The Definition of Inspiration

Kathryn Amerson Tanner – SAVANNAH – Kathryn Amerson Tanner , of Savannah beloved wife of David Eugene Tanner went to be with her Lord Wednesday morning, June 15, 2011. She was the daughter of Lilie MaeAmerson Burgamy and Cleon Adams Amerson. She loved her parents and was a wonderful daughter to them. She graduated from the Georgia State College for Women and taught elementary school in the school systems of Brunswick, Atlanta, and Augusta. After World War II she married the love of her life, Gene. She supported him through medical school and throughout his professional life, being a true partner in all of his many accomplishments professionally and in service to the community. She loved her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren unconditionally. She was very proud of all of them. She showed her great strength of will and love in finding Andrew for David and Laurie, the greatest gift of their lives. She was always eager to try new things and would do anything to be with her family. One of her greatest triumphs was in overcoming her fear of the open sea and a profound tendency to seasickness to become an accomplished deep sea fisherman and fair seaman in her own right so that she might be at Gene’s side while he pursued his passion for the sea. She was forever grateful to Mike at Brady’s for teaching her how to dock a single engine inboard boat; a skill many an accomplished boater lacked. She loved their trips down the waterway with her beloved sister and brother in law, Miriam and Ed. An only child, she loved Gene’s brothers and their wives Miriam and Ed, Curtis and Martha and Lamar and Eleanor as if they were her own. She loved her many friends in the Geritol Gypsies, her bridge and supper clubs and was always thrilled to be with them. She was a true friend to many and during her last illness was overwhelmed with the love and kindness those friends showed to both her and her family. Hers was a rich life defined by service to God, family and community. She was a member of the Isle of Hope Methodist Church where she served on the Administrative Board, the Finance Committee, and many other committees of the church. She was a charter member of the Parkersburg Garden Club where she was on various committees and the Executive Board. She was past President of the local Auxiliary to the Georgia Medical Society and held many state level offices of the Auxiliary to the Medical Society of Georgia. She was a member of the Savannah Symphony Guild and served on their board. The family wishes to thank Dr. Anthony Costrini for his loving care of Kathryn over the many extra years of life that care gave her. We also want to thank Kristie Kent of Islands Hospice, Beth Conway and Dr. Kelly Erola of Hospice Savannah for their compassionate care of both Kathryn and her family in her last months of life. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her daughter, Gena Kay Clausen and her husband Gerald of Sandersville, Georgia; son, Dr. David C. Tanner and his wife Laurie of Charlotte, N.C.; granddaughter Susan Clausen of Savannah; two grandsons, David Edward Clausen (Ginger) of Birmingham and David Andrew Tanner of Charlotte; and two great grandchildren Thomas and Kali Clausen of Birmingham: and a host of devoted friends. Funeral Services will be at Isle of Hope Methodist Church at 2 P.M., Friday June 17, 2011. A private family interment service will be held at 11 A.M., Saturday, June 18, 2011 in Sandersville in the Brownwood Cemetery. The family suggests remembrances be given to Isle of Hope Methodist Church, 412 Parkersburg Rd., Savannah, GA 31406; Hospice Savannah, P.O. Box 1390, Savannah, GA 31416; or Mineral Springs Baptist Church, 165 Yarbrough Lane, Mitchell, GA 30820. Flanders Morrison Funeral Home & May & Smith Funeral Directors, Sandersville, GA Savannah Morning News June 17, 2011 Please sign our Obituary Guest Book at savannahnow.com/obituaries .
Published in Savannah Morning News from June 16 to June 17, 2011

I love reading well written obituaries. I usually find them in the AJC or other (non-local) newspapers. For some reason, it’s as if we here in the Columbus area lack the creativity to write a really good obit, because frankly, it’s not from lack of inspiring and creative people in our area.

Mrs. Tanner must have been a heck of a lady to have an obituary like that. No, she didn’t cure cancer or invent some life changing product. But she did touch the people around her. She was a good wife and mother. She was involved in her community. She supported her husband and children and it is obvious that they felt her love.  And according to her obituary, she was a true friend, kind and compassionate. I didn’t know her, but after reading that, I wish I had, don’t you?

Obituaries are a synopsis of one’s life and should tell the stories that meant the most to the deceased as well as their family and friends. Inspiring obituaries are not the sole property of those who are well known or wealthy or famous. Inspiring obituaries belong to those who lead inspiring lives.

So, what defines inspiration? Is it wealth and fame? Is it miraculous discoveries? While I am not saying that these things cannot inspire, allow me suggest that the greater inspiration comes from a life well lived, full of grace, kindness, compassion, and love. A life given to respect of others, self, and country. A life not lived centered on itself, but on others and their well-being.

What do you want people to know about you when you are gone?

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