American Veteran 01

Rayburn Tankersley

1945 ~ 2022 (age 77)






Rayburn “Ray” Hugh Tankersley, 77, of Ooltewah, passed away on September 5, 2022, at home after a brief but courageous battle against lung cancer.  He spent his final days being comforted and cared for by his loving family and friends. 


Ray was born April 18, 1945, in Boaz, Alabama to the late Hugh Henry and Ruby Bean Tankersley.  He was raised in Jasper, TN and graduated from Marion County High School in 1963.  He attended MTSU and graduated in 1967.  Following his college graduation, he served in the US Army and was a Vietnam Veteran.  He was a Certified Public Accountant and served as CFO for Alpha Medical Management and later as President of BEST Answering Service until his retirement.


Ray was a wonderful friend, brother, father, and father-in-law.  His two grandchildren, “Maddie Jane” and Brandon were the light of his life.  Known to them as “Papa”, he took great joy in watching them play sports and participate in school activities.  Aside from his grandchildren, his other interests included watching NASCAR, Vols football, and golfing with his friends.  He was a proud supporter of our military service men and women, particularly his fellow Vietnam veterans.  Ray was known for his sarcastic and quick wit, even in his final days.  Despite his hardened exterior and cynicism, he cared deeply for his friends and family and often put their needs ahead of his own.  He was loved and adored by many and will leave a void in the lives of those who loved him.


Ray is survived by his loving children, Kristi Tankersley of Ooltewah and Jason (Allison) Tankersley of Apison; sisters Rosie (Frank Ruth of Chattanooga and Susie (Tommy) Partin of South Pittsburg; brother Royce (Judy) Tankersley of Dunlap; his adoring grandchildren Madelyn Jane Tankersley and Brandon Ray Tankersley; his long-time companion, Lin McGaw and her mother, children, and grandchildren; Connie Silvers, Charles (Amber) McGaw and their children Archer, Magnolia, and Matilda; Rob (Holly) McGaw and their children Avery and Hunter; and Elisabeth McGaw (fiancé Nick Lawton); and a host of extended family and friends.


The family will have visitation on Saturday, September 10, 2022, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm CST (12:00 to 2:00 pm EST) at Tate Funeral Home in Jasper, Tennessee.


There will be a graveside service Saturday, September 10 at 1:15 CST (2:15 EST) at Sequatchie Valley Memorial Gardens in Jasper, Tennessee withTim Stees officiating.  The Sequatchie Valley Honor Guard will be present to present Military Honors.


Pallbearers are Bill Partin, Scott Partin, Jeff Ruth, Doug Ruth, Francis “Spud” Parker and Dean Nebben. 


Special thanks to Hearth Hospice nurses and staff for their compassionate care and support.


Memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warriors Project, or


UAH Softball, 205 Spragins Hall, Huntsville, Alabama 35899 (specify softball)


Floral tributes available through Humphrey’s Flowers, 423-629-2525.


Funeral arrangements entrusted to Tate Funeral Home, LLC, 950 Mel Dixon Lane, Jasper, Tennessee 37347, 423-942-9500.


Condolences can be sent to the family at



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September 10, 2022

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Tate Funeral Home
950 Mel Dixon Lane
Jasper, TN 37347

Graveside Service
September 10, 2022

1:15 PM
Sequatchie Valley Memorial Gardens
3076 Main Street
Jasper, TN 37347

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