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Obituary for Elizabeth Juanita Tanner-Gray

Elizabeth Juanita Tanner-Gray known as “Skeet” received her wings on March 13, 2023, at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital surrounded by loved ones.

Elizabeth was born on Oct. 3, 1960, to the union of Emma Elizabeth (nee: Wilkie) Tanner and the late Lawrence Tanner Sr. in Waukegan, Ill. She attended Waukegan East High School, graduating in 1978. Elizabeth accepted Christ at an early age when she attended Mt. Sinai Institutional Baptist Church in North Chicago, Ill., under the leadership of Bishop Solomon Smith. After relocating to Racine, she attended Second Missionary Baptist Church. Elizabeth later became a member of Zoe Outreach Ministries under the leadership of Pastor Melvin D. Hargrove and volunteered as a Sunday School Teacher.

Elizabeth Juanita Tanner-Gray
Elizabeth Juanita Tanner-Gray

Elizabeth relocated to Racine, Wis. in 1980. She attended Gateway Technical College from 1991-93, then Milwaukee Area Technical College from 2002-03, graduating from the Mortuary Science Program and looking to pursue a career as a Funeral Director. She was united in marriage to Archie O’Neal Gray on July 17, 1999.

Elizabeth was formerly employed with Bruch Funeral Home in Kenosha as an Apprentice Funeral Director from May 2003 until July 2005. She then gained employment with West Lawn Memorial Park as a Family Service Counsel from August 2007 until February 2009. Skeet also was employed with Racine Unified School District as an Educational Assistant from October 1996 until 2012, taking a leave of absence after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She returned to work after becoming a “Breast Cancer Survivor.” She volunteered and worked with a youth football program called the Racine Ravens at a Cancer Awareness Football Tournament, as a tribute to herself to help educated others on Breast Cancer Awareness.

She will be cherished by her children, Julian Mayfield and Shyla Turner; grandchildren, Julian Mayfield Jr. and Fenyxx Trice; spouse, Archie (Neal) Gray; mother, Emma (nee: Wilkie) Tanner of Virginia, siblings, Douglas Tanner of Wisconsin, Elaine Tanner-Carter of Alabama, Laverne Tanner of Illinois, Caroline (David) Tanner-Petty of North Carolina, Lawrence Tanner Jr. of Arizona, Christine (Gabe) Walker of Virginia, and Gregory (Karen) Wade-Tanner of Wisconsin.

She also leaves her mother-in-law, Kathleen Gray; sisters-in-law, Carolyn Gray and Cassandra (Daryl) Carter, both of Racine. She also leaves behind her Godchildren, Robert Mayfield Jr. and Kenneth Carter Jr.; “Special Sisters from Another Mother,” Charlene Mayfield, Ada Hamilton, and Janet McMorris; special friends, Joyce (Pokey) Johnson, Karen Hawkins, and Judy Beechem; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her father, Lawrence Tanner Sr., along with both maternal and paternal grandparents.


Family and friends are invited to meet in the Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home on Monday, March 27, 2023, for a visitation from 10 until 11 a.m. A service celebrating her life and Homegoing will follow at 11 a.m. with Pastor Melvin Hargrove officiating.

Obituary and photo courtesy of Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home.

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