CHATHAM, N.Y. - Tammy Sue (Starks) Van Alstyne, 44, of Pond Hill Road, Chatham, made her final journey to eternal paradise on Jan. 16, 2013, with her devoted family by her side.
Tammy was born Oct. 29, 1968, in Pittsfield, Mass., to the late John Todd and Katherine (Wilkins) Starks, currently of Proctorsville, Vt.
A lifetime Chatham resident, Tammy was a 1986 graduate of Chatham Central School and received an associate's degree in early childhood education from Columbia Greene Community College in 1988. She married her high school sweetheart, William (Bill) Van Alstyne on July 1, 1989.
A self-employed domestic engineer for many local clients, Tammy also provided daycare for her nieces and nephews as well as many local families spanning several generations, until her illness forced her into early retirement in 2009.
While advocating for educational inclusion for her daughter, Samantha, she was instrumental in ensuring that the Chatham Central School District became handicap-accessible so all students could receive an education in their own district if they so choose.
Her chosen career was being a devoted mother/wife to her family. In her spare time she enjoyed reading and painting with acrylics and the antics of all the children.
Tammy's battle with breast cancer
began in October of 2008. She spent the last year receiving weekly treatment at the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Philadelphia, Pa., where hope and options were the core of treatment and the love and caring shown by CTCA staff and patients made the uncomfortable journey more bearable. She faced the battle head-on with a no-nonsense approach and she maintained that attitude to the end of her life.
She was the beloved mother of William (Kristen Tunis), Samantha and Randy VanAlstyne, who survive her at home.
Beloved sister of Donald Starks (Mary) and Laurie Starks Johnson of Chatham.
Aunt of Amber Snyder (Rob); Donald (DJ) Starks (Stephanie) and Candice Dutcher, all of Chatham; also Charles Bost III (Audra) of Kinderhook; great-aunt of Brooke, Carter, Logan, Kaitlyn and Isabella.
She is also survived by a host of aunts, uncles and cousins.
Family will receive friends and relatives on Saturday, January 26, 2013, at noon in Saint James Church, Chatham. A memorial services will follow at 1 p.m., with a repast immediately following at the Chatham Fire House.
Donations in Tammy's name may be made to: CTCA Assistance in Healthcare Fund, 1331 E. Wyoming Ave., Philadelphia PA 19124; or Our Community Cares P.O. Box 463, Ghent, N.Y. 12075.
The family would like to thank the community for all of the support during Tammy's battle. Whether you sent a card, made a donation, sent a meal, stopped to visit or said a prayer, it was appreciated.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the French Gifford Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, Chatham NY. For online condolences, visit www.fenchblasl.com