In Memory

Mattie LaNeal Tankersley (Teacher)

This information was provided by DiAnne Kline Hakala


Mattie LaNeal Tankersley

Mattie LaNeal Tankersley, 70, a teacher, passed away Friday, October 8, 2004 at a Fort Worth hospital. Memorials: TCU Alumni Association, TCU Box 297430, Fort Worth, TX 76129 or Hyde Park Baptist Church, 3901 Speedway, Austin, TX 78751. LaNeal was born November 9, 1933 in Tahoka to the late Roy and Myrtle Tankersley. She received her bachelor of science degree in 1956 from Texas Christian University and earned her master's degree in 1962 from Sam Houston State University. She taught for many years in both Austin and San Antonio. She was dedicated to her son, Albert and to her beloved TCU "Rif Ram!'' LaNeal was also active in the TCU. Women's Club, a counselor at Camp Waldemar, Gil Services and many other organizations. She was very involved with the Republican Party. Survivors: son, Albert; brother, John Tankersley of Waco; a very large group of lifelong friends.

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04/22/13 04:03 PM #1    

Steve Clark

It seems a little odd that I should be the first person to leave a comment about Ms. Tankersley since she was the girl's P.E. teacher.  I know that she was pretty tough on folks of the female persuasion, particularly those in the Lassies and Bairns, but she could not have been more fun as a teacher for the 5 of us yell leaders (Tom Leas, Dan Ehliger, Jerry Krueger, Hector Mendez and myself).  We could get away with most anything during the class period that we were required to take as part of the MacArthur "spirit group".  It was really tough co-locating with some 50+ girls for that hour!   And when we skipped out to rebuild the bonfire that, I believe it was Roosevelt, burned down, she plead our case to Mr. Davis and Mr. Vackey which kept us from getting expelled or suspended.

At the end of the year, the five of us took her out to dinner to show her our appreciation for having co-sponsored us along with Mr. King. and all lit up cigars at the end of the meal.  She looked shocked at first then began to laugh a good, hearty laugh.  She fanned away the thick blanket of smoke we were producing and grinned from ear to ear with the knowledge that we had played the practical joke as an off-beat salute, if you will, to the deference, patience, and humor that she had shown us five during our time on the "squad".

I started out fairly shy when I became yell leader and had never really wanted to participate in much of anything that required any kind of public exhibition or public speaking.  I remember her taking me aside early in my senior year and asking my why I had not run for student council, advisory president, or joined other clubs at MacArthur.  From that pep talk, I did run for student council and lost, but became advisory president and Vice President of the Gymnastics Club that year.  In retrospect,  I can truly say that I appreciated that little "kick in the pants" speech she gave me which helped me overcome my natural introversive proclivity.  I always wished that I had had someone like her to help induce that moment of awakening much earlier in high school.  So, I have nothing but fond memories of my brief aquaintenance with LaNeal Tankersley, and would at times over the succeeding years, wonder how she was doing. 

Now, I am very sorry to hear of her passing and hope some of you will also share your good thoughts of her as well.



07/25/15 07:15 PM #2    

Frances Moritz (Booth)

I am just now finding out she has passed I am so sorry to hear this. I know she was tough on some but I really liked her and know she is missed! I would have liked to see her one more time.

02/02/19 06:10 PM #3    

Barbara Cheal (Hill)


Ms. Tankersley was another teacher that almost all of the girls knew.  With P.E. and Lassies I spent 4 years? with this teacher.  I do remember being in P.E. and laughing so hard at something with another girl, and was told I was hysterical, so she pulled me by the ankles and put my feet up on the gym wall.  You know what?  I stopped laughing!  She wasn't being mean, she just had a way of controlling her class.


As far as Lassies, she knew each of us. She kept a pretty tight ship through out football basketball season. This class used to have us learn drills in the fall became study hall.  By spring our study hall was pretty loud and Ms. Tankersley pretty laid back about it.  

As a substitute in the public school systemi learned usually the hardest classes for discipline are P.E., and music.  So looking back, I can see that she had to take on a persona to manage her classroom.

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