Hundreds Gather To Pay Their Respects To Tanner Pehl

SPOKANE – Mourners packed the Mount Spokane Church Tuesday afternoon as the first of two victims in a north Spokane homicide was laid to rest Tuesday.

Friends and family gathered Tuesday to say goodbye to 20-year-old Tanner Pehl in an emotional ceremony filled with wonderful stories about Tanner.

“I’m very thankful … thankful I had him for 20 years,” Katie Pehl, Tanner’s sister said.

Deputies found Pehl along with 18-year-old Sarah Clark last week in a burning home. They had both been stabbed.

More than 400 people attended Tanner’s funeral, some of them traveling thousands of miles to be there to remember Tanner and the good times and trying to forget the way he was killed.

“In 20 years he lived a 60-year-old life,” Tanner’s dad David Pehl said. “He did it all. He did it with vigor.”

Tanner Pehl was a traveler, a cook, was free-spirited and a growing musician. Though he led a busy life his family says he always took the time to think of them.

“He’d leave me a note every morning,” David Pehl said. “I thought he only left us notes. He left everyone notes.”

His friends and family returned the favor Tuesday as dozens of notes were placed in Tanner’s casket. While they had gathered to say goodbye to him, no one wanted to get to that point.

“I had thought if I could just keep talking in the hours, the days, the weeks, the years after all of this we would never have to close the casket,” David Pehl said.

Tanner had spent months preparing to play for a crowd and had recently joined a band. Though he commanded an audience no one guessed this would be his first time and sadly his last time on center stage.

“Although Tanner’s body is here,” family friend Danny Alerson said. “His spirit is someplace else. That place is a good spot.  Tanner’s in a good place.”

Tanner Pehl will be buried in Raymond in Western Washington on Friday.

The second victim of the Elm Street murders, Sarah Clark, will be laid to rest on Thursday.

A memorial will be held at First Church of the Open Bible at 2 p.m. Sarah’s family says her radiant smile and huge dimples lit up every room she entered and our hearts as well.