Date of Death: September 26, 2021
Sunday, September 26, 2021, Tamara, loving daughter, sister, aunt, and granddaughter passed away peacefully at the age of 42 in her home. Tamara was born to Elizabeth and Mitch. Tamara's love of ballet, theatrical dance, pencil artistry and photography started in her youth which she carried on into and after her school years. Tamara received her high school diploma in 1997 with overwhelming joy, as she had battled with epilepsy since infancy. Tamara's skills in fashion and interior design coupled with her studies in the field of cosmetology and automotive mechanics enabled her to help others in the communities she lived. In the spring of 2002, at 21, a month away from receiving her cosmetology license, Tamara suffered a life changing experience, leaving her with a traumatic brain injury, a fractured spine and shattered heels which nearly left her paralized. Her surgeons told she would never walk or dance again but she was determined to have faith with hard and trust Heavenly Father would answer her prayers. Most of her memories of her past and family relationships were erased from her mind the day of the accident. With prayer, heaven's help and encouragement from family, friends and the support of her medical team, Tamara trained herself to walk and six months later took her first step on her own. She learned from photos, journals, and family stories who she was, her past life and her family relationships. She is not only a bright shining star, but was later told her medical team developed a greater appreciation for divine assistance in caring for her. Through her faith in Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness and the atonement of Jesus Christ, her older brother and dear friend, Tamara genuinely became a walking miracle and was even able to relearned a few ballroom and country line dances. All of which she said was due to blessing from above and support from her family and friends. Tamara found joy in serving others. As a mental health and brain injury support advocate, Tamara was always assisting others. Doing so encouraged her, as she saw the lives of those she helped, change for the better. In 2006, she participated in a graduation ceremony and received a certificate for completing a year long brain injury and mental health training course, which she held dear to her heart. Tamara enjoyed her employment with Southwest Behavioral Heath as a receptionist and peer support sponsor. Tamara also volunteered in winter months with the suicide prevention program taking calls. Sharing her testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and love from Heavenly Parents showed through her caring nature. Tamara enjoyed scripture reading over the phone and highlighting motivational quotes on how to implement scriptures into one's life on a daily basis. One of her last calls was singing hymns and reading scriptures in the morning with her nieces on what she called Aloha Friday. Tamara enjoyed her mornings by waking up early enough to watch the stars fade away into brilliant sunrises. She would watch and listen near her bird feeders for flying travelers to greet her in the morning light. Aloha mornings were each morning whether on Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday. She was a true child at heart when playing family games. Tamara loved traveling to Utah for comfortable summer weather, and visiting with family. Vacations in California and up the Oregon coast along the beach were some of her later cherished memories. In her younger years, she was excited to pick raspberries and blackberries in grandpa's garden or cherries from grandma's tree. She had fun making homemade fruit leather which she brought back as treasure but not the new bunny because grandpa found out she had the bunny inside her small purse before boarding a plane back to Arizona with her siblings. One Christmas present she looked forward to and relied on was a box of Maxwell's chocolates from grandma, which she'd receive each year. Grandma and Grandpa lovingly refer to Tamara as their star child, a nickname she loved. With each new niece and nephew, Tamara grew happier being the fun loving auntie she was. Fond memories come from her dressing up as princesses with her nieces at Disneyland, especially to visit with Cinderella and Tinkerbell, drawing together with both her nieces and nephews making jewelry, arts and craft painting, dancing, playing Skylanders video game, and just this August, acting like firefighters at the National Hall of Flame. Best of all was being with family at Encanto Park to enjoy the peaceful, water stream atmosphere in the downtown area. Tamara was best known for her compassionate spirit. She would often buy two of the same items, one for herself and the other to share with someone in need. ⁹ During a recent furniture hunting expedition with mom, Tamara was offered a queen beautiful wooden bed frame at no cost, if they knew someone that could use it, although they only went to obtain a shelf unit. Tamara graciously accepted the offer. When the two drove away, mom commented on not knowing what to do with the bed frame. Tamara's reply, which was often the case, was, "We'll find someone who needs it." At the beginning of a day, Tamara often said "Have a beautiful and blessed day. Love you bunches!" Near the end of the day, she'd say, "Rest with the angel's. Love you!" Now we collectively say to her, "Rest with the angel's. Love you!" Tamara is survived by her parents, Daniel and Elizabeth, siblings Jennifer, Adam (Sariah) five nieces and nephews, her father Mitch, her step mother Lisa, half siblings Aly, Christina and Nickolas, and a half niece and nephew, grandparents Roger and Judy, Dennis and Elva, Rick R. and Jack R. and a large extended family that loves and misses her along with Pumkin, her four-legged rambunctious cat and therapy companion of seven years. Tamara was predeceased by her great grandparents Kathleen, Eloisa, Sharon, George and Lupe, Solomon, and Sarah, great uncle George, grandparents Elissa and Al, Daniel, aunt Janice, and cousins Brian and Shane.
A funeral service will be conducted by Bishop Ruff Saturday, October 16th, 2021 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 14916 N. Sarival Ave, Surprise, AZ 85388. Viewing will be from 4pm to 5pm with a closed casket service following at 5pm.
Flowers or charitable donation in lieu of flowers to be given to a charity of Tamara's choice can be sent to Best Funeral Services 9380 West Peoria Ave, Peoria, AZ 85345.