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Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Karl H. “Pipewrench” Tanner


Karl H. “Pipewrench” Tanner, 90, 17481 US Rt. 11, formerly of 1103 Gill St. died March 10, 2014 at home under the care of his family and Hospice of Jefferson County. He lived with his daughter Peggy Marshall.

Born October 12, 1923 in Watertown a son of Herbert and Charity Amman Tanner. He went to a one room school house in Sulpher Springs and graduated from Sackets Harbor High School in 1940. Mr. Tanner attended Empire State College for plumbing and heating. Mr. Tanner joined the United States Army on January 15, 1943 and was honorably discharged December 29, 1945. Mr. Tanner married Ida B. Stevens September 25, 1948 in the gardens of his parents’ home. Mrs. Tanner died November 12, 1987.

Mr. Tanner started his plumbing career at Ryan’s Plumbing and Heating, but most of his life was self-employed, he owned and operated Tanners Plumbing and Heating for over sixty years. He was known by virtually everyone in Watertown and surrounding area for his generosity, skills as a plumber and his stories. He held a Watertown Plumbing Board License # 18. Mr. Tanner administered the test for new plumbers in the city, he also spearheaded putting the water lines in North Watertown Cemetery, officially retiring in 1999, but continued to work for people he knew.

Mr. Tanner was a deacon at Emmanuel Congregational Church UCC in Watertown. Ten years ago he was honored for his part in D-Day June 6, 1944 at his church. PFC Tanner was in Company E, 354 Infantry, 89th Division (European Theater) Karl landed on Utah Beach on D-Day at 7 a.m., 23 miles from Cherbourg. He was part of the 2nd wave of soldiers who stormed the beach that morning. One touching fact about that day is that Karl’s brother Paul was in the Navy in the same area, circling and protecting the area that Karl was in. Those of you who have heard Karl share his stories about that terrible battle feel as they were right there with him.

He was a board member of the North Watertown Cemetery, longtime member of the Watertown Golf Cub where he eagled the fourteenth hole, a life time member of the VFW in Watertown and American Legion in Brownville. Mr. Tanner enjoyed spending time at the cottage in Chaumont Bay with his family.

Surviving are, two daughters and a son in-law Karen and William Towle, Concord, NH, Peggy Marshall, Watertown, grandchildren, Sarah Thompson, Concord, NH, Karl Marshall & Danyelle Weaver, Watertown, Jennifer Prevost, Loudon, NH, Joseph Marshall, Watertown, Maria and Brian Phillips, Watertown, great grandchildren, Dylan Rivers and Andrew Gouveia, Loudon, NH. Two brothers Paul and Joseph and a sister Pauline Duclos died before him.

Calling hours will be Friday 2-4 and 7-9 at D.L. Calarco Funeral Home, Inc. A funeral service will be Saturday at 11 am at Emmanuel Congregational Church UCC with Reverends Ron and Patty Farr officiating. Burial will be in the spring in North Watertown Cemetery with military honors. Contributions may be made to Hospice of Jefferson County 1398 Gotham St. Watertown, NY or Emmanuel Congregational Church 119 S. Hamilton St. Watertown, NY. Condolences may be made to or facebook to

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