Robert Earl Tannenhill
Died: Feb 19, 2016
Robert Earl Tannenhill

TANNEHILL - Robert Earl "Bob"

Robert Earl Tannehill "Bob", age 88 passed  away peacefully in his sleep on Friday February 19, 2016 at 7:30 am following a long illness.  He was the beloved husband and best friend of 25 years to Mary "Molley" K. (nee Irvine) Tannehill, the loving father of 4 children: Sue (Mark Kenmore) Tannehill,  the late Alan Bryce Tannehill (1954-1958), Amy (Jim) Joyner and Doug (Felicia) Tannehill. In addition he was the dear stepfather of Sean (Shelley) Holland. He was the proud grandfather of eight and great- grandfather of 4. He is predeceased by one brother and two sisters.

Born on January 29, 1928 in Gary Indiana, he was the son of the late Arthur Lewis Tannehill and the late Anna (nee Weber) Tannehill. He contracted Polio at the age of 4 and this left him with some leg weakness. At age 9, Dot Osborne, a nurse who took an interest in Bob, taught him to swim. He excelled at this sport and by the time he was in his mid-teens, was running swimming programs at the local YMCA.  All his life, with the exception of the years he traveled around the world consulting, he was either coaching swimming teams or teaching swimming lessions.  He specialized  in helping disabled people learn to swim or those who were afraid of the water.  When he was well, he swam almost every day.

He attended Northwestern University on a swimming scholarship and became a champion backstroker.   He also swam in water shows with Adolf Keiffer and performed as a clown diver.

In 1963 he came to the Buffalo area to work for Graphic Controls.  he began one of the first management centers and trained middle management people in motivation and decision-making. These skills were much in demand and eventually Bob left Graphic Controls to become an independent management consultant. His clients included companies such as ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia, Volvo in Sweden,  and IPC (International Printing Corporation) in the UK.  During this time he also wrote several books on management development and quality customer service.

He loved the outdoors and took his family hiking on a regular basis. Later, he and Molley enjoyed hiking together at Iroquois Wildlife Refuge, a favorite place of his. He was a superman and loved by his family.

Bob's family would like to acknowledge the support and excellent care he received from Hospice Buffalo during his final illness. The Tannehill family will always be grateful to "the ladies", Bob's very special caregivers Julie and Nancy who provided so much love, support and compassion.

In acknowledgement of Bob's request, private funeral arrangements will be held. Kindly consider sharing a favorite story and/or memory of Bob at this website. All messages will be placed in the Tannehill Family Book of Memories.

The Tannehill Family has entrusted Bob's care to the Kevin M. Mason Funeral Home, 154 Weimar Street Buffalo New York 14206. (716) 362-0199  Fax: (716) 462-5355.  email:

Robert Dilworth
October 9th, 2016 4:42 pm
I met Bob in 1955 when I was 13. He was the swim coach at the Lake Shore Club in Chicago. He made me into a pretty competitive swimmer by working in my head. I was pretty short and efficiency of stroke was critical. He had me think through my stroke on benches in front of mirrors, then send me off with tied legs to stroke off 1500 yards. We lost touch after I moved away from Chicago, but his help in teaching me to use my head was always a key ingredient in my ensuing time swimming in prep and college (Harvard 1963). That experience was far more important in my career as a lawyer for the past 50 years. Get the most out of whatever talents you are born with, or perhaps can develop. Leave little to chance. Measure your opponents carefully. Avoid false pride. He was more important to me than I ever had a chance to tell him.
Scott & Rose-Marie Miniou
March 12th, 2016 8:18 am
Dear Molley (Moll Ole Girl), our thoughts are with you. Bob was a very special person. I took great comfort seeing how happy he made you. Condolences to you and your family. Yes, I am still serving in the Navy. Love Scott
Karen Campbell
February 24th, 2016 1:16 pm
Dear Sue ,Abe and Hope, You are in my thoughts at this time at the loss of such a wonderful father and grandfather. May your memories of him give you joy. Fondly, Karen Campbell
Leave a Condolence
* Name
* Email (will not be published)
* Enter verification code
* - Required fields