We honor here members, friends and supporters of the American Council of the Blind who have impacted our lives in many wonderful ways. If you would like to submit a notice for this column, please include as much of the following information as possible.
Name (first, last, maiden if appropriate)
City of residence (upon passing)
State/province of residence (upon passing)
Other cities/states/countries of residence (places where other blind people may have known this person)
Date of death (day if known, month, year)
ACB affiliation (local/state/special-interest affiliates or national committees)
Deaths that occurred more than six months ago cannot be reported in this column.
Oct. 5, 1958-Aug. 8, 2020
Tamara Kearney passed away on Aug. 8, 2020 from injuries sustained in a pedestrian/car accident in Lawrence, Kansas. She was born Oct. 5, 1958 in Rock Island, Illinois to Sandra Schmacht and Raymond Johnson. She was a 1976 graduate of Lawrence High School, and a graduate of the Challenger Institute of Technology in Fremantle, Western Australia.
Tamara was an active and engaged member of the community, employed by the Lawrence Recreation Department as a yoga instructor and by San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind as a braille proofreader. She also ran her own business as a clinical massage therapist. Tamara was active in both the National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind, where she served as state president in Wyoming. During that time, she acted as a lobbyist for those organizations in Washington, D.C. For several years she was the Children’s Library Officer for the Association for the Blind of Western Australia in Perth, where she helped develop tactile early learning materials for blind children.
Tamara loved to travel and live in new and interesting places, and was an avid cyclist. She was always willing to help other blind and disabled people to better their lives.
Tamara is survived by her husband, Gregory Kearney of Lawrence and by her three children, Shawn and Laura Kearney of Minneapolis, Minn., Shannon and Aaron Kuluk of Nashville, Tenn. and Nathaniel Kearney of Lawrence, as well as five grandchildren. She is also survived by her father, Raymond Johnson, and stepmother, Jan Johnson of Yuma, Ariz., and stepfather, Courtney Hanson of Perry, Kan. In addition, she is survived by her beloved guide dog Rex, her faithful companion and guide for eight years. She was preceded in death by her mother.
Tamara met every challenge in this life with grace, good humor and courage. She never once let her blindness define or limit her but rather used it to enlarge and improve the lives of all she came in contact with.
Services will be at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to: Tamara Kearney Technology Fund, c/o Lawrence Lions Foundation, 2101 E. 29th St., Lawrence, KS 66046. They may also be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th St., Lawrence, KS 66044.
For more information, or to post a condolence, go to https://warrenmcelwain.com/obituary/tamara-lucille-kearney/.