Gardnerville mom a behind-the-scenes saint

Friends and family crowded into the Calvary Chapel in Gardnerville Saturday morning to mourn the death of Tamra Jean Dykes, a mother of four, who was killed Monday after a head-on collision on Tillman Lane.

Pastor Dan Steen spoke of Dykes' dedication to her family, friends and the church, and also shared some of his memories of her.

"I know the Tammy that would come into this church and drop off goodies and keep me as plump as I am," he said. "There wasn't a note, you just knew she had been there.

"She was just one of those little behind-the-scenes saints."

She was an active member of the Calvary Chapel and enjoyed being around people.

Her husband, Gary, and son, Benjamin, also spoke at the memorial, sharing anecdotes about their loved one's life and how her life touched so many people.

More than 200 people attended the memorial to pay tribute to their friend and her family.

The chapel was filled with a mixture of people who knew Tamra. Some knew her through church, others because of her four children and some were life-long friends.

"What she really liked, what she really enjoyed was to see other people succeed," Benjamin said.

"Mom never gave me a lot of advice, she showed it to me. Mom got us all pointed in the right direction."

Benjamin also spoke of her devotion to her religion.

"She didn't just talk the talk, she walked the walk," he said.

Gary talked a little about each of his children - Benjamin, Gary, Carah and Jenna - recalling memorable moments with his wife.

Their 12-year-old daughter, Jenna, was born on the Fourth of July. Tamra gave birth to her in their home.

"After she was born we went up to the third floor and we watched the fireworks," Gary said.

"I have this pretty big hole there in my heart - it's broken," Gary said. "I worry that I didn't tell her I loved her enough."

Marty Swisher, a teacher at Pau Wa Lu Middle School had both her son, Benjamin, and daughter, Carah, in speech classes.

"My memory of her was every time I saw her she had a smile on her face," he said.

Jim Braswell, a family friend, said, "Tammy was everything (the pastor) said: definitely interested in what others had to say."

breakout - A memorial fund has been set up. Donations can be sent to Faith Christian Academy, Wells Fargo Bank account No. 0436566913.


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