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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 40
Year of Death: 2014

W. Scott Tanksley

Dallas Fire-Rescue Officer William “Scott” Tanksley answered his last alarm on February 10, 2014. He was working an accident scene when he was hit by a car and knocked from an icy overpass. He served with Dallas Fire-Rescue for 14 years.

Scott was born November 1, 1973, to Wayne and Nita Tanksley. His early love of baseball set the wheels in motion for a life dream of playing baseball professionally. In 1992, set to graduate from Kemp High School, he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles. He kept his commitment with Mississippi State University to play for the Bulldogs. Scott had an extraordinary college career pitching for MSU. He earned Mizuno Freshman All-American in 1993. The Minnesota Twins franchise drafted Scott his junior year at MSU. Scott’s brief professional baseball career ended after three years when he suffered a shoulder injury.

He went back to a quiet, simpler life in his rural hometown of Kemp, Texas. On February 14, 1998, Scott married the love of his life, Wendi. In 1999, he joined the Dallas Fire-Rescue family and began a life of serving others. If Scott wasn’t on duty at the station, he could be found working alongside his best friend and father, Wayne, in the electrical business.

Over the next eight years, Scott and Wendi welcomed his three biggest accomplishments, Laynee Elizabeth, Levi Wayne, and Lynlee Grace. Scott was very active in his children’s lives. He could often be found coaching his son’s Little League baseball team or cheering Laynee on from the sidelines in volleyball. He enjoyed coaching his children, not just in sports but in life. An avid outdoorsman, he instilled the love of hunting in his children as it was instilled in him by his father. He took every opportunity to share the seat next to him in the deer stand with Laynee or Levi or to play dress up and color with Lynlee Grace. A doting father, he took time to share his love of cooking with Laynee, snuggle and watch movies with Lynlee Grace, and spend quiet time waiting for first light during duck season with Levi. He was a family man through and through.

On September 3, 2014, Scott was honored with the Star of Texas Award, which is given to honor police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians who are seriously hurt or killed in the line of duty. Scott’s family proudly accepted this honor on his behalf.

Scott is survived by his wife, Wendi; his beautiful children, Laynee, Levi, and Lynlee Grace; his parents, Wayne and Nita Tanksley; sisters, Nicki Stephens (Keith) and Christi Lively (Chris); his Dallas Fire-Rescue brothers; and a host of family and friends.

He was a quiet person who was always willing to help others without asking for anything in return.

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  1. Scott was a kind friendly man who loved his family and DFR.

    – Jim Harrison