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John Scott Tarner, 69, died August 15, 2020, at Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia after a long illness. It is with great sadness that his family announces his passing. He was born in Summit, New Jersey to Sybil (Camerden) Tarner and Jack Hadley Tarner of Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

He grew up in Basking Ridge and later attended The Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA. He was a long-term resident of Southern, NH and later moved to Ranson, WV, in 2005, where he resided until his death.

After settling in West Virginia, he worked for Norm Thompson in Kearneysville and he retired from Ecolab in Martinsburg in 2014. After retirement, he volunteered at Jefferson County Meals on Wheels.

A gifted artist, he created exceptional pieces of art throughout his life. He had an inexhaustible curiosity of and compassion for the world around him. A true renaissance man, his skills were endless—musician, poet, carpenter, artist, cook, entrepreneur, and gardener.

He expressed his love for his friends and family every day through his actions and words. All who knew John were graced by his kindness, generosity, sense of humor, and above all, his gift-of-gab.

Most of all, he loved spending time with his family, his partner and his friends. He is preceded in death by his mother, Sybil Tarner, and his father, Jack Tarner. He will be profoundly missed by his daughter, Caitlin Caulfield, of Keene, NH; his sister, Jane S. Tarner, of Charles Town, WV; and his beloved, Annie Harris, of Silver Spring, MD as well as his extended family and many friends.

A private memorial service will be held at a future date. Memorial contributions may be made to Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County, Po Box 147, Charles Town, WV 25414.

Arrangements are by the Melvin T. Strider Colonial Funeral Home, Charles Town.

Please sign the online guestbook and view his obituary at

To plant a tree in memory of John Tarner as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.


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