Mary Lou Tanton
Class Year: 2016
Title: Citizen Planner and Low Vision Consultant
“My parents and grandparents instilled in me the importance of stewardship of our bodies, our minds and our land. They encouraged my participation, leadership and striving for excellence to achieve these goals. My participation in 4-H as a member, Jr. and Assistant leader, and leader has inspired me and led me into positions of leadership in my community, county, state and nation.”
While receiving her bachelors degree in elementary education in 1957 and her masters in special education from Michigan State University, Mary Lou Tanton achieved a number of successes. She was a member of Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Kappa Phil and was named one of the 50 Outstanding Senior Women. She was her senior class secretary and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She then became a registered social worker for the state of Michigan in 1974. Following her own personal 4-H participation, she was a 4-H club leader in Emmet County for five years.
Tanton was appointed to the Emmet County Planning Commission where she served 20 years and also served as the Wetlands Committee Chairman for NW Regional Committee on Land Use. She co-founded both the Outdoor Lighting Forum and Scenic Michigan and was on the committee to organize a 600-acre Headlands International Dark Sky Park. She was a committee member for Michigan Sign and Guidebook and was awarded Outstanding Best Practice by Michigan Association of Planning.