Barbara Lindquist Tanner
January 14, 1917 ~ April 30, 2020
Barbara Lindquist Tanner died peacefully at the University Hospital on April 30, 2020, with her daughter Deb Sawyer beside her. The cause of death was heart failure. She remained lucid until just before her death (having done her exercises the day before!), and in the end she was aware that her heart was giving out. “I’m not afraid to die. I had a good heart for 103 years. I have no regrets,” were her final words.
Born January 14, 1917, in Ogden, Utah, to Charles John Aaron Lindquist and Ada Theurer Lindquist, Barbara was raised in Ogden where she graduated from Ogden High School and then went on to Weber Junior College. She graduated from the University of Utah in 1937. Shortly after her graduation she married Norman Clark Tanner, the love of her life for all of the 78 years of their marriage. They made their home in Salt Lake City.
As a busy mother raising her four children, she was also a real partner to her husband and a strong supporter of his work at the O. C. Tanner Company (frequently hostessing dinner parties for salesmen and clients of the company and traveling with him when possible). During those years she became involved in various community projects which she pursued throughout her life.
In the ‘50s she became active in the Women’s Legislative Council of Utah, and she served as co-chairman of the Citizens for Eisenhower for his second term as well. Her interest in politics kept her informed, and she followed current events closely ever since. During the Vietnam War she joined the Democratic Party to which she remained loyal the rest of her life.
In addition to her political interests, she was passionate about the arts, educational issues, and social justice. Some of the organizations she gave her time and talents to were: The Utah Symphony (President of the Utah Symphony Guild, a member of the Utah Symphony Board for 18 years); chairman for the first eight years of the Gina Bachauer Piano Competition (she was instrumental in helping to move it from Provo to Salt Lake City); founder and board member of Utah Girls’ Village (now Utah Youth Village); chairman of Friends Board of KUED; member of the Weber State University National Advisory Board; and a member of The de Tocqueville Society. With her daughter Deb Sawyer and husband she established The Barbara L. and Norman C. Tanner Center for Nonviolent Human Rights Advocacy at the University of Utah.
Barbara received many honorary awards throughout her life. Among them were the United Way Woman of the Year Award, Emeritus Club of the University of Utah Merit Honor Award, an Honorary Degree from Westminster College, and Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Weber State University, Salt Lake Community College, and the University of Utah. She spoke to all the graduates at the University of Utah commencement at age 101, telling them of their responsibilities to give back to their communities and that, in giving, one’s own life is made more meaningful.
Barbara and Norman played tennis, hiked, skied, and traveled for nearly all their many years together. She loved her garden and was a member of The Garden Club of Cottonwood for many years. Her beautiful grounds were often featured in the club’s tours. An avid reader, she loved literary fiction and books exploring religious and philosophical ideas. She carried on a very active social life with her husband and many friends. She and Norman were philanthropists throughout their lives, supporting many national, state, and local organizations. They loved their many family gatherings, especially those on holidays, where life was celebrated with joy and vitality.
Barbara is survived by her daughters: Susan T. Chapman (David Chapman), Denver; Deon T. Hilger (Jerry Delaney), Santa Fe; and Deb Sawyer (Wayne Martinson), Salt Lake City; five grandchildren: Damon R. Wood, Alison Hilger, Kristin H. Brown, Kimber Martinson, and Jason Martinson; four great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews and their families. She was preceded in death by her son, Clark L. Tanner; her sister, Jean Pell; her brother, John Lindquist; and, in 2015, her beloved husband, Norman.
We want to thank her caregivers for all the help they gave her and especially owe a huge debt of gratitude to Jeff Fletcher whose help with Norman in his last years and with Barbara during hers made it possible for them to live in their own home. We also want to thank Yolanda Mangelinda, Angela Tuiaki, Yasmin Wijesuriya, Marcine McMahon, Joanna Garcia, Juanita Washington, and
Barbara’s secretary, Kathy Miklossy. In Indian Wells, California, where Barbara and Norman spent the winters, a huge thank you to Colleen Quinn, the head caregiver, Jannette Fajardo, and Yasmin who helped her in both homes. We want to thank the excellent medical team at the University of Utah Emergency Room who helped her on her last day and Dr. Carol Osborn, her primary physician.
In lieu of flowers, a contribution made in her name to the Barbara L. and Norman C. Tanner Center for Nonviolent Human Rights Advocacy at the University of Utah, the Utah Symphony/Utah Opera, KUED, Planned Parenthood, or an organization of your choice would be appreciated. A memorial will take place when it is finally safe to gather together, hopefully in late summer.
A memorial will take place when it is finally safe to gather together, hopefully in late summer.
Private graveside services were held. Services entrusted to Lindquist’s Ogden Mortuary.
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