TAMARA LYNN BLUM JULY 15, 1961-OCT. 26, 2018
Tamara Lynn Blum, D.C., passed away on Oct. 26, 2018 from complications of peritoneal mesothelioma.
She was born in Independence, Mo., on July 15, 1961, to Ronald Joseph and Carol Ann (Ridgway) Blum. Her father was a marine and commercial pilot, and the family moved throughout the U.S. for his career, but she spent her high school years in Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.
She attended the University of Missouri, graduating with a degree in industrial engineering in 1984.
While in school, she worked at the campus plasma donor center as a phlebotomist, sticking donors with needles for their plasma donations. In walked Alan (Al) Bennett, whom she treated. She liked to describe it as ”love at first stick.” They married on Sept. 14, 1986.
During her time as an engineer, she hurt her back while bodysurfing and visited a chiropractor, where she fell in love with the art and science of chiropractic. It was then that she found her calling.
She fulfilled her academic prerequisites at night while working as an engineer during the day, and enrolled at Los Angeles College of Chiropractic in 1989. She took extended leave during her first term to care for her sister, a professional water skier, after she broke her neck in a skiing accident.
She returned and served on the student government legislative committee and for the Student American Chiropractic Association, traveling to Washington, D.C., to lobby for the profession. She graduated with honors in 1991.
After graduating, she associated at a few chiropractic clinics in Los Angeles, Calif., the hometown of her husband, but both decided to move away from the hustle and bustle of L.A.
In 1993, she accepted a position at Western States Chiropractic College in Portland. They put all their possessions in storage, and the couple began their Oregon life with their two dogs, tent camping at Crown Point RV Park in Corbett.
Reporting for her position at Western States, she was informed that the man she was going to replace would not be leaving his position after all. Searching for a place to land, they found a clinic for sale in Creswell, visited the area and jumped into the practice and community.
She was a talented healer, trusted by many in the Creswell community and far beyond. Patients came from as far as Washington, Coos Bay, Roseburg and other far-off communities to be graced by her healing touch.
She treated patients within a week both before and after giving birth to their daughter, Bailey Ann Bennett, on Sept. 23, 1998 – that’s how tough she was.
She was part of the Creswell Community, serving as Creswell Chamber co-president with The Creswell Chronicle Publisher Gerri O’Rourke and was an active member of the Creswell Kiwanis Club for many years. She would take charge on projects, and made sure they were done in the most efficient manner, true to her engineering background.
Though not religious herself, she was an enthusiastic supporter of her husband’s Jewish faith, and of her daughter’s Jewish education and Bat Mitzvah.
She was the life of the party, and has been described as a ”force of nature.” She was the biggest fan of her husband’s band, the Fret Boys, and could be seen at their gigs dancing, visiting and firing up the crowd.
She was preceded in death by her father; her brother Brent; and leaves behind her husband, daughter and mother; brother, Brad; sister, Shellie; and Shellie’s twin children, Dashiel and Josie.
The outpouring of love and support before her passing has been humbling, overwhelming and befitting the life she led, both personally and professionally. As per her wishes, a celebration of life, featuring the Fret Boys, will happen at a later date.
Thanks to our work family of Rachel Magnuson and Chelsea Pisani, the staff at the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute, McKenzie Willamette hospital, her beloved Madrinas and many, many dear friends.
She loved life. She loved people. She will be missed greatly, and by many. In her memory, do something to make someone else’s life better.