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Tamara Dahn

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Tamara Dahn Obituary
Tamara Claudia Agnes Dahn

Tamara Dahn died in her Auburn home on August 4 after a long illness. She is survived by husband Carl Ludy; brother Dr. Michael Dahn; in-laws Beverlie, Lorene, David, and Katie Ludy; nieces and nephews Jacqueline, Michael, Paul, and Judy Dahn, and Bryan Ludy; and many friends.


Tamara was born February 19, 1947, in Kassel, Germany, to Johanna (Nina) Jaworsky and Sylvester Dahn. The family immigrated to the United States when Tamara was five and settled in New York City, where she graduated from Hunter College High School. Tamara received a Bachelor's degree from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, and a Master's from the Johns Hopkins School for International Studies in Washington, DC, where she was a Coretta Scott King fellow.


After earning a law degree from the University of California at Davis, Tamara spent much of her career as a legal aid lawyer, helping poor people with legal problems involving basic human needs, including access to housing and health care. She started as a VISTA attorney with the Women's Litigation Unit at San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation, and then served as a Regional Attorney for Legal Services of Northern California in Auburn and Sacramento. Tamara went on to serve as Executive Director of Legal Services of Solano County and then for Community Legal Services of Santa Clara County, where she developed community outreach and strong local fundraising programs. Tamara spent the last part of her career as a senior counsel with the State Department of Health Care Services.


Tamara was also a leader within the profession and tireless mentor and advocate for others, especially women and minorities seeking to become judges or move into other leadership positions. She was the first woman president of the Placer County Bar Association, with late Chief Justice Rose Bird conducting her swearing-in. More remarkably, Tamara organized a network in California's rural northern counties that helped elect a succession of progressive representatives to the State Bar of California's governing boards. Her own State Bar positions included Chair of the Legal Services Section and Committee on Women in the Law, Executive Committee of the Conference of Delegates, and Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commissioner.


Tamara was recently honored by the California Women Lawyers Foundation for "her dedicated mentoring of women law students and young women lawyers and for her visionary leadership and positive contributions to the advancement of women and people of color within the profession." She participated in many other community, charitable, and political activities, including San Francisco's Noe Valley Democratic Club.


Tamara was an avid gardener, baker, cook, knitter and wine-maker. She was a wonderful hostess, welcoming friends to elaborate, elegant dinners or producing gourmet meals on a moment's notice at her homes in San Francisco and Auburn. Family and friends across the country looked forward to annual shipments of Tamara's Christmas cookies.


Bay Area friends are invited to a MEMORIAL POTLUCK, on Saturday, September 21, starting at 6:00 p.m. Please call (530) 305-3782 or email ludy@ebire.org for the location. Please also visit Tamara's pages on CaringBridge.org and Facebook.


It was Tamara's wish that in lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider a tax deductible donation to California Women Lawyers' Foundation, 925 L Street, Suite 110, Sacramento, CA 95814. It will assist CWLF to carry on Tamara's lifelong work of improving women's lives in society and equal access in the law.


Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Sept. 8 to Sept. 15, 2013
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