Our beloved Rickey Maurice Tanksley was born on August 17, 1954, in Albany, New York, to the union of the late Ethel Hill Tanksley and Samuel Leroy Tanksley, Sr. of Albany, New York.
Rickey accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Robert W. Dixon, who is still with us at the ripe age of 101. He served in various roles but loved singing in the men's choir.
Rickey received his education through the Albany Public School System. He later graduated from Philip Schuyler High School, where he gained his nickname, "Tic-man.” He was extremely fond of sports, especially basketball and football. He loved his Dallas Cowboys and did not mind telling you how badly the opposing team got beat when Dallas won.
No one who met Rickey was a stranger. He had the ability to connect through love and laughter with anyone that he met. Rickey served in the United States Army. He retired in 2020 after over 25 years of service with the Veteran’s Administration Hospital. In 2018, Rickey received a Certificate of Commitment Award from the “Ways I Care” from his place of employment.
His love for knowledge opened another door of opportunity to further his education at Sienna College in Loudonville, New York. He never stopped learning, no matter what challenges he faced. He was an overcomer who found magnificent pleasure in reading, studying, teaching, and facilitating the Sunday School class at New Mount Zion Baptist Church that he loved dearly.
He never allowed a pitfall to keep him down. He would always bounce back, forgive, and thank God for another chance to love at a higher frequency.
Rickey's greatest accomplishment was his baby girl, Jamie. He always talked about how proud he was of Jamie's every accomplishment, including her marriage to her husband, Lenon, and the birth of his beautiful grandchildren, Peyton and Elijah, whom he loved dearly. He would often say, "You know, she got her athletic ability from me and her smarts from her mom." Rickey enjoyed every part of life’s journey and thanked God for each lesson that carved him out to be the man so many were blessed to know and love.
On Wednesday morning, July 26, 2023, in the quietness of his comfortable home, the Lord peacefully called him from labor to reward.
Rickey loved his family and church family. He also had a special love for his adopted mother, Mother Hansford, and spiritual daughter, Monique Salmond, from Albany, New York. The precious memories will live forever in our hearts.
Rickey was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel Leroy Tanksley, Sr. and Ethel Bell Tanksley, and his brother, Jershon Tanksley. Those left to cherish precious memories include his daughter, Jamie Phillips; son-in-law, Lenon Phillips; grandchildren, Peyton and Elijah; the mother of his daughter, Debra Walker; siblings - Gail Tanksley-Harris, Sandra Tanksley, Samuel Tanksley Jr., Michelle Tanksley Rowland, Donna Tanksley, and Beatrice Harris; aunt, Bernice Tanksley; uncle, Donald Hill; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends.