Firefighter William S. Tanksley, of the Dallas Fire Department, answered his last alarm on the night of February 10, 2014, at the age of 40, as he was working an accident scene when he was tragically hit by a car and knocked from an icy overpass. He joined the fire department in 1999, two years after he left organized baseball. Firefighter Tanksley’s career spanned for 15 years, most recently at Station #12.
Firefighter Tanksley was born on November 1, 1973 in Dallas. He graduated from Kemp High School in 1992. The Baltimore Orioles drafted Firefighter Tanksley directly out of high school, however, he held on to his commitment with Mississippi State University and played baseball for the Bulldogs, where he was a star player and held many titles, one of which has not been broken. Firefighter Tanksley was drafted by the Minnesota Twins minor league team his junior year at MSU, where he played for three years. He is remembered as one of the university’s best relief pitchers in history. He was a Mizuno freshman All-American in 1993 and was the last freshman in Mississippi State history to throw a complete-game shutout. He ranks in the top 10 in school history in seven statistical categories. He also made the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 1995. On February 14, 1998, he married the love of his life, Wendi, and they were blessed with three beautiful children. It is evident Firefighter Tanksley’s passion was his family. He was a devoted husband and doting father, who was very proud of the natural athletic ability of his children and enjoyed coaching them in baseball. Firefighter Tanksley was an avid hunter and introduced and instilled this passion in his children and spent quality time with his family hunting. He was a member of the Mississippi State Alumni Association, Ducks Unlimited and National Rifle Association. Firefighter Tanksley was a faithful follower of Christ who was quick to forgive and quick to ask for forgiveness. He attended Lakeview Assembly of God Church in Seven Points and was a member of West Mesquite Baptist Church.
Firefighter Tanksley is survived by his loving wife, Wendi; three beautiful children; Laynee, Levi and Lynlee; parents, Wayne and Nita Tanksley; sisters, Nicki Tanksley; Christi Lively and husband Chris.