was superintendent of schools in Maysville.

Survivors of Mrs. Tanner include her son, Hal Jr., and his wife, Linda; and her daughter, Emily Tanner Moore and her husband, Robert D. Moore, of Charlotte.

They also include six grandchildren, Hal Tanner III and his wife, Leigh; Lisa Tanner Robbins and her husband, Greg; Georgia Tanner Gurley and husband, Trey; Catherine Tanner Stuber and husband, Brian; Virginia Moore LaFar and husband, Daniel; and Cynthia Moore.

Other survivors are 11 great-grandchildren: Georgia Elizabeth Tanner, Thomas Tanner Robbins, Hal Tanner IV, Catherine Grace Robbins, Margaret Maxwell Tanner, Mary Crawford Tanner, Emily LaFar, David E. Gurley IV, Joseph Benjamin Stuber, Taylor LaFar and Georgia Louise Gurley. Fannie Holmes served Mrs. Tanner as special caretaker for 33 years.