Tamara Kearney

Tamara Kearney passed away on Saturday August 8, 2020 from injuries sustained in a pedestrian/car accident in Lawrence, Kansas. She was born October 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 proof reader. 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, DC. 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 Kearny of Minneapolis, MN, Shannon and Aaron Kuluk of Nashville, TN and Nathaniel Kearney of Lawrence as well as five grandchildren. She is also survived by her father, Raymond Johnson and step-mother, Jan Johnson of Yuma, Arizona and a step-father, Courtney Hanson of Perry, Kansas. 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. The family request that in lieu of flowers donations may be made to:

    Tamara Kearney Technology Fund

    Lawrence Lions Foundation

    2101 E 29th St

    Lawrence, KS 66046

Or may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

For more information or to post a condolence go to warrenmcelwain.com.

A photo of Tamara Kearney with her guide dog, probably at History Park in San Jose, CA.

Click here to listen to Tamara's talk at the June 2014 SVCB meeting.