Tammy Lou Clark, age 59, passed on Monday, August 23rd, 2021 in her home in Orangevale, CA. Born in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania on November 2, 1961 to James Richard Clark and Miriam Louise Bleakney Clark, she graduated in 1979 from Riverside High School before moving to Indiana, Texas, and finally to Sacramento, California, where she spent her last 30+ years. She met the love of her life, Richard Feliz, shortly after her arrival at a birthday party. He drove her home, and they lived a full, happy 29 years together before Richard’s (Rick, as she called him) passing on July 10, 2020 at age 72. They shared their love of reading, movies, music, nature, and animals-- including the ones they called family: one Shih-Tzu, Reggie, and one big pitbull mix named Root Beer, both of whom were spoiled rotten until they preceded Tammy in death.
Tammy worked at the Golden Valley Charter School in Orangevale, CA for 20 years, and was promoted to the role of full time teacher; she was expected to begin her position on the day of her passing. Her co-workers and friends describe her as a playful companion and a light-filled presence to the children she worked with, and could often be spotted side-by-side with them in the sandbox. She loved her work and the children she devoted herself to, and they loved her in turn. As a child, she was a member of First Christian Church in Ellwood City, PA, and spent her summers at Deep Valley Camp surrounded by friends. As an adult, Tammy was a dedicated member of the Citrus Heights United Methodist Church, and congregants describe her as a backbone of the community.
Tammy was known for her loyal, heartfelt acts of kindness, dropping frequent cards and gifts on the doorsteps of her friends, and diligently keeping note of birthdays and sending cards to her many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. Her closest, chosen family describe her love as simple in its nature-- straightforward in its approach, and never speaking a word of love without a deed to accompany it. She kept herself open and gave herself relentlessly to her community, her friends, and to any stray that came along. Her community feels a tremendous void where she has left, and are asking-- in true Tammy fashion-- how they can love those around them as she loved them.
Tammy is survived by two sisters, Debbie Clark Graham and Melanie Clark Pensy; four nieces, April Autrand, Devon Graham, Mallory Graham, and Casey Reilly; three nephews, Regis Graham, Cody Rape, and Joshua Whiteside; as well as four great-nieces and six great-nephews. Family, chosen family, community, neighbors, co-workers, and friends gathered in a friend’s backyard for a small gathering in celebration of Tammy’s life over Labor Day weekend. While Tammy made and loved her home in California, she wished to return one day to the woods of Pennsylvania to rest among the trees she loved so well and by the lake she and her sisters swam in as children. Her remains will be lovingly carried there by her niece.
In honor of Tammy’s great love of reading and the public library, in lieu of flowers, please donate to her favorite branch, The Fair Oaks Public Library in Fair Oaks, CA at https://saclibrary.librarygiving.org/ in her name.