Parker County Today December 2017 - Page 98

Leon Arthur Tanner September 18, 1924 - November 03, 2017 Leon Tanner, 93, passed away at 2:00 Friday afternoon, Nov. 3, 2017. Leon was born Sept. 14, 1924 in Weath- erford, to Bill and Ada Tanner. He was the youngest of five children. Leon was proceeded in death by his parents, and four brothers Noah, Ed, Tom and Harold. Leon joined the Army as a volunteer at the age of 18, and was stationed in Burma as a member of the 5332d Brigade (Provisional) during World War II. He was the youngest in his unit. The unit came to be known as the MARS Task Force, specializing in air-dropping supplies to another deep task force unit. He was a target spotter, interpreting symbols left by units letting him know if it was safe to drop. After the war, Leon was one of only 38 members of his 120-volunteer unit to return home alive. Once Leon returned home from the war, he competed in rodeos, trained horses and sold both cattle and horses. Leon’s interest in cattle led him into the restaurant business, opening steakhouses across the country he also owned a number of automotive dealerships. Leon returned to Weatherford in 2000 where, along with his life-long friend Mary Estelle Carnes Kemp, founded Nebo Valley Press and eventually they authored five non-fiction books about Parker County’s past. Leon was well-known and well-loved for his wry sense of humor, his kindness, his good advice and gregarious personality. He was a popular figure at the annual Shaw-Kemp Open House and a knowledgable local histo- rian. He was a descendent of T.J. Shaw (who was Leon’s great-grandfather) who built the Shaw cabin in 1852. Leon will be greatly missed.