William "Billy" Tanner

Obituary of William "Billy" Tanner

Siler City, NC – May 2, 2017. Early Tuesday morning, surrounded by family, William "Billy" Wrenn Tanner passed peacefully at his home at the age of 62.

Billy was born on November 8, 1954 to Jackson "Jack" Leroy and Maurice Wrenn Tanner. He was known for his kind heart, loyal friendship and wonderful sense of humor. Billy was a gifted athlete, excelling in tennis, basketball, football, baseball and golf. Finding passion for music at an early age, he developed as a drummer and played professionally throughout high school and college. He graduated from Jordan Matthews High School in 1973 and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1977, where he met his wife of 37 years, María Cruz Tanner.

Billy was a member of the Siler City First United Methodist Church, where he served as a young adult Sunday school teacher, lay leader, youth pastor, and president of the Methodist Men's group. His devotion to education led him to pursue a Masters of Education degree in 1991 and a Specialist in Education degree in 2001. Billy was a former principal of Liberty Elementary and Coleridge Elementary Schools, where he was named Distinguished Educator in 1998.

Preceding Billy in death is father, Jackson L. Tanner.

Billy is survived in death by his wife, María Cruz Tanner; daughter, Emily Tanner Bowes; son, Christopher Wrenn Tanner; mother, Maurice WrennTanner; brother, John A. Tanner; sisters, Carolyn T. Clark, Patricia T. Poole, Jackie T. Griffin; grandchildren, Audrey Aida Arzate and Caleb Richard Bowes.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 1:00pm to 2:00 at First United Methodist Church, 1101 West Raleigh St., Siler City. A celebration of life service will follow at 2:00pm with Rev. Carl Belcher officiating.

Memorials may be made to Duke Cancer Center, PO Box 3624, Durham, NC 27710 or Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke; DUMC PO Box 3624, Durham, NC 27710.

Smith & Buckner Funeral Home is assisting the family. Online condolences may be made at www.pughfuneralhome.com