Obituary of Col. Edwin S. Tankins
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina – Col. Edwin S. Tankins, 96 entered into eternal rest Sunday evening, January 21, 2024. Born in Midland, PA. He enlisted in the US Army in 1946 and served in the 2nd Army Cav Regiment in Germany.
He went on to graduate from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in Metallurgical Engineering, then obtained an MS in the same from the University of Pennsylvania. He also graduated from Command & General Staff College, the US Army War College, and became a certified logistician. He was also an Able Toastmaster and Master Mason.
He worked for the US Naval Air Warfare Center for 39 years as a research metallurgist where he published over 60 technical papers and contributed to many highly recognized papers in the applied physical & chemical thermodynamics area. He also contributed to 3 books.
Col. Tankins was a member of the US Navy Research and Development Unit in Vietnam where he worked on a number of critical problems and published military articles in the military review.
He became an instructor in the 2072nd USAR School and was a member of the Command and General Staff Faculty. His last assignment was as area coordinator for the US Military Academy in the Philadelphia area.
Col. Tankins married Wrae, the love of his life, in 1981 and they settled in Yardley, PA. He retired from the Army in 1987. He was an adjunct professor in the Engineering Dept. of Drexel University for 15 years before relocating to Hilton Head Island. Once here he started teaching computer courses for Park University at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort.
He played golf, bridge, and was a member of the Men’s Book Club in Palmetto Hall. For many years he was the Education Chairman for the Military Officer’s Association of the Hilton Head area.
At the age of 53, he became an avid runner and always placed in the top 3 of his age group. He ran numerous marathons, including the Boston and the Marine Corps marathons, both of those several times.
By the age of 78, he was considered one of the top US runners in his age group for recorded races. Once he stopped running, he walked 3-4 miles a day and was a fixture in Palmetto Hall. He could be counted on to be walking every day in all types of weather.
He was loved and admired and will be missed by his wife of 42 years, D. Wrae Tankins, his daughter; Andrea Kelly (Kevin), stepdaughter; Kimberly Harding, stepson; Warren von Schleicher (Omar Correa), grandsons; Danny Kelly (Alyssa), Brian Kelly, David Harding (Alexandra), granddaughter; Jennifer McCann (Albie) and 9 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, February 12, 2024, at 2:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Pkwy. In Fellowship Hall.