Claremore Daily Progress

February 5, 2013

Anne Tacker Wallis

Staff Reports
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE — Anne Tacker Wallis, whose devotion to her adopted Rogers County was unquestionable, died on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.

Final rites were Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church, where she went to work in 1956 and stayed 45 years as secretary. Burial was in Owalla Cemetery, under direction of Musgrove-Merriott-Smith Funeral Service and Crematory.

Born Feb. 18, 1923 in the Shawnee area, Anne Tacker came to a Verdigris farm with her parents, Wilson and Blanche, in 1938. She was valedictorian of the 1941 Verdigris High School class and attended Tulsa School of Business, Law and Finance.

In a storybook romance that began while she was working at Sears, she won the heart of Russell Wallis, who took her to the 77 Ranch for a

horseback ride, which took them to the Will Rogers Ranch. They were married March 4, 1945 at Claremore First Christian Church. It was the uniting of two farm and ranch families, who chose Rogers County as their new home - the Wallises in 1929 and the Tackers 10 years later.

They have lived all their married life, and raised their son, Dr. Ron Wallis, on the 77 Ranch, north of Claremore, settled in 1930 by Fred Wallis, an English immigrant, and his wife, Gertrude.

Survivors are her husband, Russell; son, Ron and wife, Janice; grandchildren, Clint Wallis and wife, Kaisa, Emily Bezdek and husband, Jeremy; Libby Lalli and, husband, Ben, and Scottie Wallis; great-grandchildren, Cam, Ian, Thatcher and Elle Wallis, Jack, Emma Sam and Gracie Bezdek, and Noah, Corbin and Gianna Lalli; and a sister, Sue McKnight.

There was always a feeling of connection with Will Rogers in the family.

The Tackers closed the deal on their Verdigris property on Nov. 4, 1938, the day Will Rogers Memorial Museum opened.

Anne remembered three years earlier and her mother crying when her dairyman father came from town with the news of Will’s death.

Anne, Russell, Ron and their extended family was involved in the Will Rogers Roundup Club and the annual rodeo. They were charter members and remained active until failing health forced them to slow. They were there in helping build the clubhouse and clear brush for the arena. She served as club secretary 25 years and a ticket-taker for many a rodeo.

The Wallis were honored with induction into the Will Rogers Roundup Club

Rodeo Legends Hall of Fame.

One of the highlights of her life was a visit to Russell’s father’s native country in England with their grandson, Clint. They went on to Ireland where Clint was participating in a medical rotation.

Leave your memories of Anne and view her tribute online at