Music 01

Sylvia I. Tanner

February 9, 1933 ~ September 11, 2020 (age 87)


Rochester - Sylvia Irene Tanner went Home to be with the Lord on Friday, September 11, 2020, at the age of 87. She was born in Sterling, NY, on February 9, 1933, and grew up on a farm in Fair Haven, NY. Sylvia learned how to play the piano when she was young and began playing for church services. She started writing poetry when she was a teenager.

On December 24, 1957, she married Paul Tanner and eventually settled down in Ontario, NY, and raised two sons. She spent a lot of time traveling and camping across the United States with her family. Sylvia loved bird watching and studying astronomy and even built her very own telescope with the help of her father in law. She always loved being outside and maintained a large garden for many years. In the 1970’s, sylvia began writing music and even had a few songs published.

Sylvia was a long-time member of Bible Baptist Church in Williamson, NY, where she served by playing the piano and organ. She also played the accordion and sang with her family and others. Sylvia and her husband spent many years repairing and restoring pianos. She enjoyed walking, especially with her sister, Evie. Her spunky personality, sense of humor and readiness to tackle whatever lay ahead made her a joy to be around. Most importantly, she placed her faith in Jesus Christ as her Savior and lived a life focused on serving Him.

Sylvia was preceded in death by parents, Levi and Layetta King; her loving husband, Paul; sister and brother-in-law, Arlene and Ron Wilsey; sister and brother-in-law, Phyllis and Roy Whitcomb.

She is survived by her sister, Evelyn King; two children, Kenneth (Elizabeth) and Jeffrey (Lynne); four grandchildren, Robin O’Dell, Kellie (Geo) Preston, Kevin (Brittany) Tanner, and Nicholas Tanner; five great grandchildren, Brennan, Wesley and Sean O’Dell, Raegen Preston and Leland Tanner; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Family and friends may gather for a time of visitation from 4-7 PM on Friday (September 18) at Murphy Funeral & Cremation Chapels, 1961 Ridge Rd., Ontario, NY 14519. (As per NYS regulations, we kindly ask everyone to wear face masks and adhere to safe distancing).  Sylvia’s funeral service will be held on Saturday (September 19), 10 AM at Bible Baptist Church of Williamson, 6463 Salmon Creek Rd., Williamson, NY 14589.  Interment in Furnaceville Cemetery.  To leave the family an online condolence, please visit Sylvia’s tribute wall,

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sylvia I. Tanner, please visit our floral store.


September 18, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Murphy Funeral & Cremation Ontario Chapel
1961 Ridge Road
Ontario, NY 14519

Funeral Service
September 19, 2020

10:00 AM
Bible Baptist Church of Williamson
6463 Salmon Creek Rd.
Williamson, NY 14489

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