Johnson, a long-time resident of the Silver Lake community
of Los Angeles, passed away surrounded by her family on
December 23, 2014, several months after being diagnosed
with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou
Gehrig’s Disease). At the time of her passing, she
was living with her brother and sister-in-law, Brett and
Lygia Johnson, in Highland, Utah.
Tamara was born March 22, 1949 to Russell Tingey and Louise
Haynie Johnson in St. Paul, Minnesota. She spent her childhood
and youth in Salinas, California and in Hillsborough, on
the San Francisco Peninsula, and graduated from Burlingame
High School in 1967. Tamara spent years working and traveling
to France, Italy, and Greece, and studied dance in U.S.
and international studios. She began her college studies
at San Jose State University and completed her BA in philosophy
and dance at San Francisco State University. She later moved
to Southern California and taught at Solano Avenue School
in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 14 years.
She was resourceful and enterprising in sharing her love
of the arts with her students. Under her guidance and direction
they learned the music, choreography, and costumes from
a range of international cultures. She also invited local
professionals into her classroom to teach art and design.
Tamara loved her students. She retired from LAUSD in June
of this year.
Tamara is survived by her mother, Louise Johnson, and her
three brothers and their wives: Scott and Margaret, Rand
and Lynn, and Brett and Lygia. She was preceded in death
by her father, Russell Tingey Johnson. Many nieces and nephews
and grand nieces and nephews fondly refer to her as “Aunt
Tamale.” She is also survived by her beloved Jack
Russell Terrier, Violette.
The family wishes to thank Valeo Home Health and Hospice
for their kind and compassionate care.
Memorial services will be held Monday, December 29, 2014,
at 11:00 a.m. at the Highland 25th LDS Ward Chapel, 5335
West 11200 North, Highland, Utah. Family will receive friends
from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. prior to services. Interment will
be at East Lawn Memorial Hills Cemetery in Provo.