Elmer Joe Tankersley

  • Born: January 10, 1944
  • Died: January 22, 2022
  • Location: Central, South Carolina

Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home & Crematory

108 Cross Creek Road
Central, SC 29630

Tel. (864) 639-2411

Tribute & Message From The Family

Elmer Joe Tankersley, 78, husband of Becky Tankersley, passed away January 22, 2022, after a brief illness. Born in Whitmire, SC, Elmer/Joe/"Tank" was the son of the late Hugh and Vallie Welch Tankersley and a true jack of all trades. He graduated from Southern Wesleyan University (formerly Central Wesleyan College) in 1966 with a B.A. and, at age 24, was appointed principal of Cateechee Elementary. Joe later earned an M.Ed. and an Ed.S. in Education Administration, both from Clemson University. For over 35 years, Joe served the Pickens County community as an elementary school teacher and principal, elementary and secondary executive director, and school board member/chairman, spending the highlight of his career as principal of Six Mile Elementary. During his time in education, he spearheaded the creation of many countywide programs still being implemented and impacting the lives of students, faculty, and residents today.

Having been the son of a lifelong barber (who, until suffering a stroke at 91, was the oldest practicing barber in SC), Joe acquired a barber license himself at the age of 14, making him the youngest practicing barber in SC at that time. He maintained his license throughout his life and, upon retirement, worked "full time" as owner of the Clemson House Barber Shop. He was also an entrepreneur, small business owner, and farmer; had many hobbies and interests; and was a member of various educational and community-focused clubs and organizations.

A devout Christian, Joe attended Rock Springs Baptist Church, frequently held Bible studies, and eagerly shared his faith with anyone who crossed his path. As dedicated as he was to education, his devotion to his Lord and Savior was, without a doubt, the foundation of his life. He made it a priority to leave this legacy for his family, whom he loved dearly.

Surviving, in addition to his wife of 55 years, are sons Brad Tankersley (Lisa), and their children, Marshall, Morganne, Rebecca, Graham, Jonathyn, Victoria, Daniel, and Reagann, all of Central; and Jeff Tankersley (Erin) and their children, Taylor (Joy), Anna, and Ben (Bri), all of Georgia; daughter Sarah Tankersley of Central; great-grandchildren, Ivy, Theo, and Violet Tankersley; sisters, Ruth McKee and Julia Mae Satcher, both of Newberry; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family.

In addition to his parents, Joe was predeceased by his in-laws, Wilton and Edalene Earle of Central; and beloved cousin, Eddie Tankersley of Whitmire.

A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, January 24, 2022, at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Central, SC.

Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to Rock Springs Baptist Church, 201 Rock Springs Rd. Easley, SC 29642.


Condolence & Memory Journal

What a shoc6

Posted by Benny Ba6 - Rutherfordton, NC - Family Friend   May 18, 2022

Joe was not only a great barber, a true southern gentleman and a fine Christian man, he was my friend ! We had many a long conversation about people we knew, politics,Clemson and of course the South . I know he is now enjoying his new eternal life with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Joe, be sure and shake hands with Robert E. Lee for me ! Thank you for a lot of great memories, you are truly missed my friend.
With my deepest sympathy to the Tankersley family .

Posted by Rotie Salley - Seneca, SC - Friend   February 09, 2022

Brad, I am so sorry to hear about your dad. He was a good man who will certainly be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

Posted by Dean Holder - Pickens, SC - Friend   January 30, 2022

It's been many years but I have never forgotten our friendship growing up. Sending my prayers during your time of loss. Love in Christ

Posted by David Roark - Blacksburg, SC - Friend   January 27, 2022

I worked with Joe as a coworker.I was a principal at 3 different elementary schools while he was a Principal and later Director of Elementary Education. Joe was a good friend and coworker.Prayers for the family.Joe will be missed in the Central Community.

Posted by Gary Looper - Coworker   January 26, 2022

I am so sorry to hear of Joe passing. My prayers are with all of the family. Jeff I am thinking of you during this difficult time.

Posted by Leigh Kennemore - Easley, SC - Family Friend   January 26, 2022

I am so sorry to learn of your father's passing. He was a good man. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Posted by Robin McCollum - Easley, SC - Friend   January 26, 2022


Becky and Family, Junior and I was so saddened to learn of Joe's passing. May the Lord comfort you during this sad time.

Posted by Junior & Louise Pilgrim - Central, SC - Friend   January 25, 2022

Becky, really sorry to hear about Tank. My prayers and condolences are with you and your family.
Charlie Welling, WHS class of '62

Posted by Charles Welling - Greer, SC - Friend   January 25, 2022

Becky, I'm sorry to receive this sad news. Remembering fondly our days together as children and sitting in class as your mother, uncle and aunt taught us so well. You and your family are in my prayers as you walk through these difficult days.

Posted by Joyce Camak Fischetti - Cary, NC - classmate   January 25, 2022

I am heartbroken to hear of Joe's passing. He was a great pillar of the community and will be sorely missed. Not a week passes without my mother mentioning "Tank and Six Mile Elementary". I enjoyed growing up with Jeff and all the memories of chorus and school lunches. Your family has always been precious to me and my family. We will be praying for you and your family during this difficult time. May the Lord comfort you and give you peace during the days to come. Love to each of you.
Jane Hendricks Whitmore

Posted by Jane Whitmore - Laurens, SC - Friend   January 25, 2022

Joe was a wonderful man in his love of family and faith. I am so saddened by this news. I will dearly miss him - as so will any others that were fortunate enough to know him. May God comfort the family in this time of sorrow.

Posted by Richard Liles - FLORENCE, SC - Friend   January 24, 2022

Joe was a good man! Will miss him!

Posted by Steve H - Clemson, SC - Acquaintance   January 24, 2022

Becky, Brad, Jeff, and Sara,
I am speechless! Please know that I am praying for you all and your families. He hired me as a 3rd grade teacher at Six Mile Elementary and was my principal for 7 years until he left to accept a job at the Pickens County district office. He always treated me fairly and with respect and I really enjoyed working with him. He accomplished so many great things for Six Mile Elementary and made huge contributions to the Pickens County School District helping to make the district the great place it is today. I will miss him tremendously. Central has lost a great and Godly man. Your whole family is and will be in my prayers. Please let me know if I can help you in any way. I am so very sorry!

Posted by Lynne O'Dell Chapman - Central, SC - Friend   January 24, 2022

Tankersley family: May the Good Lord bless you and keep you during this time of mourning for Joe. I know that our gracious God is welcoming home this good and faithful servant. Joe was my barber for the past several years, but more importantly was my friend. I will miss him dearly. Over the past couple of years I was fortunate enough to attend what I affectionately called "Barbershop Bible Study". This past Fall Joe brought in his cousin to lecture on some great Bible topics - and event that we all thoroughly enjoyed.

Joe was one of the finest barbers around - and I was fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of his fantastic haircuts. Becky, I am praying for your comfort and well-being during this sad time. Of course, Joe is now in paradise with the Lord so I am happy for him. We will just really miss him.

Take care, and God Bless. Joe, love you and miss you my friend.

Posted by Chris Castro - Piedmont, SC - friend   January 24, 2022

Becky and family, Gerald and I are so sorry to hear this sad news. May God comfort you in the days to follow! Enjoyed the times we had together!

Posted by Loretta Price - Whitmire, SC - Friend   January 24, 2022

Tankersley family,

I am heartbroken to hear of Joe's passing. He took the chance on a young girl with a brand new barber license, without a clue in the world, took me under his wing and taught me everything he knew. I loved working with him at the Clemson House Barber Shop. He, Clint, Mike, and myself have many fond memories together. I always thought of him as a second grandpa and friend. He was constantly giving me life advice and shared the gospel with all who entered the barbershop. I will miss him very much. He was a special man with a kind heart. He always talked so fondly of his family and of his previous career as a Principal. He made a big impact on my life and I'll always be grateful to have known him. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry to hear of his passing, but what a wonderful day it must have been for him to meet our Lord and Savior. Thinking of you all!

Posted by Emily Sheriff - Seneca, SC - Coworker   January 24, 2022

"Very sad to hear of the "homegoing" of Joe Tankersley. He will be missed in this community. Our prayers are with Becky and his extended family during these days."

Pastor Pete Wood, ALIVE Wesleyan Church

Posted by Pete Wood - Central, SC - Friend   January 24, 2022

Dear Becky and Family,
I was saddened to learn of Joe's death yesterday. Thinking of him brought back many memories of our working as administrators in the School District of Pickens County for over thirty years. Please know that I will pray for you and the family today as you have the Graveside Service and in the days ahead. i considered Joe a good friend that I had the privilege to know in my life and know that he is in a better place today because of his faith in Jesus Christ.
Mendel H. Stewart

Posted by Mendel Stewart - Sunset, SC - Coworker   January 24, 2022

Very saddened by this news! Joe was a good friend,, knowledgeable historian and great barber!! He will be missed more than we can measure. Prayers for Becky and the Tankersley family.

Posted by Russ Hebert - Pendleton, SC - Family   January 24, 2022

Mrs Becky and Sarah and family! So sorry to hear of Mr Joe's passing! What a kind sweet man!! You all r in my prayers! I just think the world of yall!! Much love and sending prayers daily!

Posted by Rita Atkinson - Central, SC - Friend   January 23, 2022

I am so sorry about the loss of Joe Tankersley...I didn't know him personally but I did know his wife Becky and their daughter Sarah...I will be praying for the family!

Posted by Diane Martin - Pendleton,SC, SC - Acquaintance   January 23, 2022

Becky and family, my heart is broken about Elmer Joe. He has been my friend all of my life. We went to Central Wesleyan College together, and, he always took care of me. When my dormitory caught on fire, he ran over to make sure that I was alright. I don't know what I would have done without him. He was like a brother to me. He was a good Christian all of his life, and I know that we see him again. Elmer always took care of his family. May God put his arms around each of you and comfort you through the days ahead. I love each of you very much.

Posted by Nancy Alexander - Whitmire, SC - Friend   January 23, 2022

Becky and Family I'm so sorry to hear of Joes passing..We will be praying for Gods peace and comfort for you all in the coming days

Posted by Glenda Chappell - Liberty, SC - Friend   January 23, 2022

Family Album

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My heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the Tankersley family and his many friends. I will fondly miss our talks on the War of Northern Aggression he and I shared; lending me such a rich understanding and perspective, all while cutting one man's hair! I'm a better person because of my relationship with Joe and will miss his smile and kind welcome to his corner of the world. A true privilege indeed!