Tamara Marie (Barber) Pawlowski, age 52, of Cheboygan finished a life of exemplary strength on October 5, 2018, following a courageous seven-year battle with ALS. Tammy was born on April 26, 1966 in Flint, the daughter of Joseph and Jeri-Lu (Bauers) Barber, and the family moved to Cheboygan when she was a child. She graduated from Cheboygan Catholic High School in 1984 and worked as a hairstylist for 25 years, most recently at The Cutting Edge Hair Salon. She married Joe on September 19, 1992 and together they raised three children.
Tammy loved animals, and was especially fond of horses. Her children shared that passion, and for many years Tammy was an assistant leader for 4H and CCYLP. She enjoyed spending time with her family, vacationing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Virginia, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee. She and Joe had special vacations in Cancun and Las Vegas, and Tammy and her son enjoyed a trip to New Mexico, where they went horseback riding in the mountains.
Her children enjoyed Tammy’s easygoing parenting style. They knew that if they were grounded, their punishment wouldn’t last long, because Tammy herself would much rather be out doing something fun with them than sitting at home. They learned to decipher her noncommittal “Probably” as a “Yes”, and that “We’ll see” was the code word for “No”.
Tammy was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and had a deep faith in God. She read daily devotions and prayed for others who were ill or struggling. A testament to her character is that even as her capabilities diminished incrementally, she realized that there were others who were suffering worse than she, and continued to state that she was blessed. She maintained hope for a cure for ALS, and educated others about the ravaging disease through social media posts. She wasn’t one to pity herself, and her favorite saying was, “Take two Tylenol and suck it up!”
Tammy is survived by her loving husband, Joe, who was her primary caregiver until her placement in a long-term care facility a year ago, her son Tyler, daughters Logan and Halli, her mother, Jeri-Lu, brother Mike (Chris) Barber of Cheboygan, sister Lisa St. Andrew of St. Ignace, sister Stacey (Mike) Walker of Gaylord, brother Joe (Molly) Barber of Milford, brother Shane (Dee) Barber, father-in-law Conrad Pawlowski, and sister-in-law Tami Ostwald, all of Cheboygan. She also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father, Joseph, nephew Zach Barber, and mother-in-law, Phyllis Pawlowski.
The family would like to thank the friends, family and volunteers who helped in a variety of ways throughout Tammy’s illness, as well as Dr. Kiel, her primary physician.
The funeral mass for Tammy will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Riggsville on Wednesday, October 10 at 11:00 AM with the family greeting friends one hour prior to the mass. Rev. Paul Megge will serve as celebrant and burial will take place at Sacred Heart Cemetery.
Tammy’s wish was that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be given to a charity of one’s choice, to a family living with ALS, or directed to Joe and their children. Arrangements are being handled by the Nordman-Christian Funeral Home.