She was who she was …

June 26, Tammy Norris Yearty, age 49, was laid to rest. Survived by her children, daughter, Ellie Yearty, son Cam Yearty, her mother, Sue Marie McClendon, and grandchildren, Rhett and Lettie Jewell Bohannon, Tammy left behind a multitude of friends.

A 1989 graduate of Bleckley County High School, Tammy lived her life fully and enjoyed being the owner and operator of Tammy’s Cleaning Service.

Though she was a year younger than me, we really didn’t know each other, or travel in the ‘same circles of friends.’ Growing up in a small town, though, you know everyone’s name, and have had one or two conversations with them during your lifetime.

In the last year, as a result of this website and Facebook, Tammy and I had several chats on the social media app’s instant messenger.

During those chats, I discovered in Tammy a heart as big as the state of Texas and a personality that matched no other. Independent, bluntly honest, compassionate, passionate, and a fierce advocate for her family, friends, and ’underdogs,’ Tammy stood her ground -even during the times she said when the ground would crumble or sink beneath her. She trusted God she said no matter what even though she felt like she was not deserving.

The perseverance she had she told me came from experience, but God had a lot to do with it.

When people heard about her death due to illness, many started posting things as we normally do when such happens.

I learned from one that Tammy cleaned her house on a regular basis, but their relationship went beyond that. They talked about Jesus, scriptures, prayed, and shared while Tammy was there. Then there were others who talked about Tammy’s friendship, her adventurous spirit, road trips, raising babies, school, and more. Everyone had a Tammy story.

Rick Knight, a radio announcer, shared publicly on Facebook his thoughts on Tammy. I sent him a message asking if I could use it. I think he best describes her.

“I met Tammy at the Elko Boggin’ after becoming the PA announcer back in 1996. She was one of the drivers and a top competitor in the male-dominated sport where she was known as, ‘Dirty Yearty.’ She graciously filled in for me on the PA when I was unable to do a race.

She had so many friends that loved and adored her as she did them and they each have at least one good Tammy story.

She was a real salt of the earth type and a true, genuine Bleckley County girl. Heck, to me, she was Bleckley County, and always will be!

Tammy and I shared an affection for discarded items or better known as junk. It didn’t matter what someone had thrown away, she could make it into a real treasure.

She had such a huge heart and a giving soul. She often opened her home up to those fleeing the coast to get away from hurricanes or to individuals that were down on their luck and in need of a hot meal and place to stay a night or two.

I used to think that a man and woman couldn’t be just friends without hanky-panky eventually being involved. Well, Tammy Yearty proved me wrong on that!

There was no bull when it came to her. If she told you something she meant every word of it.

I don’t know anyone that loved their kids and grand kids more than Tammy Yearty.

This is really hard to wrap my mind around right now as I know it is for a lot of folks.

Life won’t be the same without her.” (Rick Knight)

I don’t believe there is a better way to end this than by sharing what Tammy wrote early in May. “You can literally wake up one day, and no longer know life as you knew it. If there has been one positive from COVID-19, I hope it continues to remind folks to be humble and kind… I try to be kind for I know what the opposite feels like. “

She continued, “Fear of the unknown can definitely make one on edge. Be kind… Perfection ain’t a thang … Let’s eat some ole’ dirty stew.”