TAMARA ANN HANKINS
February 18, 1942 - August 18, 2020
Beloved Wife, Mother, and Grandmother
Tami was the oldest of two children born to Harold and Zulema Nielsen of Fowler, California. Harold was the local area physician and Tami often recalled his service to the local community. Observing her father led to lifetime of putting others needs and desires at the forefront of Tami's experience.
Tami attended and graduated from Fowler High School in 1959. Throughout her adult life she maintained a close and active friendship with her high school classmates. She looked forward to and enjoyed their frequent gatherings and reunions.
Following high school, Tami studied Education at Fresno State and graduated with the class of 1964. While at Fresno State she met her future husband and the love of her life, Michael Hankins. Upon graduation from Fresno State, Tami accepted an elementary school teaching position in Sunnyvale, CA. Tami taught in Sunnyvale for 2 years, then married Mike on August 6, 1966 in Fowler. Tami and Mike began their life together in Shafter where Mike was in the local farming industry. Tami took a 2nd grade teaching position at Palm Avenue school in Wasco. Tami taught in Wasco for 4 years until her first son, Brent, was born in May of 1970. At that time, she and Mike moved to the family farm in Wasco. Tami was at first concerned that she would have trouble adapting to life on the farm, but she eventually learned to love the active and yet peaceful country life.
Tami and Mike had a second son, Kip, in 1973, and her boys along with her relationship with Mike became the focus of her life. Tami was a dedicated and active mother to her boys who she loved deeply with her heart and soul. Tami had her boys active in many activities including 4-H, FFA, swimming, and tennis and she loved driving them to practices, games, and fairs while imparting life lessons along the way. Tami also loved to travel and did so extensively with both family and friends. She particularly enjoyed the annual family trips skiing in the winter and to the beach during summer.
Tami was a long time member of the Congregational Bible Church of Shafter where she eventually became a deaconess and sang in the church choir. Throughout her life she was a strong believer in Jesus Christ as her savior and an active reader and follower of his word through the Bible.
Tami cultivated many friendships through participation in the Junior League of Bakersfield, Wasco PEO, Shafter 21 Club, and in later years the Bakersfield Museum of Art Blue Ribbon Circle.
Tami is survived by her loving husband Mike, son Brent, son Kip and his wife Caroline, and grandchildren Thad, Bridget, and Margaret. She is preceded in death by her father Harold, mother Zulema, and brother Bill.
The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to Dr. William Baker, Dr. Ravi Patel and the entire team at CBCC for exceptional care as Tami battled cancer. Finally, the team at Hoffman Hospice, and caregivers Rosa De La Rosa, Maria Leal, Juana Mendoza, and Christine Gonzalez deserve special acknowledgement for the incredible compassion combined with tireless work which allowed Tami to spend the final portion of her life journey in the comfort of her own home.
Tami will be laid to rest in a private gravesite service at Hillcrest Memorial Park. When conditions allow, the family will host a Celebration of Life. The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Congregational Bible Church of Shafter, 430 E Tulare Avenue, Shafter, CA 93263.