Tamara Nielsen Whittier passed away peacefully in her sleep at home on July 20. She was 58.
“Tami” was born on March 27, 1961 in Greenwich to the late Gerald Nielsen Sr. and Joanne Tammany Nielsen of Darien. She was a life-long resident of Darien, where she developed her love of the beach and the ocean.
After attending the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich she went on to graduate from Darien High School in 1979 and attended Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts and Wesley College in Dove, Delaware.
Tami was a devoted parishioner of Noroton Presbyterian Church and a former member of the Shore and Country Club in Norwalk.
As a teenager, Tami had a love of horses and especially riding and jumping. An injury forced her to give up riding but she took great joy in cheering on her younger brother and two sisters as they followed her to become champion riders and jumpers themselves.
— an obituary from Edward Lawrence Funeral Home
This familial love of horses led to the family purchase of Sunnyfield Farm in Bedford, New York in 1980 and the successful breeding of numerous champion thoroughbred winners.
After school, Tami joined the family business as a partner in the Nielsen Company and worked on the sales floor and as a designer at Nielsen’s Florist for 35 years. She had an innate sense of color and scheme which was admired by many.
Often customers became friends and came to the florist just to get a big smile and chat and catch up. Her contributions helped Nielsen’s Florist to be recognized as one of the premier floral businesses in the state of Connecticut.
Tami was beautiful, loving, and gentle but the word her family and friends would say best summed her up was “kind.” Her kindness knew no bounds and was evident throughout everything she did.
She met her husband, Morgan Whittier in March, 1991 and they were married on August 29, 1992. Together they embarked on a 27-year adventure full of love, fun, friendships, and deep ties to family.
Tami loved to entertain friends at home, but also looked forward to dining out with family and friends. Tami thoroughly enjoyed “gossiping” with her sisters and girlfriends over a glass of chardonnay.
Tami loved to travel and visited almost every country in Europe. However, her true love was the ocean and her fondest memories were of family trips cruising the British Virgin Islands and annual summer vacations to Nantucket, the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Tami’s greatest source of pride and joy in life was motherhood and her children Megan Suzanne, age 22 and JohnScott “Jack” age 19. She loved them “to the moon and back and all the stars.”
She also took great joy is serving as godmother to Sarah Nielsen, Frederick Mazzotta, and Jimmy Kuehler. Her children reflect the warmth and kindness that was so much a part of Tami’s soul.
Tami demonstrated great courage, dignity and grace during her battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Her love of life and strength of faith were inspirational and overshadowed the effects of the disease.
In addition to her husband and children, Tami is survived by her mother, Joanne; brother, Gerald A. Nielsen Jr., and his wife, Judith, of Darien; sister, Sandra, and her husband, Steven Baumann, of Rowayton; and sister, Karen, and her husband, Michael Kuehler, of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; as well as 14 nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday, July 25, 2019 at the Edward Lawrence Funeral Home, 2119 Post Road, Darien. A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, July 26 at Noroton Presbyterian Church
Memorial donations would be welcomed by The ALS Association Connecticut Chapter, 4 Oxford Road, Suite E4, Milford, CT 06460.