John Earl Tanner

Born: Tue., May 9, 1933
Died: Wed., Apr. 5, 2017


3:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Sun., Apr. 09, 2017
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Mon., Apr. 10, 2017
Location: Towne Square Business & Community Centre

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Mon., Apr. 10, 2017
Location: Towne Square Business & Community Centre

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Music by The Piano Brothers

 Husband. Father. Grandfather. Lawyer. Horseman. Veteran. Golfer. Community Leader. History Teacher. Ornery. These are all words that describe the life of John Earl Tanner, who passed away suddenly on April 5, 2017. 

Born May 9, 1933, and a Winchester resident for the majority of his life, John loved his hometown and its residents dearly, serving as a longtime member of the Winchester Rotary Club, President of the Randolph County Bar Association, City Judge, and local attorney. John also served as Randolph County Attorney for 43 years, making him the “longest serving county attorney in Indiana history” according to the Indiana House of Representatives.

After graduating from McKinley High School, John attended Ball State University. It was at Ball State that John met Judi Silvers, an Alpha Chi from Muncie, Indiana.  “Chivalrous” as ever, Johns first words to Judi were, “I hear you need a date to some dance.” Theyve been inseparable ever since.

In 1952, John joined the U.S. Navy, serving as an x-ray technician at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Philadelphia.  Thereafter, John and Judi moved to Indianapolis, where for six years John taught Social Studies for the Indianapolis Public School System, while attending Indiana University School of Law at night. In 1963, the Tanner family, now complete with two children, returned to Winchester, where John became the second “Tanner” of the “Tanner & Tanner” law firm.   John was recently recognized by the Indiana State Bar Association for a “Golden Career” of more than fifty years of practicing law.

As with his father and brother before him, John had a strong love of horses and standardbred racing. Over the course of more than thirty-five years, Tanner Racing saw a number of wins and a number of losses, but John never lost his love for the sport, serving as a beloved member of the Board of the Indiana Standardbred Association.

John was an avid golfer, spending nearly every free moment on the golf course. In recent years, John most often could be found playing cards and being mischievous with his buddies.  

We were all blessed to have been impacted by John’s 83 years, especially through his generosity kindness and compassion. John was a force to be reckoned with, and we will miss him dearly.

 John is survived by his wife, Judi Tanner of Winchester; two children, Jill Tanner Kamman (Kean) of Granger and Joe Tanner (Jill) of Zionsville; and six grandchildren, Kiersten Kamman, Kaes Kamman, Kreigh Kamman, Mitch Tanner, Karson Kamman, and Jake Tanner; several nieces and nephews; and many other close friends and relatives.

 He was preceded in death by his parents Raymond R. Tanner and Mary Kane Tanner, three sisters, Jean Hollingsworth, Marjorie Wellbourn, Marilyn Drummon, and two brothers, George Tanner and Raymond Tanner, Jr. 

 Public visitation is from 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 9th at Towne Square Business & Community Center, 123 W. Franklin Street, Winchester, IN 47394.

 Funeral services are 11:00 a.m. on Monday, April 10th at the Towne Square Business & Community Center, 123 W. Franklin Street, Winchester, IN 47394, with visitation for one hour preceding.  Burial will follow at Fountain Park Cemetery in Winchester.

 Walker Funeral Home, Winchester, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

Contributions can be made on John’s behalf to the Indiana Standardbred Association, 311 American Legion Place, Greenfield, IN 46140 or the Winchester Moose Lodge, 191 N. Middle School Road, Winchester, IN 47394.

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Carol Rhoades
   Posted Fri April 07, 2017
Such a loss for family and friends. I sure will miss John and I will always remember how he called me 'laughing girl'. My heartfelt thoughts are with you in this time of great sorrow. May God keep you and bless you!

   Posted Fri April 07, 2017
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. John was a joy to work with through our business, you never knew what he was going to say or do. He will be sadly missed.

Mark and Shirley Rickert

Bart Tanner
   Posted Fri April 07, 2017
Dearest Aunt Judi, Jill and Joe: What can one say but my deepest sympathies at this sad time. I want you all to know how much Uncle John meant to me and how along the way he was there at times when I needed some help. May God Bless you and your entire family and you will all be in my thoughts. Much Love: Bart

Jean Phillips
   Posted Fri April 07, 2017
Hello Joe and Jill,
So very sad to learn of the passing of your dad. Always the life of the party. I remember a band trip to New York when your dad bonded in mischief with my equally mischievous aunt Jacque to sneak out like a couple of teenagers to find a place to smoke and likely have a drink or two. He was a good man and will be missed by all.
My thoughts are with you two at this time. Sending virtual hugs.
Jean Phillips

Diana Phillips Kerrigan
   Posted Fri April 07, 2017
Mrs. Tanner, Jill and Joe, I am so sorry for your loss. God Bless all of you and may God be with you at this time. He will be missed and there will never be another one like him.

Fred Bales
   Posted Sat April 08, 2017
John's obituary fits him perfectly. I well remember his student teaching semester in Mr. Meyer's class at WHS. May he rest in well-deserved peace.

Linda Jennings Rogers
   Posted Sat April 08, 2017
Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss.

Mitch King
   Posted Sun April 09, 2017
Thanks John.
A friend and client that took the work out of the equation. As for the entire family.
Before opening for business a brief conversation with John eased a major concern.
I knew John from the golf course, bowling alley, Reeves Cafe, Park Board and client. Those of you that did not know John personally. You did not know John.
John was a great father with a great family.
Thanks and sincere sympathies,
Mitch King

Brian Meek
   Posted Mon April 10, 2017
To the Tanner family, my deepest sympathy. Anyone that knew John, would have many funny and memorable stories. Managing Winchester Bowl for several years, I have a few. The best one for me, John would pay his bowling ball locker fee one dollar a week. Because he just couldn't afford to pay the entire $7.00 a one time. RIP John.

Susan Cullen
   Posted Mon April 10, 2017
On behalf of the South Bend School Nurses and Beacon Health Ventures (where daughter Jill is employed) we would like to express our deepest sympathy to the Tanner Family.