Cover photo for Lillian Patricia Kunze Tanner's Obituary
Lillian Patricia Kunze Tanner Profile Photo

Lillian Patricia Kunze Tanner

Lillian Patricia Kunze Tanner was born on November 12, 1933, in Phoenix, AZ to Katherine Cronin Kunze and Theodore Thompson Kunze, all long-time residents of Phoenix. She is a native Phoenician who was reared on Lateral 15 and Maricopa Road that eventually became 35th Avenue and Thomas Road. She passed away on July 17, 2021.

“BEBE”, as she was warmly referred to by family and dear friends, was given that nickname when she was born. Her three-year-old twin sisters could not pronounce “baby” and said, “look at the bebe”! Thus, she was called “BEBE” by her family and dear friends in addition to “PAT” during her lifetime.

She attended Alhambra Grammar School, North Phoenix High School and the University of Arizona where she graduated with a BA in Education. She was President of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, Treasurer of Associated Women’s Students, Chairman of the Board of Visitors, President of the Phoenix Cotillion, President of Diggers Garden Club, President of the former Maricopa County Hospital Auxiliary, member of the Junior League of Phoenix, the Valley Field Riding and Polo Club, the Arizona Historical Society, St. Luke’s Health Initiatives Foundation, the University of Arizona Board of Education and Christ Church of the Ascension Vestry. Pat and her predeceased husband, Jack Mason, together, received the University of AZ Alumni Service Award in 1985.

Her volunteerism began in the fourth grade when her mother taught her to knit squares for the Red Cross to assemble into coverlets for the needy during World War II. From that day forward she was geared to engage in a lifetime of devotion to charitable good works.

In addition to devoting her time to her wonderful and caring family, she enjoyed tennis, fishing and traveling. Her entire family will miss “Bebe/Mom/Pat/Lil” and will hold her loving and generous spirit, smile and positive outlook in their hearts forever.

She was predeceased by her parents, her husband, John E. “Jack” Mason, her sisters, Jean Sullivan and Kay Shipley, and her cherished grandsons, Tyler and Jared Smith. Survivors include her husband, Arthur R. “Art” Tanner, her three children, Jacque Smith (Le), Todd Mason (Stephanie), Anne Mason, her three treasured grandsons, Mason Smith, Jack and Luke Mason, sister Joan Phillips and brother Paul Kunze and many loving nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers please consider a contribution in Pat’s name to one of her favorite charities: University of AZ Steele Children’s Research Center, P.O. Box 245073, Tucson, AZ 85274-5073; The Board of Visitors, 7227 N. 16th Street, Suite 101, Phoenix, AZ 85020; Christ Church of the Ascension, 4015 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253.

Services will be held on Saturday, August 28, 2021, at 1:00 pm at Christ Church of the Ascension, 4015 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley. Reception immediately following at the church. A private interment was held on July 26, 2021 at Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery.
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