Constance (“Connie”) Bixby Tanis, 77, of Columbia MO, passed away Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at Boone Health Center.
She was born in St. Louis, MO on September 2, 1944, the daughter of Paul Bixby Tanis of Chicago IL and Eloise Catherine Suenkel of Hermann, MO. She spent her grade school and high school years growing up in Chicago and Palos Heights IL. She completed her Bachelor Degree of Theater at the University of Kansas in 1966 and her Masters in Education at Emporia State University 1982. In 1974 she helped start Services for Educational and Community Theater (S.E.CT) with Steven Butler in Kansas City. She taught high school English and Drama for 14 years at Turner High School in Kansas City, KS. She was very active in Barn Players and other community theater throughout her life.
In 1985 she heard God’s call to ministry. She pursued a Masters in Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis. Ordained in the United Church of Christ (UCC) in 1990, she served UCC congregations in Missouri, Kansas and Montana. Prior to her recent retirement, she served as the interim pastor at Bethany UCC in Berger MO from 2017 to 2021.
Most recently, Connie was a member of the Columbia United Church of Christ. As a retired pastor within the United Church of Christ she served many congregations in a substitute capacity. She was happiest when teaching or on stage. She volunteered for libraries, theaters, and schools. Connie loved to travel and show her children and grandchildren the world.
She is preceded in death by her mother, father, and sister Margaret Tanis. She is survived by her brother Steven Tanis; sister, Marcia Finn, children Ida Elizabeth Purkey, Sarah Catherine Lunn, and grandchildren Ron Steven Hunt and Margaret Sophie Purkey.
Memorials may be given to Daniel Boone Regional Library, Scenic Regional Library – Hermann Branch, and Bethany United Church of Christ in Berger, MO ℅ Toedtmann & Gross Funeral Home.
A memorial service will be held at a later date to be decided.