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Tara Harrison Family Trust
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Life Story / Obituary
Although she was taken from her loved ones too soon, Tara Harrison made a significant impact in the lives of all who were near. She was born to nurture and care for others, and she was selfless when it came to the ones she loved. It was easy to see that Tara’s pride and joy was her beloved daughter, and she was there to support and encourage her in everything she did. Tara had a big personality, yet a quiet and gentle spirit that was truly beautiful.
Life in America during the 1970s was certainly very colorful. Technology was continuing to advance, and social causes and activism challenged the way our nation had always been. The Brady Bunch introduced us to the blended family, and bands like Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and Pink Floyd were among the threads of the culture fabric during this time. It was on September 16, 1978, that Tara was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Gregg loved her so much he adopted her as a toddler, and her mother, Gwendolyn, was so thankful to have been blessed with Tara. The oldest of four, she was raised alongside her sisters, Melissa, Teresa, and Jessica, and it has been said that she liked to harass her sisters. Later, Tara’s step-siblings, Joshua and Jeff, also enriched her life.
In many ways Tara was a young girl of her generation. Although she sure picked on her sisters, she was also like a mother figure to them. Tara was very active in their lives and devoted much of her time and attention to taking care of them. Tara was the one who took them to get their hair done, eye brows waxed, and other beauty treatments for the first time. She loved fashion and even did some modeling herself. As a student Tara attended local schools including Walkerville High School where she played on the basketball team. From there she took some classes at Grand Valley State University and eventually did some work as a realtor.
It was easy to see that the roles Tara treasured most were those of mother and wife. Her daughter, Brianna, meant the world to her, and she wanted her to have the very best of everything. Tara made sure Brianna had music lessons, was there for every performance while she was in marching band, cheered her on in water polo, and attended every play she performed in as well. Tara supported her daughter in everything she did, and she came alongside Brianna to help her find where she could blossom. Tara's life was forever changed when she met Bill at work, and it didn't take them long to find their spark. They did so many things together, tennis and golf among them, as well as a trip to the Caribbean where they found the spot for a fairy tale wedding.
There was never anything of greater importance to Tara than simply being around other people, her sisters in particular. She went with her sisters to New Orleans as her grandfather had a home there. Tara enjoyed sailing with him there and, although she didn’t want much to do with the sailing part, she loved being on the boat. They also golfed once in a while which was less about golf and more about being together as Tara’s grandpa was truly a father figure in her life. Tara also loved to entertain. She volunteered to host every party or gathering including her sisters’ baby showers, her niece’s first birthday party, and so many more.
Tara had a bit of a rebel side as well and in time she convinced her sisters to do something they never though they’d do; get tattooed together. Tara always found thoughtful ways to make her family feel special, despite having limited means. She put great thought and effort into getting them gifts she knew they’d never receive from anyone else. Tara loved reminding her nieces and nephews that she was their “favorite aunt,” asking only for an “Aunt T. hug” in return.
There were so many things that kept Tara busy over the years. She enjoyed going to the horse races, including wearing the fancy hat, especially the time she attended the Preakness. She regularly worked out with friends, was fiercely loyal, and defended the ones she loved. Tara was forever trying to organize any activity to bring people together. Many such nights were spent playing games like Cards Against Humanity. She was always listening to something on her phone, and when it came to television, realty shows such as Real Housewives and Impractical Jokers were among her favorites.
All who knew Tara Harrison would agree that she was one of the strongest, most determined, and resilient people one could ever meet. She had many challenges to overcome, but her focus was always on what she could do for others. Tara’s love for her family and friends ran deep, and she accomplished so much of which to be proud. Deeply loved, Tara will be forever missed.
Tara Harrison, Age 41, died on January 28, 2020. Tara was preceded in death by her grandmother, Urte Daudert, and her grandfather, Charles Daudert. Surviving are her husband, Bill; daughter: Brianna Autry; parents: Gregg Weakley & Gwendolyn (Eric) Conarton; grandparents: Richard (Kathleen) Weakley and Carol Daudert; siblings: Melissa (Joaquin) Solis; Teresa (Joseph) Aulisio; and Jessica (Brian) Hurst; step-siblings: Joshua (Jessica) Conarton and Jeff Conarton; and many nieces and nephews. Cremation has taken place. Services will be held on Monday (FEB 3) at 11 a.m. at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 269-375-2900. A reception with food and refreshments will follow in the Life Story Center. Visit Tara’s personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guestbook.