Mary Jean Korte Tanner

Mary Jean Tanner passed away May 12, 2012. Mary Jean was born in New Albany, Ind., on Dec. 23, 1922, to Raymond and Mary Catherine Korte, who have preceded her in death. She was the second of two siblings. Her older brother, Raymond Korte Jr., of Ray Korte Chevrolet, also preceded her in death.


In 1939, her family moved to Phoenix, where she attended and graduated from Phoenix Union High School in 1940. That same year she met the love of her life, Raymond R. Tanner Sr., at a dance at Luke Air Force Base (then called Luke Field), where he was a captain and a flight instructor.


Prior to graduating from Phoenix College, Mary Jean exercised many of the leadership skills she developed as an Eaglet Girl Scout while growing up. She was very proud to serve as president of the women’s Phoenix College Student Body and also of the Kappa Delta Nu sorority.


In 1942, she and Ray married in Brophy Chapel. Before his death in 2001, Ray was a respected businessman in Phoenix and was president and CEO of Ray Tanner Volvo. Throughout her life, Mary Jean continued her commitment to a life of service. She was an active member of Saint Francis Xavier Parish for more than 55 years, where she served in mothers’ clubs at Saint Francis, Brophy and Xavier. She was also a Eucharistic Minister and ardent supporter of the Cursillo Center after participating in the first English-speaking Cursillo for women in Phoenix. Mary Jean was also an eager participant in St. Joseph’s Hospital Women’s Auxiliary and the Holy Family Retreat Association.

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