Alva's Story

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Alva Catherine Tanking, 91, of Traverse City, died Saturday, March 25, 2017. She was born Oct. 28, 1925 in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, the daughter of Henry Theodore Tanking and Irene Eunice (Wood) Tanking.
She attended Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, schools and graduated from Lake Geneva High School in 1943.
She worked for several years and then went to Milwaukee County School of Nursing, graduating in 1950 with her registered nurse degree.
She then worked for the Milwaukee County Hospital for Mental Diseases until 1960 then moved to Santa Barbara, California, where she worked for the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for 18 years then moved to Traverse City, where she worked in geriatric nursing at Birchwood Nursing Home until her retirement in 1987. Alva continued to take courses to update her nursing skills all through her working career.
Alva was a lover of the great outdoors as well as animals. She played golf very well (had three holes-in-one during the years she played) and once finished a round in a snowstorm! She also played tennis and enjoyed skiing.
A wonderful loving person, she will be missed by many.
Alva was predeceased by her parents; brother, Henry Jr. (Violet MacLernon); sisters, Etta (Ray) Clark and Leah (Clyde) Osman; bother-in-law, Dale Townsend; and niece, Debra Speckman.
She is survived by her sister, Judith (Dale) Townsend; 15 nieces and nephews; 27 great-nieces and nephews; 31 great-great-nieces and nephews; Doreen, Damon and Daron Wilkes; and many, many friends.
The family wishes to thank the entire staff at Culver Meadows AFC facility for their loving care, Dr. Behler At Munson Medical Center and the hospice nurse from Munson, all were so compassionate and caring, and the Grand Traverse County Commission on Aging for their support and help.
A celebration of her life will be held in Lake Geneva at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Cherryland Humane Society, Traverse City, or a humane society of your choice.
Please visit www.lifestorytc.com to sign the guestbook and share your thoughts and memories with the family.
Published on April 2, 2017
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