A beloved daughter, mother, wife, and sister, Tamara Spilka-Pope left this world on the morning of July 20, 2021, after a relatively short but determined battle with an advanced case of cancer that, unfortunately, was too strong to overcome. She was a resident of Allendale, NJ where she lived with her husband, Richard (Dick) Pope. Tammy leaves behind a sister and brother-in-law, Denise (Dee) and David Pelligrini of Eads, TN, four beautiful children – Stephen Spilka of Miami Beach, FL; Christine Spilka of Geneva, Switzerland; Marc Spilka of Portland, OR; Caroline Hill of Nashville, TN; and three stepchildren – Sean Pope of Los Angeles, CA; Ryan Pope and spouse Erin of Fitchburg, MA; and Lauren Pope of Quincy, MA.
Born in Cleveland, OH on December 22, 1962, to Monica Garran Fuhrman and the late Harry K. Fuhrman. Tammy spent much of her childhood in the suburbs around Cleveland, OH, as well as a few years living in Ann Arbor, MI. She attended Avon Lake High School where she played sports and was a member of the cheer squad, and then Miami of Ohio University where she played tennis and studied business. She loved equestrian life and riding horses. However, it was her love of traveling and skiing that landed her a position as a ski guide in the French Alps for a year abroad during University. After graduating, she worked in the retail industry in New York City and enjoyed the arts, Broadway plays, and the social life the City had to offer.
Tammy eventually settled down in the suburbs of northern New Jersey (Ramsey, and then Ridgewood), where she raised her four children. She remained in the general vicinity after her children went to college and started working on their own. She loved her children above all else and could never give up being a “MOM.” It was here in New Jersey that she also met and fell in love with Richard (Dick) Pope and when they were married, she added three more children to her family. It was a true love born out of an online dating relationship.
Tammy loved painting, playing the guitar, writing, and having lively political discussions amongst friends. She was an animal lover who had cats (Myles and Marti), wanted dogs, and would have settled for both.
A memorial mass will be held in her honor at the Church of the Guardian Angel on Monday July 26, 2021 at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations in her honor can be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Memphis, TN.
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