Elijah Tanner, Jr.
Sunday
19
December

Family and Friends Gathering

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Sunday, December 19, 2021
Whitley Memorial Funeral Home, Inc.
330 N. Westnedge Ave.
Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
269-488-2401
Monday
20
December

Family Hour

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Monday, December 20, 2021
Galilee Baptist Church
1216 North Westnedge Ave.
Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
Monday
20
December

Funeral Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Monday, December 20, 2021
Galilee Baptist Church
1216 North Westnedge Ave.
Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
Tuesday
21
December

Interment

10:00 am
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
Albion Memory Gardens
26905 B Dr. S
Albion, Michigan, United States

Obituary of Elijah Tanner, Jr.

Elijah Tanner, Jr., was a giant both in size and heart. His warm smile and gregarious personality wrapped you in a loving embrace unique all its own. In those big hands of his, he upheld immutable spiritual virtues that supported his family and community. His service for the City of Kalamazoo as a public safety officer was begotten by a lifetime of serving his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. A man of God, a provider for his family, both blood relatives and otherwise, Elijah left an impression, no matter where he went. So much so, he could never leave his house without hearing someone holler out, “Hey, Big June!” Born in Chase, Louisiana, to a large family. Raised by his beloved mother, Passie Mae Logan, and grandmother, Rosie Turner Autman, Big June worked the land owned by his family while he also helped look after his younger siblings and cousins. In his teen years he moved north and eventually landed in Albion, Michigan. It wasn’t until his high school years when he gained his notorious height. Thereafter, he dedicated much of his spare time to basketball, developing a fierce game which bore its fruits with his numerous medals and trophies, as well as playing at the collegiate level for Jackson Community College and Lake Superior State College (now Lake Superior State University). He applied the same dedication to basketball to his job as a public safety officer. Graduating from the police academy in 1977, he first served the community of Covert, Michigan, until he transferred to Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1980, where he served, protected, and retired in after over 25 years on the force. As an officer, Elijah believed in de-escalation and second chances, knowing people are more than the bad decisions they make, especially when they might be having the worst day of their life. Off the court and outside of work, Elijah remained active with the community as a fervent man of faith and avid churchgoer. Most recently a member of Galilee Baptist Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Elijah took pride in serving the Lord, offering his time and commitment to several ministries Elijah Tanner, Jr. is survived by his children Cynthia (Larry) Wilson; Elijah Tanner, III; Rachael Tanner; Jeffrey Marsh; and E. Jacob (Sonya) Tanner. He is also survived by his sisters Rosie Coleman, Dorothy Bates, Jo Ann (Thurlow) Miller, Dixie Drake, Joyce (Bobby) Quarles, George Rogers, Jeannette (Claude) King, JoAnn (Anthonys) Flemons, and Shirely Rogers Davis. He is survived by five grandchildren, many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, and close friends. He was preceded in death by his mother, Passie Mae Logan, and father, Elijah Tanner, Sr.; his brothers, Charles William Tanner, Joseph Autman, Leon Logan, and Larry Logan; as well as his beloved grandmother, Rosie Turner Autman.
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