So long, Tanta

Doris Dungey, who had been known to me only as the contributor Tanta to the Calculated Risk blog, has died from cancer at the age of 47.

Tanta had been a writer and trainer for a number of lenders, and drew on that experience to educate me and many others on the sausage-making behind home mortgage lending over the last decade. She had been one of the wittiest and most informative writers in the blogosphere.

Among her contributions was an instructor’s manual on how to become an “Ubernerd”, which
Tanta characterized as

someone who is compelled to understand how things work in grim detail, even if the things in question are tedious in the extreme, like mortgage insurance policies.

In other words, an Ubernerd is

someone who has read all these posts already and quotes them at tailgate parties.

You can find this wonderful collection of essays at Calculated Risk.
Such a loss that we shall have no new ones.

CR himself will be continuing to blog. But please be careful while you’re dangling from those cliffs, Bill! We can’t afford to lose you, too.

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7 thoughts on “So long, Tanta

  1. Dan Weber

    I actually went through some grief stages when I saw the news this morning. First was denial, hoping that this Doris Dungey wasn’t the Tanta I had read, or that she was just semi-retiring from blogging. Then a little bit of anger. I think I’m in depression and loneliness now.

  2. Charles

    She was an amazing, natural teacher. More than any other person, she made the mortgage crisis understandable. While she was ill and unemployed and doubtless dealing with COBRA co-pays and the prospects of becoming uninsurable, she wrote witty, charming–and deeply insightful– pieces. One had to read between the lines to understand that she was only with us for a while.
    Heaven is a place filled with people like Tanta.

  3. jm

    I was already a regular reader of CR when Tanta first appeared as a commenter.
    Like a once-in-a-lifetime meteor she burst onto the scene and illuminated the landscape of the mortgage lending debacle with brilliant clarity.
    And also like a meteor is now suddenly gone.
    I neither can nor care to stop the tears.
    Others say, “Rest In Peace”. But I hope she will keep on to haunt the fools and charlatans who made a travesty of the business in which she so ably and humanely made her career, driving them screaming to the gates of Hell.
    Oh, how we’ll miss her.

  4. Tom Stone

    I devoured her posts,loved her comments and was known to shout YES! loudly when she came out with more Ubernerdiness.And I did quote her at parties…I have always been “Highly Individuated” so to speak.Her writing was as good as Mencken’s at his best,good grief she made loan securitization fascinating and funny.

  5. Anonymous

    Tanta and CR made a real on line community. They had real online real time conversations with the readership. Their model should be a model for all blogs that want to develop a online community.
    My reaction to Tanta’s death was somewhat between the loss I felt as a child on learning of the death of FDR, who as far as I knew was to be president for ever, and wondering how will the world proceed and the hard hard grief I experienced on the loss of my wife, 53, after almost 40 years together. More toward the FDR than the wife but with pieces of each.
    Tanta vive!!!

  6. Budapest Boy

    She wrote with so much wit that she was in fact able to turn such a dull topic (mortgage mechanics – come on) into a fun piece. I am deeply saddened…
    Tanta vive!!!

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