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Jackie (Jack) Tanner



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Jackie (Jack) Tanner, 74, beloved husband, father, papa, brother, uncle, friend, and community leader, passed away on April 20, surrounded by his family.

He was born on June 1, 1949, in LaPorte, Indiana, to Lester and Mildred Tanner. Jack spent his formative years in Rolling Prairie, Ind., with younger brother Jimmie Tanner.

In a heartwarming twist of fate, Jack met his future wife, Penny Bradburn, in first grade, and their bond only grew stronger over the years. He married the love of his life on June 20, 1970. They shared a love that served as a beacon of inspiration to those around them.

Jack’s educational journey began in Rolling Prairie, where he graduated from high school in 1967. He attended Lincoln Christian University, where he earned a dual degree in music and Christian education in 1972. While there, Jack founded and directed a singing group, New Life Singers, who traveled the country sharing Jesus’ love at every stop.

Jack answered his ministerial call briefly as a youth minister at Maple City Christian Church in LaPorte, Ind., before returning to university to sponsor another singing group, The Evangels.

Armed with his education and unwavering faith, in 1980, Jack followed his calling to minister at Newtown Christian Church, where he served as a steadfast and compassionate leader for 44 years. During his tenure, his thirst for knowledge also led him to Kentucky Christian University, where he earned a master’s degree in ministry in 1987. A testament to Jack’s commitment to the church, he preached his final sermon on Easter Sunday 2024.

Beyond the pulpit Jack drew strength from writing music. Through the years he composed many original songs that he joyfully shared with his church community. Loving music, he also joined Newtown Choral Society, enriching the lives of all who had the privilege of hearing him sing.

Beyond his passionate endeavors, Jack’s true legacy lies in his role as a devoted husband, father, and “Papa.” He poured his heart and soul into his family, embodying the values of love, dedication, and service to God and community.

Jack dedicated countless hours to volunteering in his children’s and grandchildren’s schools, leading Boy Scouts, and volunteering for various coaching positions and innumerable activities for his children. Weekends were spent joyfully cheering on his grandchildren at their various sporting events, a testament to his love and support.

Jack’s interests were as varied as they were vibrant. He harbored a passion for keeping up with the newest technologies, reveled in cheering for the UConn basketball teams, particularly the lady Huskies, and found solace in tinkering and tackling the never-ending honey-do list.

Jack leaves behind a legacy of love, faith, and service. He is survived by his “beautiful bride” Penny, his brother Jimmie; his three children and their spouses, Tami Lawson (Kris), James Tanner (Kara), and Janet Kuzma (Kevin); as well as his ten beloved grandchildren, Kaya, Lily, Avery, Kendall, Tanner, Braxton, Brynn, Jakob, Millie, and Ella. He is also survived by several brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews and cousins.

A celebration of Jack’s life will be held on Saturday, May 4, at Newtown Christian Church, 210 Sugar Street in Newtown. Calling will begin at 12:30, followed by a memorial service at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to be made, in Jack’s honor, to Danbury Regional Hospice Center or the Praxair Cancer Center in Danbury, both of which the family holds near to their hearts.

Jack’s memory will forever be cherished by those who had the privilege of knowing him and witnessing his love for God. Our hope is that his spirit will inspire kindness and compassion in all who wish to honor him.

Jack Tanner
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1 comment
  1. colleto1 says:

    Thank you for sharing Jack’s and your life story. We were moved,Jack was an exceptional person.
    Lots of love to you and your wonderful family.
    Pat and Julie D’Onofrio

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