William "Bill" D. (Dewey) Tankesly
William was born on August 8, 1944, and is remembered by his many friends and family as a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, nephew, as well as a good friend and coworker. After he retired in December 1985 from 23 years of military service in the U.S. Army (1SG, Retired), and in August 2012 from 15 years as an Electronics/Electrical/Avionics Technician with Marana Aerospace Solutions, he spent many hours in the gym lifting weights, and walking the Rillito River Walk and the loop around Reid Park with his wife. He was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) on January 23, 2013 and succumbed to this horrible disease at home on March 30, 2014. Many of the plans he and Mary, his wife of 50 years, had were stopped in their tracks because of ALS. He was not resentful of this disease and always said that "God had a plan." He and Mary were married on June 11, 1963, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. They raised three children together and traveled to many places with the U.S. Army. They were always grateful for this time, as they could not have done the things they did as a family otherwise. Tours of military duty included Fort Leonard Wood, MO; Fort Sill, OK; Fort Carson, CO; Fort Lewis, WA, Fort Gordon, GA; and Korea, Vietnam, and Germany, and many temporary duty assignments to these and many other locations, both in the states and overseas. In addition to his wife Mary, William is survived by his daughters, Stephanie A. Christopherson, of Orange County, CA and Laura M. Tankesly, of Phoenix, AZ, and son, William M. Tankesly, of Tucson, AZ. He is also survived by sons-in-law, John Christopherson and Timothy Fyan and daughter-in-law, Tina Deemer and he loved them as his own children. He and Mary were blessed with seven wonderful grandchildren whom he loved deeply: Scott and Sarah Christopherson, Jonathan, Margaret and Gabriel Fyan and Nathan and Hope Tankesly. William attended schools in Mississippi, Washington, and Colorado. He volunteered for the draft with the United States Army on November 14, 1962, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was a loving brother and is survived by James, Ray, Jerry, Terri, Sesters and Marie. He was also a loving brother-in-law to Maurice (Virginia) Ahearn, Laura White and Bernadette (Lloyd J.) Hinshaw. Additionally, he leaves behind many loving nieces and nephews. His parents, William N. Tankesly and Myrtle A. Johnson, predeceased him. The family would like to express sincere thanks to personnel at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ, and to personnel at Carondelet Hospice, especially Gina, our one constant over the course of the year, and Mary Pulda. Mary's proficiency and know-how, along with her compassion and love, which all were so apparent throughout the final days of his life, allowed our family to assist our loving husband and father in the transition from life to death. We also would like to express our thanks to Chaplains Greg and Adam, and Trish and Judy of Carondelet Hospice, and Steve, Tony, Laura, and many more of the personnel at Dependable Medical Equipment. Amy and Valerie of Catalina In-Home Services also assisted us. Monica, Cynthia, and Elliott, three of the Carondelet volunteers, who gave their time and love to "Bill," are also remembered fondly. William was cremated and his family will take his cremated remains to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, sometime in early August, during his birthday week, where he will be afforded full military honors. A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 10:00 a.m., at Saint Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, 3201 E. Presidio Road, Tucson, Arizona. A reception will be held immediately following in Room 5 of the Religious Education Building. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made in William's name to the ALS Association, Arizona Chapter, 360 E. Coronado Road, Suite 140, Phoenix, AZ 85004 or the Paralyzed Veterans of America, 7 Mill Brook Road, P.O. Box 9550, Wilton, NH 03086-9550 or any charity of your choice. Condolences can be made at www.angelvalleyfuneralhome.com Arrangements entrusted to ANGEL VALLEY FUNERAL HOME.