John J. Tanski Jr., 74, Massena
Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 8:38 pm

Massena--John J. Tanski Jr., age 74, of Massena, passed away at home Tuesday morning (September 2, 2014) under the care of his loving family and the services of Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley.

John was born on July 17, 1940 to the late John J. Tanski, Sr. and Clare M. (Wichrowska) Tanski in Newark, New Jersey. John was a 1958 graduate of Somers Central School in Somers, NY, and attended Alfred State Ag & Tech College in Alfred. In June 1962 he graduated as a State Trooper from the New York State Police Academy in Syracuse. He was stationed in A Troop (Olean, Wells & Batavia); C Troop (Middletown); Long Island (Riverhead & Southold); and K Troop (Millbrook, Golden’s Bridge & Putnam Valley Taconic State Parkway) finishing up the majority of his 15-year career in B Troop, stationed in Massena.

Upon retiring in 1976 from the Division of New York State Police, John held an 18 year career as Town Justice in Norfolk. John belonged to the Association of Retired State Troopers and he also served on the St. Lawrence County Planning Board for 19 years, holding positions of Chairman of the Board as well as being a member & chairman of numerous committees. In particular the St. Lawrence County Comprehensive Land Use Plan. John and Elizabeth A. “Betsy” Jacoby were married on October 3, 1964 in the Rowe United Methodist Church in Milan, NY.

John is survived by his loving wife Elizabeth and two daughters and sons-in-law, Anne E. Tanski Chaikowsky and husband Eric Chaikowsky of Pittsburg, PA and Karen J. Tanski Hewison and husband Christopher Hewison of Delmar; his grandchildren, Lydia Clare Chaikowsky, Cooper Jay and Julia Marie Hewison; along with a brother, Edwin Tanski of Florida; and nephew Charles Tanski.

John enjoyed boating, woodworking, reading, and having debate. Being a longtime sportsman, he also enjoyed fishing and snowshoeing. Family and friends were very important to John along with attending the sporting events and activities of his grandchildren.

For those so wishing, memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to Hospice and Palliative Care of the St. Lawrence Valley, NY State Police Signal 30 Fund; 120 State Street Albany, NY 12207 or the Wounded Warrior Project at There will be no public calling hours.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of the Phillips Memorial Home, Massena. Friends and family are welcome to share memories or online condolences at