Tamara Wittich

West Chester, Ohio

Tamara L. “Tami” (Ferguson) Wittich, 57, of West Chester, Ohio.

Simply put, Tami was a teacher. Indeed, she was also a mother, wife, sister, daughter and friend. But she was, even in those roles, a teacher.

Even as she passed at home, surrounded by her family, on Sunday, March 19, 2017, she used every last minute to make sure we knew she loved us and she taught us through her strength and grace how to be strong for ourselves and also how to contribute to the strength of the three adult children, Alexandrea (Jonathan) Poeder, Kelsey Wittich and John Kenneth Wittich, she leaves behind.

Born Sunday, May 24, 1959, in Dayton, Ohio, to Gene Ferguson and Theodora Ferguson, she began her training as a teacher by leading her cheer team in high school, even allowing her much younger sister, Angie (Geoff) Curtis, to become a mascot of sorts on her team.

Between babysitting, teaching a variety of lessons and lifeguarding, her confidence and love of children grew.

Upon entering college at Hanover College, in Madison, she began her formal teaching training and truly blossomed. It was here that she met the love of her life, John E. Wittich, who preceded her in death 20 months ago in July 2015. Besides sharing a birthday, they also shared this love and gift with children. They spent their summers working with troubled youth at Englishton Park and eventually both ended up working as educators in Lakota Local Schools. John as a school psychologist, Tami as an elementary teacher.

Tami taught everything from special education to blended third and fourth grade. But teaching English in her fourth grade classes was by far her passion. And she was beyond brilliant at it.

At the time of her passing, she had touched the lives, through her 30-plus years of work, of nearly 4,000 students, many of whom have gone on to become – or plan to become – a teacher. Those who have become teachers completely credit it to her.

While many will remember her as this natural and brilliant teacher to all, it was her role as “Mimi” to her two grandchildren, Jack and Cordelia, that she self-declared to be her greatest. To them, she taught a love of books, how to plant the best tomatoes, a love of baking days and how cookies and messes are always allowed at Mimi’s house.

Everyone who came in contact with her felt her warmth and left just a little bit changed. Simply put, Tami was a teacher.

She will be sorely missed.

A Gathering of Family and Friends will be held from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 15, 2017, at Mueller Funeral Home, 6791 Tylersville Road, Mason, Ohio 45040. A Celebration of Life service will follow at 1 p.m. Time for the fellowship will follow the service.

Memorials may be directed as children’s books delivered to Freedom Elementary, c/o Lance Green, or Mueller Funeral home, c/o Alexandrea Poeder. All books will be adorned with a memorial bookplate and donated to Freedom Elementary School Media Center. A fitting legacy.