Lana Tangum

Sept. 29, 1944 - Jan. 31, 2024

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Lana Jeanette Cheshier Tangum, 79, of Vancouver, WA, passed away on January 31, 2024, due to kidney cancer. Her diagnosis came only a few months earlier. The subsequent rapid decline of her health and eventual passing has left her family and friends shocked and deeply saddened. Lana was born on September 29, 1944 to Elton Eugene Cheshier and Dollie Helen Burge Cheshier in Liberty, TX. Elton was a B-24 crew member whose plane was shot down over Linz, Austria. He was a POW of the Nazis at the time of Lana’s birth. Dollie was living with her mother in Silsbee, TX. Lana spent the majority of her childhood in Houston, TX. She was a ham radio operator. At Sam Houston High School, she was a member of the National Honor Society, captain of the school’s drill team “The Houstonettes”, and was a singer and secretary of the school choir, “The Meistersingers”. Lana graduated from high school in 1963 and remained in Houston working various jobs, including her first job in data processing with Prudential Insurance Company. Bob was serving in the Navy with Lana’s cousin Barry at that time, and Barry encouraged Bob to reach out to Lana when they got out of the service. That led to Lana & Bob’s first date. Bob was living in Austin then, and the two would correspond by mail and travel back and forth between Austin and Houston as their connection grew. In 1968, they married and moved to Austin. In 1971, they had their only son Michael Ross Tangum. Lana later went on to study at The University of Texas at Austin. In 1974, after graduating from UT with a bachelor’s degree in Education and a minor in Earth Science, Lana found no available teaching positions in the area. As a result of that and wanting to stay in Austin, she took a job as a programmer at American Bank. That would continue the data processing career she had begun after high school. She went on to work in banking, technology and state government positions specializing in systems analysis and holding several leadership positions before retiring in 2003, after a nearly 40-year career. Lana, Bob and Ross lived in and around central and southeast Texas. The family eventually settled on a country property on Walnut Creek near Rockne, TX where they had several pets, including the particularly beautiful (and smart!), golden retrievers Topaz & Jubi, who Lana adored. Lana and Bob built a beautiful home, cultivated a large, productive garden, nurtured fruit and nut trees, and raised milk goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, and rabbits. Lana and her family enjoyed spending most family summer vacations in the mountains of southwestern Colorado and particularly enjoyed spending time on property she and Bob bought in the 1980s in Ilium Valley, on the banks of the S. Fork of the San Miguel River near the town of Telluride. After Ross left home for college in 1988, Lana and Bob remained in Rockne, continued regular travel to Ilium, and enjoyed spending some time intermittently living and working in Mexico. In 1999, Lana and Bob built a house in Ilium valley with plans to spend some of their retirement years there. Sadly, the house was lost in a fire shortly thereafter and before they could realize that dream. The property was sold in 2005. Lana happily shared time, memories, stories, pictures, videos and artifacts of their many happy years in Ilium with anyone who was interested. In 2010, Lana and Bob moved to Vancouver, WA to be near and spend more time with Ross and his family. Lana adapted quickly to the Pacific Northwest and enjoyed exploring and learning about its geology and its natural history. She spent her remaining years visiting with friends and family, exploring and enjoying nature, practicing yoga, researching her family history with fellow genealogy buffs Bob and granddaughter Ana, watching UT sports and former Longhorns in PGA events with Bob, avidly following national and world political affairs, and vigorously donating her time and money in support of her preferred political leaders and causes. Lana is survived by her husband Bob, son Ross and his wife Kati of Portland, OR, granddaughters Ana Gabrielle (25) & Olivia Marie (21) of Salem, OR, her brother Charles Cheshier and his family of Wylie, TX, and many other loving family and friends. Lana was adored and respected by many and will be dearly missed. Bob remembers her as “the finest woman [he had] ever known and [for whom his] love had no limit”. He adds that “her ethos transcended solely, self-interest but encompassed the good of all.” Her niece Carey Cheshier Head, lovingly remembered her recently as many family and friends will also remember her, as “…a deep thinker, strong fighter, and committed giver who love[d] so well.” A small service for immediate family will be held at Willamette National Cemetery in March 2024. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Washington state Democratic Party leaders, the American Civil Liberties Union, Oregon Public Broadcasting, The Guardian and the Wikimedia Foundation, all of which are organizations that Lana strongly supported. All are welcomed and encouraged to share memories, stories, and photos of Lana on this memorial site.


Leave the earth with beauty

Earth specializes in soil transformation, an environmentally-friendly alternative to burial and cremation. Over a 45-day process, we gently transform a body into nutrient-rich soil. We then send this soil to our local conservation land where it’s used for restoration projects such as reforestation and nourishing challenged ecosystems.

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