Mr. Philip Bernard Tankard


Mr. Philip Bernard Tankard, affectionately known as “Philip Bernard or Pop Pop,” a resident of Bridgetown. passed away on July 14, 2018, at his home on Grapeland Farm at the age of 89.

On Nov. 17, 1928, he was the very first baby born in the Northampton Accomack Memorial Hospital. A graduate of Northampton High School in Eastville, Mr. Tankard earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and math at Randolph-Macon College and secured his first job teaching at Atlantic High School and later taught science at Cape Charles High School. He went on to earn his master’s degree in school administration from William and Mary College, with additional graduate studies at the University of Virginia. He served as the principal of Birdsnest Elementary, Exmore-Willis Wharf Elementary, and Northampton High Schools, and retired from education after serving as the superintendent of Accomack County Schools from 1965-1985, where he oversaw the construction of both Arcadia and Nandua High Schools. He later joined Tankard Nurseries Inc. in a myriad of roles and retired in 2005 at 77 as the chief financial officer.

Mr. Tankard graciously and extensively served his community. He served on the A&N Electric Cooperative board of directors for 52 years, which included 10 years as the president. He was a board member and vice-president of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and a past chairman/ member of the Northampton County Planning Commission. He was a member of the Cape Charles Rotary, past president of the Onancock Rotary, and an Exmore Rotary Club member where he was named a Paul Harris Fellow, the highest honor given to a Rotary member. Mr. Tankard also was a former member of the Eastern Shore Community College Foundation board, a former chairman of the board of trustees of the Eastern Shore Public Library, and a member and former Sunday school teacher at Franktown United Methodist Church. He joined the U.S. Army National Guard in 1948, where he was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant in 1962 from the 111th Artillery in Onancock.

His favorite pastime was spending time with his family and friends, whether it be at a church gathering, oyster roast, weekly supper club, community fundraiser, or having a great conversation about world views, Eastern Shore history, or his latest project. Other hobbies he enjoyed were sailing, photography, a day of cutting grass, tinkering in his workshop or listening to NPR. But more than anything he was an educator – in all relationships. He had an uncanny ability to build a relationship with you that amplified your strengths. He often remarked that there was no greater pleasure than impacting the lives of others through his service in education. He was a lifelong learner and teacher and the ultimate friend.

Mr. Tankard is survived by a daughter, Cynthia (Cindy) Tankard Lattimore; a son, Philip Bernard (P.B.) Tankard Jr.; grandchildren, Joshua (Kelly) Lattimore, Adam (Somiah) Lattimore, Polly (Mark Jr.) Bundy; and nine great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his wife, Jane Underhill Tankard, and daughters, Sally and Betsey Tankard.

A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, July 21, 2018, at 10 a.m. at Franktown United Methodist Church, Franktown. A time of fellowship in the Franktown social hall will follow the church service. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that charitable contributions may be made to the Franktown United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 130, 7551 Bayside Rd, Franktown, VA 23354 or to the National Public Radio (NPR), P.O. Box 791490, Baltimore, MD 21279-1940. Online condolences may be expressed at

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