OBITUARY

Tammy Lynn Moyes

December 18, 1968April 30, 2021
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Tammy Lynn Moyes, age 52, of Salem, Oregon passed away on Friday, April 30, 2021. Tammy was born December 18, 1968 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Tammy was married to Howard Moyes on June 5, 1988 in Escondido, California. They remained happily married and best friends until her passing. They have two children, Jonathan (30) and Joshua (23).

A 2007 graduate of Flagler College, Tammy received her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education.

Tammy was an elementary school teacher for the past 15 years. Most recently she taught Kindergarten at Harritt Elementary School in Salem, Oregon. Prior to that she taught for 10 years in Tallahassee, Florida.

In addition to her husband and two children, Tammy is survived by her mother, Georgia Koepp; sister, Kathy Griffin; brother, Scott Hansen; and niece, Marilyn Whitney.

A celebration of Tammy's life will be held Sunday, May 16, 2021 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at Howell, Edwards, Doerksen with Rigdon-Ransom Funeral Directors,1350 Commercial Street SE, Salem, OR 97302.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.hed-fh.com for the Moyes family.

Services

  • Celebration of Tammy's Life

    Sunday, May 16, 2021

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Memories

Tammy Lynn Moyes

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Catriona McCracken

May 4, 2021

I did not have the honor and privilege of meeting Tammy in person but I felt I knew a kindred spirit from Howard's descriptions of their love of travel, of their shared pride in their sons, and of their plans for future adventures. While Tammy was not able to make that last bucket list Safari trip I am quite sure that the anticipation of it kept her going that bit longer and gave her more time with her three, favorite men and her niece. You are all in our thoughts at this sadest of times. Be there for each other, but also allow each other space to grieve each at your own pace, and cherish the memories of happier times for they will bear you up and carry you on into the future.

Tami Smisek

May 3, 2021

Tammy had a laugh that could be heard down the hallway at school. When she laughed you smiled. ❤️ You new it was her. She laughed a lot and enjoyed her job.

Biography

Tammy Lynn Moyes (Pinkerton), daughter of Johnny and Georgia Sue Pinkerton, was born on December 18, 1968 in Phoenix, Arizona. She has an older sister, Kathy, and a younger brother, Scott. While they were children, Kathy was very tall and thin and was often referred to by Tammy as a giraffe. Since Tammy was always shorter and not quite as thin, Kathy referred to Tammy as an elephant. Elephants, especially pink elephants, have been Tammy's favorite animal every since.

Tammy's parents divorced when she was in grade school. Her mother then moved with the two girls to the San Diego area. Tammy had difficulty reading in grade school for several years. In the 4th or 5th grade, Tammy was fortunate to have a teacher who spent extra time with her and helped her overcome her reading problems. Ever since that time, Tammy wanted to be a teacher so she could help others succeed.

While she was a teenager, Tammy was very involved in Job's Daughters, which is a Masonic-affiliated youth organization for girls and young women ages 10-20. Tammy loved dressing up in ball gowns for various Job's Daughters events, a passion she retained for the rest of her life. As an adult, Tammy continued her involvement in Job's Daughters and served as the Guardian for the Bethel in Salem, Oregon.

In the summer of 1985, Tammy and her family happened to stop by a local Round Table Pizza for dinner. Her glowing smile, sparkling blue eyes, and gorgeous figure caught the eye of one of the restaurant managers that fateful evening. Shortly thereafter, Tammy and Howard Moyes would be inseparable.

Howard and Tammy's first date took place on July 31, 1985. They went to the movies and saw Back to the Future. A three-year courtship ensued. Tammy and Howard were married on June 5, 1988 in Escondido, California. Tammy was 19 and Howard had just turned 21. They remained happily married and best friends until her passing on April 30, 2021.

During their first two years of marriage, Tammy worked a variety of minimum wage jobs. These included fast-food restaurants, an ice-cream parlor (they had great ice cream!), and a clerk at a drive-up film-processing hut (this was back in the olden days before cell phones when people had to use film and cameras....). Howard worked as a bank teller and accounting assistant during the day and attended junior college Monday through Thursday evenings.

On August 14, 1990, Tammy and Howard were blessed with their first child, Jonathan Howard Moyes. Tammy and Howard couldn't afford day care and they had no family to help watch Jonathan while they worked. In order to get by, Tammy worked full time during the days and Howard worked full time in the evenings (after Tammy got home).

After completing two years of coursework at Palomar College, Howard was accepted into the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He attended UCSD during the day and worked full time in the evenings. Tammy worked part time around Howard's schedule. Somehow this arrangement worked. Tammy and Howard were able to afford a small apartment, food and other necessities for the next two years until Howard graduated in June 1993.

Up until this time, Howard had always lived in San Diego and Tammy had spent most of her life there. Things were definitely going to change.

In July 1993, Tammy, Howard and Jonathan loaded just about everything they owned (which wasn't much) into their 10-year-old Chevy Cavalier station wagon and spent three weeks traveling from California to Maryland, often sleeping overnight in campgrounds along the way. During their trip, they stopped by Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks, as well as several other landmarks and tourist attractions. It was a very fun trip (except for when the car broke down for a few days in Champagne, Illinois) and the travel bug was starting to take hold.

Between August 1993 and June 1995, Tammy, Howard and Jonathan lived in College Park, Maryland while Howard attended graduate school at the University of Maryland. Their first winter there, a "once-in-a-century" winter storm hit the area that left several inches of ice on the roads for more than a week and brought the wind chill down to minus 20 degrees. They definitely weren't in San Diego anymore! To add just a bit more misery to the situation, the heater in their car didn't work (who needs a heater in San Diego?) and never did work the two years they lived in Maryland.

Living in the Washington, DC area for a couple of years (College Park is inside the DC "beltway") provided several memorable and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. The most unique experience was attending the White House Easter Celebrations in 1994 and 1995. Tammy, Howard and Jonathan actually got to roll Easter eggs on the White House lawn and see President Clinton in person. They each also got to keep a souvenir White House Easter Egg with the signatures of the President, the First Lady and Socks, the First Cat. Copies of these same eggs are displayed in the Smithsonian American History Museum in Washington, DC. Tammy also joined the University of Maryland Cavalry, which allowed her to dress up and ride horses, two of her favorite things.

Upon graduation from the University of Maryland in June 1995, Howard accepted a job with the Council of State Governments in Lexington, Kentucky. The Moyes's hit the road again, but at least this time they could afford a rental truck.... They lived in the Lexington area for the next five years.

While in Lexington Tammy started taking classes at nearby Midway College. Her studies got put on hold in 1997, however, when Tammy and Howard were blessed with their second child, Joshua Allen Moyes. Howard's job allowed him to travel all over the world, and to take Tammy with him to several exotic locales. Wanderlust had taken hold of the Moyes family and it wouldn't let up.

Howard's travel schedule, in addition to his teaching college classes in the evenings, started to put a strain on the relationship. Tammy was often left home to care for the kids and the house while Howard stayed in five-star hotels in places such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Quebec and Hawaii and hung out with governors, legislators and foreign dignitaries. Howard loved his job but he loved his family much more. By July 2000 it was time for a change.

The family moved to Orlando, Florida where Howard accepted a job as an executive with a local nonprofit organization. Tammy found a job as an office manager for a small local company and enjoyed it immensely. The family loved living in Orlando and they bought annual passes to Disney, Universal Studios and the local water parks. There was always something fun to do, and the weather allowed year-round outdoor activities.

After just two years in Orlando, Howard was offered a job with the Florida Department of Revenue in Tallahassee that was "too good to pass up." So, once again, the Moyes's were on the move. The family lived in Tallahassee for 13 years (from 2002 to 2015). For the first few years Tammy worked in a local preschool. She loved working with young children, and the kids and their parents were always grateful for Tammy's dedication, commitment and willingness to go the extra mile. Tammy also went back to school to finish her bachelor's degree in teaching. She graduated from Flagler College in May 2007. During this period Jonathan graduated high school and began his college studies at Florida Atlantic University.

Upon graduation Tammy was hired to teach Kindergarten at Ruediger Elementary School in Tallahassee. Although apprehensive at first, Tammy soon realized she was born to teach Kindergarten. It wasn't long before her peers were asking for her "secrets" on how she managed a classroom of 30 Kindergartners so effectively, and seemingly so effortlessly. Parents were also making special requests of the principal to have their son/daughter in Tammy's classroom when it was their time to start school. Tammy was diagnosed with stage 2b melanoma in 2011. The tumor and several lymph nodes were removed and Tammy remained cancer free for the next 10 years. Joshua graduated high school in June 2015, which coincided with even more changes for Tammy and the Moyes family.

As "empty nesters" Tammy and Howard made one last move - this time to Salem, Oregon. Tammy accepted a Kindergarten teacher position at Harritt Elementary in Salem. While in Salem Tammy and Howard became licensed foster parents and they had the opportunity to share their loving home with several children.

Tammy loved every minute of her time at Harritt, and many of her colleagues became cherished friends. Unfortunately, due to a recurrence of her cancer, Tammy had to stop teaching in February 2020. It was one of the saddest decisions she ever had to make. Tammy and her doctors did everything they could to prevent her melanoma from metastasizing, including surgery, chemo therapy, immuno therapy, and radiation therapy. Recurrent melanoma is extremely difficult to cure under the best of circumstances. Unfortunately, Tammy's melanoma was extremely aggressive and resistant to treatment. It proved fatal in just 14 months.

Tammy was a kind, caring individual with an infectious smile and a heart of gold. She always gave 100% at everything she did, and there's nothing she wouldn't do for her family, a friend, or one of her students. She was a loving wife, devoted mother and best friend. Although she passed away at the untimely age of 52, she made the world a better place and left an enduring legacy of love and happy memories for her friends and loved ones. Tammy is survived by her husband, Howard, and two sons, Jonathan and Joshua.

Addendum:

A few more details about Tammy and her interests. First, she LOVED to travel. Tammy visited every state, in addition to the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She also traveled to France, England (twice), Scotland, the Netherlands (twice), Germany (twice), Austria, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Australia, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Belgium, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Macao, Jamaica, Barbados, St. Martin, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Canada, and Mexico (several times). Tammy's scheduled trips in 2019-2021 to Spain, Morocco, Peru, Kenya, Dubai and Abu Dhabi were cancelled due to COVID.

Tammy also loved animals. Although elephants were by far her favorite, she also loved dogs, horses, giraffes, hippos, rhinos, and bears. Tammy had annual passes for several zoos and would go to the zoo as often as possible.

Favorite movies: Gone with the Wind, The Sound of Music, Mama Mia, Wizard of Oz, Grease, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Coal Miner's Daughter, Mannequin, Harry Potter, and Back to the Future.

Favorite painter: Thomas Kinkade.

Favorite TV shows: North and South, America's Next Top Model, Project Runway, Say Yes to the Dress, America's Got Talent, and the Masked Singer.

Favorite musical artists: Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Abba, America, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey.

Favorite books: Harry Potter series, Angels and Demons series, Dr. Seuss books, romance books.

Favorite musicals and plays: Wicked, Cats, Beauty and the Beast, and the Lion King.

Favorite foods: Snow crab, salmon, spaghetti, caramel apples, cola Slurpees, chocolate malt crunch ice cream, and frozen bananas.

Favorite activities: Traveling (learning about different cultures and customs), skiing, shopping (especially while traveling - we had to buy an extra suitcase to bring stuff back from a trip more than once...), spending time with friends and family, and lounging by the pool or beach in a covered cabana with a cold (non-alcoholic) drink and a good book or podcast.

Childrens' nicknames: Buddy (Jonathan) and Monkey (Joshua).

Strengths: Endless compassion, always smiling, willing to help anyone with anything, maintaining a positive attitude no matter how difficult things were, and solving problems. The best wife and mother anyone could hope for.

Vices: Never smoked, drank alcohol or used drugs. Never learned how to say no.

If you would like to make a donation in memory of Tammy, please consider supporting the Melanoma Research Alliance: https://www.cancer.org/our-partners/melanoma-research-alliance.html or the Oregon Zoo: https://www.oregonzoo.org/support-animal-care-your-zoo.