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Leverne Tanis lived to serve God and others. His children thought their dad had difficulty retiring because he had no hobbies, but as one of them said at his memorial service, “We then realized his hobby was caring for and shepherding people.” Tanis died Jan. 10 at Bethany Home in Ripon, Calif. He served in ministry for 45 years.

Born and raised in Hull, N. Dak., Tanis moved after high school to Grand Rapids, Mich., to attend Calvin College (now University) and Seminary. After graduation from seminary and ordination in 1958, he pastored Tracy (Iowa) Christian Reformed Church. He went on to serve Alamosa (Col.) CRC and Paramus (N.J.) CRC. When the new church in Paramus was built, it was the first CRC with kneeling benches. From that point on, Tanis would always kneel in front of the churches he served when leading the congregational prayer.

Tanis then moved across the country to serve Fountain of Life Fellowship in Fountain Valley, Calif. Nine years later, he went to Oakdale (Calif.) Community CRC, retiring in January 1999. However, just a little over five years later he was called back to the ministry at Knights Ferry (Calif.) Community Church where he preached for seven more years.

His children and grandchildren remember their father and grandfather’s love of music, movies, and ice cream.

Preceded in death in 2013 by Sarah, his wife of 57 years, Tanis is survived by six children and spouses, 18 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren with another on the way.

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