Our dear sweet Tami, of Merced, California, passed away at 4:33 pm on 12/27/19 with family near her side.Her battle started with biliary cancer, and it ended with an infection that was too painful and overpowering to handle in her weakened state. Tami was born in Merced, CA on her sister Jorene’s birthday on 10/06/60 to Margaret and Charles Bell. Charles was in the Air Force, which induced some moving in her early years to both Riverside, CA and Marquette, MI before returning to complete her elementary & junior high school at Weaver, and senior high school education in Merced, graduating as a Bear in 1978. She later attended Merced Junior College earning her AA. Tami first learned the insurance business working alongside her dear mom, Margaret, at Farmers Insurance, but then moved on to Fleutch & Busby Insurance in downtown Merced. Tami was influenced early in life by God and often sought His advice in reflecting on the beauty of His creation, usually Carmel. Tami dated in high school and after, but fate intervened in late 1985 when she met the man who held her hand, holding on for dear life, and danced life’s convoluted, mysterious, and wonderful dance for the next 34 years. Mark and Tami had their first date Christmas week of 1985. He proposed on Christmas of 1986, which led to marriage on the 27th of June of 1987. Tami moved into Mark’s house in Orinda, CA, where she turned it into a home. Tami worked as an aesthetician and make-up artist for many companies in the Bay Area covering much of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Francisco, and Marin counties. She loved animals, and her first dog together with Mark was Zhita the Wonderdog. Her next critter defined much of her life. Ryne was born in February of 1990, and she was almost lost as complications were identified and resolved. The US Navy moved the young family to Great Lakes, IL where she created a new home in Libertyville. Her second son, Cale was born in nearby Lake Bluff, IL but career moved them again to St Joseph, MI, and built and created home number three. It was here that she received a daughter to raise with her 2 boys. At each destination Tami looked for a home for her faith, and her children would know as well they had a creator. She loved family and visited them when she could. She was loved in return. Career once again shifted as Tami and her family moved back to Merced with Niki less than 3 months old. Tami loved fitness activities and outdoor sports and much of her joy came in moments with the “gym girls” as well as family moments in boating, skiing, and the like. Tami was passionate about her love for Christ and cherished her time in coffee break and her greatest joys came from the triumph in prayer in delivering those she loved dearly. Tami loved travel, and was able to visit many of the major cities of America and many foreign nations including Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, China, Aruba, Bermuda, Antigua, Bahama, France, England, Monaco, Italy, Spain, Canada, and Costa Rica. Tami was proud of her children and was excited for every one of their triumphs, especially in service. She loved her time working with Niki at Helen & Louise, and she enjoyed her time at Leighton’s Jewelry as well. A horrific accident to Ryne defined a large portion of the last 10 years for Tami and it took a toll on her, but still she loved greatly, showing always her fierce beauty inside and out. This cancer took her away from so much of what she loved, but much is found in every journey. She fought hard and with dignity, and always more beautiful to her loved ones than to herself. She is the most beautiful woman in every way possible to Mark and will be dearly missed. Tamara is survived by her husband Mark, and their children Ryne, Cale, and Niki, her mother Margaret, sister Jorene, brother Garry, aunt Nita, uncle Mike, niece’s Traci and Priscilla, nephew Brandon, and many extended spouses and cousins and Oregon & Michigan family that loved her deeply. She was preceded in death by her beloved father Charles Bell.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, January 4, 2020 at Yosemite Church located at 2230 E. Yosemite Avenue in Merced, CA. Burial will be at 2:30 pm on Thursday, January 9, 2020 at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery located at 32053 W. McCabe Road in Santa Nella, CA. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made in Tami's memory To: New Beginnings Animal Rescue, P.O. Box 1045 in Winton, CA 95388
I Am Free
I am following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard him call,
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
to laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I found that peace at the close of day.
If my parting has left a void,
then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with time of sorrow,
I wish for you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savored much,
Good family, friends, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief.
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me.
God wanted me now, he set me free.
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