Martha  Tanner

Martha Jane Tanner, MD, 82, of Idaho Falls, passed away February 20, 2021 after two days at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. Death was primarily from a progressive bacterial lung disease. She was born May 9, 1938 at Moorestown, New Jersey, and grew up in Gainesville, Florida. Her childhood interest in biology included dissecting snakes and frogs. She graduated from the University of Florida, majoring in biology. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania medical school in 1964, one of five women, then interned at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, where she met John Tanner, whom she married in 1966. After residencies at the University of Wisconsin and Temple University in Philadelphia, a year as research assistant at the German cancer research center in Heidelberg, and a fellowship in infectious disease at the University of Michigan, she settled with her husband in Bloomington, Indiana, where she practiced medicine until moving to Idaho Falls in 1979. She first practiced infectious disease with Dr. Devon Hale, then practiced solo until her retirement in 2004. She was well respected by the medical community. She co-authored eight publications in national medical journals, including topics on toxic shock syndrome, scarlet fever toxin, and Q-fever. She was co-founder of the regional Rocky Mountain Pus Club, an infectious disease society. After her youngest son lost a promising career in chemistry to schizophrenia, she developed a strong interest in severe mental illness and became well known in the mental health community statewide. She initiated bringing community crisis centers and crisis intervention police training to Idaho. Outdoor recreation was a major attraction of Idaho to both Martha and her husband. She participated frequently in back packing, skiing, and river canoeing with the family. She also loved to cook, especially Indian food and showed how to eat well in the wilderness. Above all, she had a teasing sense of humor. Dr. Tanner is survived by husband John, a retiree from the INL, daughter Clare of East Lansing MI, son Bryce of Albany, CA, son Craig of Rexburg, ID and four grandchildren. A memorial service is to be scheduled later. Martha 5/9/1938 - 2/20/2021H Tanner