Murder victim, wonderful friend, amazing mom

Published 10:39 am Saturday, June 19, 2010

On behalf of her friends and family, we would like to extend our thanks to the many community members, both friends and strangers, who have lifted up our friend, Tammy, her children, parents, and extended family in prayer during this tragic time.

Your thoughts and prayers are much appreciated.

As Tammy’s friends, we want to ensure that her memory lives on. We want to share a small bit of who she was so people can see her for the incredible person that we knew and not just a faceless victim of a horrible crime.

The real story is of Tammy and how she lived her life — not how she died.

We first met Tammy when she moved here during our sixth-grade year in 1984 with her parents, Linda and Joe. She was always kind, had a smile for everyone and was just great fun to be with.

As the years went by, we shared many, many wonderful times and memories with her. We were all proud members of the Franklin High School Bronco Band or auxiliary units, and shared four great band trips together.

In 1990, we graduated from high school together, but our friendships continued with Tammy through college and into adulthood.

It is truly a rare gift to have friendships that can withstand the test of time and distance, and be even stronger 20 years later. It is a testament to the kind of friend that she was, that we were able to sustain and grow these friendships, even as our lives moved in different directions.

No matter how much time would pass before we were together again, we picked up right where we left off, and were transported in time to those carefree days of high school.

In recent years, we have grown closer still, celebrating, supporting, sharing and loving each other. Even in this busy world, with conflicting agendas, we made time for each other, even if just to chat, text, talk or have lunch. We were blessed beyond imagining to call her “friend.”

Tammy was, first and foremost, a loving mother to her two children, Jessica and Jonathan. There was nothing more important to her than their happiness and safety. You could see the love and pride in her eyes every time she talked about them.

Tammy was involved in all of heir activities and loved to share their accomplishments with her family and friends. She ranks as one of the most devoted mothers any of us have been fortunate enough to know.

Tammy was a chemist by trade, having a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Radford University, and was employed as a senior MSDS author for 3E Corp.

In addition to her career, Tammy was a law student, with a focus on environmental law.

She was a loving daughter to her parents and loved being with her extended family, including her courageous uncle, Mike Wise.

Tammy was an amazing mother and a loyal, intelligent, supportive, loving, fun, hard-working and courageous woman. These words do not begin to describe what a wonderful woman she was.

Tammy was our hero. She is already and will continue to be missed beyond belief.

We implore any of you who may be in a similar situation to seek help immediately. Tammy was an intelligent woman who did everything she knew how to do to protect herself and her children.

Unfortunately, the system is not set up to prevent these types of crimes as much as it is to mete out punishment after the fact. In doing all that she could to protect her children, Tammy became a true hero in a time when our society uses the term so loosely.

Tammy leaves a legacy for her children of love, loyalty, friendship and family. We will keep her memory alive and help her children to know what an amazing woman their mother was. Our lives are truly richer for having known her.