Tonasket woman dies in motorcycle accident

Tammy Clark fondly remembered by close friends, community

“She was a dedicated wife and mother, very in love with her husband and proud of her sons. Her smile always lit up the room and she was always smiling.”

Cristina Del Rosario, Co-worker
Family Health Center

MOLSON – Tonasket resident Tammy Clark, 45, was killed Wednesday, Aug. 10, when the motorcycle she was riding with her husband, Steve Clark, collided with a deer. The accident occurred around 7:30 p.m. on Chesaw Road just east of Molson Road. The Clarks were both transported to North Valley Hospital, where Tammy Clark was pronounced deceased. Steve Clark was airlifted to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, where his injuries were treated for several days before he was able to return home to Tonasket.

Tammy Clark
Tammy Clark

According to Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers, the Clarks were west bound on Chesaw Road from Havillah Road when the deer ran out in to the road. Clark told Rogers he slid with the motorcycle for a number of feet before realizing his wife was no longer with him and apparently had been knocked off the motorcycle at the point of impact. Clark told the sheriff he was able to crawl to his wife and wait for help.

The Clarks moved to Tonasket seven years ago from Lake Stevens, where their son Andrew Clark resides with his wife.

Their son Brandon Clark lives in Tonasket with his wife Felicia and their seven-month-old daughter Kennedy.

Tammy Clark was employed in billing at Family Health Center at the time of her death, after working in admitting at NVH.

Co worker Cristina Del Rosario described Clark as an amazingly positive and spiritual woman who always led by example.

“She was a dedicated wife and mother, very in love with her husband and proud of her sons,” said Del Rosario, adding that Clark was a first-time grandmother. “Her smile always lit up the room, and she was always smiling. She always had words of encouragement, and never spoke ill of anyone. Tammy was a beam of light in an ever dark world who took her work seriously. She was loving, kind, joyful and dedicated. She was a flower, one without thorns. Bright, soft and sweet.”

The Clarks attended the Four Square Church in Tonasket, where their son Brandon plays drums and Steve and Tammy served as youth ministers for a few years before Tammy began doing women’s ministry a couple of years ago. Pastor George Conkle and his wife Julie were close friends.

“I just don’t know how to describe her without crying,” said Julie Conkle. “She was one of those people who would seek people out and ask how they were doing. If you walked into her home you would need for nothing. She had a smile that would light up your face, and she was not afraid to share her faith. That was first and foremost in her life,” said Conkle. “She shared with anyone who would listen. If someone was suffering, she would ask to pray with them. She was truly an ambassador for the faith.”

Conkle went on to describe Clark as an ‘outdoors girl’ who loved gardening and swimming, but was also a “girlie girl.”

“She loved to dress up and fix herself up. She liked things pretty. When we had women functions, everything was girly-girly,” said Conkle. “She kept her yard and house immaculate and could have been an interior designer.”

Conkle said when she was decorating her own home, she invited Clark over to help with the details.

Conkle said a big gathering held at the Clarks home on Sunday, August 7 celebrated the dedication of the Clarks’ granddaughter Kennedy.

“They just dedicated her (Kennedy) on Sunday, and I video-taped it, so Kennedy will always have the video of her grandmother saying a blessing over her. She so loved being a grandma, and was so excited about that.”

“Tammy loved her family with veracity,” said Billie Attwood, who was in a bible study group with Clark. “She was a woman of great faith, she loved her savior Jesus Christ. She always smiled and gave great hugs. My heart goes out to Steve and the boys and to their families.”

“She was loved by all and very strong in her faith,” said Payge Fries.

Laura Knowlton remembered meeting Clark when she first moved to town, and how taken she was by Clark’s “bold laugh” and “caring heart.” Posting on Clark’s Facebook page, Knowlton reminisced about Clark’s faith and other shining qualities.

“Your love for Jesus made you even more stunning,” Knowlton wrote, “You were so beautiful. You were transparent and you loved deeply. You loved your family so much, and those boys of yours were your pride and joy.”

Describing Clark as a “prayer warrior,” Knowlton said she didn’t recall a time the two spoke heart to heart that didn’t include an offer from Clark to pray with her. “You inspired me to be more,” wrote Knowlton. “I will miss you and I can’t wrap my head around you being gone. I am challenged to stop living as if I will have extra tomorrows, and to make sure I make time for friends. You will be missed so much.”

Conkle said the congregation at Four Square Church would also miss her greatly.

“It’s a tragedy for the church and everyone. She was my prayer partner so I am really going to miss her a lot, but I have great memories,” said Conkle. “She really made an impact. She had a huge effect on anyone she ever touched, and anytime she was around someone they felt loved and welcomed.”

Conkle said if there was one thing she would want people to know about Clark, it was that she was “a genuine person from the bottom of her heart.”

“When she smiled at you and said ‘We’re glad you’re here,’ she meant it. When she said something to you, good or bad, you knew she meant it. We would be shopping and I would ask her opinion and she would tell me, ‘I wouldn’t wear that if I were you.’ But she was so kind.”

Conkle said being raised on a ranch, she understands the temporary nature of this life.

“My heart is broken but I absolutely know she is with Jesus, so I have peace with that. Unfortunately we were not ready for her to go, but I thought of her in heaven, saying, ‘Don’t cry for me.’ We cry because we miss her, but we all have our time. Say everything you need to say to your loved ones all the time.”

Conkle expressed gratitude for the opportunity Tammy’s family and friends had to spend time with her just three days before the accident.

“Everyone was there at the blessing, both of her boys, her parents and grandparents for a big barbecue and get together at the lake. We were all sitting outside in their yard, and it was a serene setting with everyone loving on each other and celebrating the dedication,” said Conkle. “What an awesome memory for everyone to walk away with. You never want death, but what a wonderful last memory for everybody.”

A memorial service will be held for Tammy Clark August 20 at 3 p.m. at Tonasket High School.