21 September 1942 - 23 January 2020
Tamara no longer lives among us, her influence will endure in the unending consequences flowing from her character and her deeds – she will endure in our memories and in our own acts.
The loss of Tamara will be felt deeply for a long time, but if our life is to go on, we need to find or create a time of closure for mourning and grief.
Thank you all for helping us bid Tamara a loving and last farewell.
Goodbye dearest Mom, Gram-T, Tamara.
Your memory will always be a blessing as we march forward to embrace life and love in all the days to come.
And as Tamara always used to say, I may not be there in person, but I will be there in spirit!
Tamara was not old according to today’s standards. Until just over 2½ years ago, she lived a vibrant, active life devoted to the people she loved and the things that mattered to her. Imagine what she could have accomplished if she only had more time. But we need to remember her for all the things that she did do, and did accomplish.
Tamara was an educated, intelligent, woman with a strong mind of her own, who was interested in a wide range of things and was an engaging conversationalist. Like her mother, she was way ahead of her time when it came to holistic living. Tamara travelled all over the world helping people change their physical and emotional health through alternative therapies such a Rebirthing, Bach Flower Remedies, Holographic Repatterning and Aroma Therapy. She loved nature, and art — her apartment is filled with her own innovative paintings and art, and she was a great cook. More than anything, Tamara loved her family and kept in touch with her relatives near and far.
Yes, Tamara was strong and strong-willed or you could say stubborn and argumentative – but she was kind and generous. She lived her life guided and driven by her principles and beliefs even in the face of great challenge and adversity. She participated passionately in social activist work like Peace the 21st and was dedicated to improving the quality of life of others.
A small sample of what her world held...
Tamara was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, on September 21, 1942 just as Yom Kippur was finishing. She was the youngest of three children of Leibl and Shura Feldman who were secular Jews but celebrated all the main holidays. Leibl particularly liked Pesach because of the kneidlach, and he passed this appreciation on to Tamara.
She ultimately studied fine arts at the Witz University in Johanesburg and later studied fine arts at The Betzalel Art School in Jerusalem.
She married Mervyn in 1965. Ryan was born the next year and Lisa came along two years later. Even though life in South Africa was comfortable, the family was not happy living in a country that legislated apartheid. Tamara wanted a better life for herself and her children and despite the fear of coming to a strange country the family moved to Toronto in 1974, one of the first South African immigrants to do so. In spite of speaking the language, it was a great cultural shock.
Lisa remembers that when they first arrived they lived in an apartment at Church and Charles and Tamara was concerned that the kids would wander out the front door and she’d never see them again. Eventually she overcame that, but the kids still had to wear red snow suits in the first winters. She thought it would identify them easily. Tamara was always creative and artistic and loved to do art projects with her kids. She was also a great cook—always trying new things. If one of those things happened to be fantastic, the kids were out of luck because she never wrote down the recipes and would not remember how she had made it--so it turned out to be a once in a life-time experience. Funny thing is that both kids do the same with their inventive cooking!
Sadly, in 1980, right around Ryan’s Bar Mitzvah, the marriage ended. That can’t have been easy, especially for Ryan. After the divorce Tamara knew she needed to do something so she started off by teaching ‘sprouting’ which she had studied with Dr. Ann Wigmore.
Tamara was always open to new things and never hesitated to be an innovator and an initiator. She was a real pioneer in alternative therapies and got involved in reflexology, iridology, vibrational healing and rebirthing, and other holistic health systems long before they became popular. She trained in the rebirthing process with the founder, Leonard Orr but in addition to her private practice, she has travelled all over the world teaching and participating in workshops. Tamara has also appeared on radio and television. She has positively changed the lives of so many people by helping them grow and change.
Tamara was always known as a person who was compassionate towards others. Her life experiences helped her become the incredibly strong and strong-willed woman she eventually grew to be.
Tamara was never able to give up her need to know what was going on and to be right (even when at times, she wasn’t). It was so important for her to make a positive difference in the lives of others that she automatically shared what she knew and gave advice, even when it wasn’t always invited or needed. But Lisa told me that her mom taught her a lot of important life lessons, among them – “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right” and “honour your word and make smart choices!”
Her home was always open to others and was filled with family, friends, laughter, good food, and lots of parties and celebrations.
Although her prolonged illness, especially this fall and winter was very painful for her family, they are sadly relieved that she is no longer suffering. She will live on in the influence she had on her family and on the lives of people all over the world.
She will be sadly missed by her nieces, nephews and their families in the UK and her multitude of family and friends around the world. Special thanks to Drs. Myers, Meuser and Melnitzer and their teams; her wonderful caregivers and the caregivers at Bridgepoint; the volunteers who came to spend time doing art, paperwork and more; and the outstanding staff at Sunnybrook and Bridgepoint Hospitals who went above and beyond every day.
Presented at her Celebration of Life - 31 January 2020, Toronto
Minnie Schamroth and Michael Feldman
We have lost our beloved sister Tamara. It is some comfort that she is no longer having to bear the pain and suffering she endured bravely for many, many months.
It feels so strange that she is no longer there, as she was always so full of life, and full of fun. She will be much missed by us, by Ryan and Jennifer, by Lisa and Edward, and her four much loved grandchildren. She will also be missed by a huge range of people she engaged with in her own unique and unforgettable way. She had a great capacity to enjoy people and to enjoy life in all its aspects. She was a thoughtful, considerate person, with much knowledge about the world. She was always very quick to offer interesting solutions to any difficulties, to any anxiety or pain that she encountered in others. She had a wonderful repertoire of remedies for just about anything, and she loved sharing her knowledge and experience. It was important for her to try to alleviate pain and distress wherever she found it, and the willingness and love with which she gave advice for just about anything was legendary.
I think there were many people who were enriched by the way she listened and spoke with them, often out of her own experience of anxiety, disappointment and suffering, and I think we were all enriched by her wonderful zest for life. I think she had struggled to deal with some of the frustrations in her early life, and seems latterly to have found a mature, philosophical outlook, more tolerant and forgiving (most of the time!). She was drawn to ancient, spiritual wisdom, in which I think she took comfort, and which she wanted to share with others.
Tamara was completely devoted to her children, Ryan and Lisa, and to their children Jeremy, Aviva, Joey and Danielle. I know they will all miss her enormously, but I am sure that the way she enriched and deepened their experience of people, and of the world, will always remain with them. She will also be greatly missed by her immediate family in London with whom she always felt very close. She shared her joys and suffering with her older sister Minnie in particular, and gained enormous and loving support from their long conversations, especially in the last, difficult months of her life.
She was a wonderful, big presence in all our lives and she will be greatly missed.
Tamara came into my life 55 years ago when she married my cousin Mervyn. Little did I know then the impact she would have on me. We never lost touch no matter how far apart we lived and in the freezing Toronto weather in February welcomed us to Canada and eased us into our life in our new environment.
Our families celebrated Jewish holidays and family simchas together as well as helping each other get through sad times. Tamara always arrived with baskets and pots laden with food.
Family came first in her life. She treasured her family history and kept in touch with relatives all over the world.
Tamara made thing happen and was always positive. She had a strong personality and diverse interests - some which she tried in vain to make mine.
I loved her Yiddish jokes - her accent was perfect and I always felt she should have been on the stage. She was creative, colourful - could be biting, sweet, loving but always caring. She surrounded herself with people from every walk of life and developed special relationships. Tamara was at one with nature and very spiritual. She was in charge of her life and lived every day to the full.
I loved her and will miss her in my life.
Ralph and Karen Lewis
Our heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family on Tamara’s passing. Like everyone I’m sure, we’re feeling a mix of great sorrow at losing her and relief for her that her suffering has ended.
From what we saw, Tamara displayed impressive courage and dignity in the way she endured her progressively deteriorating health and all the discomfort it brought. She also seemed somehow able to maintain a philosophical outlook through it all, in her conversations with those of us who were not privy to her day-to-day struggles.
She was a very dear friend to my mother and the two of them felt a strong long-term bond of love, caring and mutual respect.
We will remember Tamara as a warm, generous, good humoured, principled person full of life, passion and interest in the world, people and ideas. She was a non-conformist who marched to her own drum with a clear sense of her own values and beliefs. We had a soft spot for her (with all her unconventional beliefs and practices 😊) and feel privileged to have known her. We’ll miss her and remember her fondly.
Dear Heart Tamara... thank you for your bright and beautiful love and light that we here on earth have had the sweet blessing to know. ~*~
I remember the first time I met you 20 years ago as you served as the National Representative for Canada for the International Breathwork Foundation. You were one of Canada’s pioneers as you brought Breathwork into so many people’s lives in eastern Canada and around the world. I remember sweet times with you in Toronto and precious times shared at the IBF Global Inspiration Conference. How feisty and marvellous you were when you got up to perform at the Talent Show... a deLight! 🌟The Ancestors are blessed to have you join them now... while those of us loved ones you leave behind miss your bright presence here on Earth. Go gently, go joyfully, go with love my friend on your sweet journey back Home.❤️🙏🏽❤️
I found two lovely snapshots of your Mom in my Friends’s Album: one was an afternoon of wine/scarf tying at Anca’s and the group photo was taken of the Social Committee at one of our many social events. Your Mom was an active member and contributor to that Committee. She cared about the people, our condo and our little community. She will be missed!
I first met Tamara in the pool in the summer of 2011. She introduced herself and invited me for dinner on her balcony (the first person to invite me into her home). It was a delicious meal, as I recall, and we talked about Africa because I had lived and worked in W. & E. Africa (Tanzania) for six years. When going through her kitchen, I hope you retrieve some of her delicious recipes: tapenade, cranberry sauce, fruit compote for cheeses, soups, cookies, etc. She was a wonderful cook and always the gracious hostess.
I am so very glad that three of us trekked through the snowstorm last Saturday to visit her at Bridgepoint (Paul, Jane and myself). My last visit with her. We even had lunch together downstairs and had a lovely conversation about all sorts of things, including Harry and Meghan. She was upset with her short hair because she thought it looked too masculine, but I told her it was quite chic. We all thought she looked remarkably splendid with the smart new haircut, lovely fuchsia robe and newish slippers. She was quite engaged and had all sorts of opinions on what we were discussing -- her normal self. 🙂
I am very sorry for your and Ryan’s loss but happy Tamara is no longer suffering. So much pain and for so long. She died with dignity and on her own terms, surrounded by those she loved! She did it "her way". She was quite the lady, always spoke her mind, and when she really disagreed with something or thought it was just wrong --- her favourite line was “that’s just rubbish!!”
Thanks to Cindy for passing on our deep condolences and thoughts on the loss of your beloved Tamara.
We will hold you all in our thoughts and prayers as you say your final farewells to her on Friday. May her spirit continue to inspire and guide us all.
She has a special place in my heart; although I hardly knew her, I inherited her painting easel when I was a little girl of 12.
That gift inspired me to become an artist!
However you cut it, Tamara’s death is painfully sad. Yes I know she was suffering and in pain and is now as peace, yes I know she was hypersensitive, a tad self-absorbed and critical , but equally she was adoring and proud of her family, yes I know she was enthusiastic about her left field thinking, but equally she was respectful of my scepticism.
I shall miss her greatly.
Of course I’ve been following Tamara’s battle and I’m so sorry that her illness finally overcame her. She always struck me as such a fiery tiger when it came to how she led her life and protected her loved ones. I had been in the middle of an email in my mind but for various reasons didn’t manage to get it down in time to send to her for which I shall always be sad.
I came into the family with my own desire to forge real relationships as well coming from the perspective of Rivanna’s great love for you all and my life has only been enriched by our family group and individual friendships.
It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that I have strong and abiding memories of many moments with Tamara, two of which I’d like to share.
I think that I met her for the first time when we came to Ryan’s barmitzvah (although we might have already met in London). We drove up from New York with Rivanna’s three Aunties lovingly bickering, as only siblings can, in the back seat of the car and was welcomed in Toronto as warmly as everyone else in the party. I loved the celebrations from the before parties, the shul, the main reception and Ruth’s 21st birthday party in (I think) a Chinese restaurant. All as might be hoped for and expected, but as I was to discover, being around Tamara would include the unexpected, the special, the flourish and highly individual touches that her presence would temper any proceedings with a depth of feeling and atmosphere.
And so it was at the barmitzvah. I had been suffering from wrist and ankle joint problems and despite being in the midst of barmitzvah arrangements etc. Tamara took me off to ‘hear all about it’ and by the end of our conversation had called her friend Maggie who recommended a lovely book called, I Hear The Owl Call My Name, and consulted her spirit guide. The message was interesting and in of itself whether I “believe” in the spirit-guide thing or not, but what most moved me was Tamara’s engagement in my problems and her taking the time to really offer help from within the breadth of her experience and knowledge of healing.
The second “moment” of contact with Tamara’s inner spirit was during her visit to us in Jerusalem, also many years ago. I took Tamara around the Old City and had a wonderful time, just the two of us. I showed her the “usual” things and some of my own personal favourite places of interest and power (such as the Coptic Monastery on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre). She was interested in buying beads so I took her to bead shops including my own favourite. I had known the youngish guys running this shop for several years but had never gone beyond the vendor/shopper bonhomie of people who genuinely like each other as people! Tamara started looking at beads explaining what she wants, looked and looked and then explained that she also wanted to buy something special for me and Rivanna according to our birth-signs and other parameters she felt significant. As she turned the beads over and over a conversation developed between her and the vendor and suddenly the whole shop seemed to belong to it’s own world entirely separate from the bustle of the shuk outside. She found the beads she wanted, I think amber for Rivanna carnelian for me, and we said goodbye, the shopkeeper clearly shaken and yet delighted by the intensity and “realness” of the interaction.
I will miss Tamara very much. The thought of seeing her was always exciting and I treasure our time together as I will treasure the memory of those times.
I loved Tamara. Since I first met her when she was 12 and I was 6 in Johannesburg, our ways crossed in different places over the world at different ages, in Israel, in California, in Toronto and in London – and each time was a cheerful reunion.
She believed she knew much about life and was always willing to share her concepts to help others.
God bless you my friend. Saturdays will not be the same without you by my side. Your passing has left a terrible Void. I hope you understand just how much you were loved and appreciated. Until we meet again dear friend. hugs Kimberley and Sarah Walsh - (the wookie) xoxo
Dora, Ruth, Abe, Denise, Joyce, Neville, Bernard & Isarae and families
Our deepest sympathy to you and your family on the loss of your Mom, Tamara. We grew up with her and found her to deeply committed to her family and interests and at the same time a lot of fun to be with. We glad that we were able to speak with her in the last week of her life when we reminisced about the good old days as school kids and young parents. She was devoted and very proud of her children and grandchildren. We wish you strength and long life and special memories of a lovely lady.
I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Tamara's passing. She was a loving Light in this world and always kept the Light on for anyone who crossed her path. She was a powerhouse, a deep mystic, a shaman, a wise elder, a healer and through her, I learned so much. I am filled with deep joy at her memory and sadness that she will no longer be amongst us. But I know she is with us - a new star in the sky - her Light beaming, beaming, beaming, never to be extinguished.
I've known Tamara (the baby sister of my friend Minnie, with whom I have been inseparable friends since Nursery School. Twenty three years ago my husband Eric, my mother, Phillis and I emigrated to Toronto. Tamara welcomed us, and extended her loving hospitality and she and I have been inseparable friends ever since. Our children all adored her.
Tamara was a light to many, cared for and counselled innumerable people in need of spiritual care. I am so grateful she was in my life.
I met Tamara approximately 13 years ago, and over that time our friendship grew. Every day we would be in touch either by phone or by text. Sometimes we would just "hang out" together.
When Tamara got sick I was with her all the way right up to the end. Nothing else was important. I just wanted to be there to help Tamara through her illness. This is what unconditional love is. Tamara was my special friend and soul sister. Even though she is not in her physical body she will always have a special place in my heart.
I love you Tamara. Gayle
Paul & Julia Shoniker
Tamara was an inspiration to all who knew her. She was thoughtful, generous to a fault and completely forthright and honest.
Tamara fought the good fight right until the end.
We will always remember her courage, love of family, determination and acceptance.
We will meet again in the Light. Thank you for walking the path with us.
Christina Richa Devi
Thank you my Warrior Sister on the journey of forty years plus and forever more ...
Rest in Peace and know you have been and are always loved. The Memories will go on and fortify those of us you left behind and remain in spirit connection and gratitude,
Joe & Kate Hemi
No words can express our feelings and thoughts at a time so unbearably painful.
Tamara was a friend to my sister and always was concerned about her well being.
A caring person.
Rest in peace Tamara
It is always difficult to see the loved ones depart, but never leave our hearts.
Mary Goodyer Lukasko
I shall cherish the wonderful memories compiled over the years, we were so in-tune.
Dear God-Super-consciousness. Thank you for your presence in my life as Tamara: for the love, friendship, learning, truth, simplicity honesty and love. Thank you for the happy memories of travel and experiences together. thank you for forgiving mistakes and turning them into l learning experiences.Please hold Tamara in the arms of gentle loving angels, heal and rejuvenate her soul and help me remember and recognise her through infinity. Thank, you, thank you thank you. Eva Gizella
So sorry about her departure, but hopeful that her journey onward will be a joyful and transcendent one...
To Ryan and Lisa: I will always cherish my memories of times I spent with your mother. She was a very special person. I wish you and your families long life.
My deepest condolences.
Tamara was a very sweet lady and a great personality in the building.
I will remember her fondly.
Barbara Ann Gillies
I will miss you my wonderful teacher, healer, mentor & friend. Many found memories of travelling, pot lucks, workshops & of course ReBirthing. We will meet again sometime I am sure.
Tamara was a wonderful and caring person. She was involved actively in the life of 260 Heath and will be sorely missed. My sincerest condolences to all of her family. May she rest in peace.
Tamara was a great person - so kind and compassionate. We would connect on and off over the years and she was always a joy when we go together. Bless you Tamara - you are flying with the Angels now!
Hugs and Love, Mary-Kay.
I had the opportunity to meet Tamara when she came to Bridgepoint in December 2019. Instantly, we sparked a bond that turned into hugs, laughter, inside jokes and exchanging life stories everyday when we were together. Tamara made a huge impact on my life and I will never forget her. She was always looking forward to see me on shift and I feel her absence strongly. I feel blessed and honoured to have been alongside her on her last days. A beautiful soul she is & all who knew her, loved her. Fly with the angels my sweet Tamara.
Please accept my condolences Ryan, Lisa & members of Tamara’s family.
Now and always Tamara is with me in my heart. From the first day we met we came together as sisters and every day we laughed we remembered we were alive and very much loved. Tamara where ever you are I am laughing in my heart with you by my side. I love you dear wonderful friend, always have and always will. In this lifetime and in our next. God bless xoxo your sister from a different mother...
Gino Di Serio
In the few years I have known Tamara it was a blessing to have met her. May your soul soar throughout all the universes in perpetuity in peace, balance and correct conduct Tamara. Blessings, Gino.
Deep regret at such a strong presence being gone. I got the notification too late on Friday from Beulah
Tamara , you will be sadly missed but you have left behind so much that i will always remember you and the memories will be close to my heart.
I learnt so much from you as a child growing up , growing seeds in a jar , which are now my favourite , trying new foods even if i couldn’t pronounce them and trying new things that i would never have done in my own. .Tea with you was also something i will remember forever. You gave tea a meaning of its own, it was learning about life and what it had to offer. I may not always understood what it was you were talking about but i always listened. Tamara, a women of so much knowledge and strength, love you always.
Lisa. Ryan growing up in your home there are so many stories , we had a great time.
Shawn & Noga Freeman
Dear Penn Family.
Noga and I are very sad for you all. Look forward to seeing you all soon on happier occasions.
Tamara and I were both Natural health Care Professionals and trained and taught together many times for over 40 years. Tamara was always inquisitive and ahead of the times and always looking for how things could be done naturally. She was as they would say today "Be the change you want to see". She taught me so much and gave so much to the community. We were both strong women and sometimes batted heads but it never lasted for long and the love and respect for each other always brought us back on track. Tamara faced her illness with such grace and dignity it was a true inspiration. She did not feel sorry for herself, was not angry or even depressed. She took it all in her stride and met each daily issue with good humour and acceptance. One day Tamara took my face in her hands and began singing "I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places" which took me by surprise as this was a song that had been sung in an adjoining room when my mother was passing away. It was then I understood that there are things that we do not understand and that there is a force greater than us guiding our lives and looking after us. And yes, dear Tamara. I will be seeing you.
You were one of a few international breathworkers and rebirthers I had the privilege to work with in South Africa. I remember your passionate love and support. And your generosity of spirit. I'm still holding onto the gifts you shared with me and the enlightening emails from Canada. May your spirit soar. 💖
I first met her when she did workshops in my Toronto store The Reiki Store in the 90s.
Many Blessings to you Tamara and sweet journeys.
I remember the first time I met you 20 years ago as you served as the National Representative for Canada for the International Breathwork Foundation. You were one of Canada's pioneers as you brought Breathwork into so many peoples lives in eastern Canada and around the world. I remember sweet times with you in Toronto and precious times shared at the IBF's Global Inspiration Conference. How fiesty and marvellous you were when you would perform some crazy comedy at the Talent Show... a deLight! 🌟The Ancestors are blessed to have you join them now... while those of us loved ones you leave behind miss your bright presence here on Earth. Go gently, go joyfully, go with love my friend on your sweet journey back Home.❤️🙏🏽❤️
Thank you Tamara for the difference you have made in the world and in my life. Thank you Lynne for being there for Tamara over the decades. You are an invaluable friend and a blessing to anyone who has the privilege to know you! - Dear Lynne! ~ This is my RSVP for your 100th birthday in 20 years when we are going skydiving in Nevada!!!
Ron Tabachnick (formerly Talbot)
Words are so limited to express what I am feeling. I had a wonderful challenging (in a positive way) spiritual friendly relationship with my dear friend. I just called to say hello, after not speaking for 2 years. Ryan shocked me with the news. Tamara's rebirthing talents and tenderness will always be remembered along with our varied conversation about personal growth/awareness, the numerous workshops I attended to wake up my consciousness, especially the practical rebirthing sessions that awakened to my magical contrary nature. As some of you will remember if you participated, Tamara's suggestion to go through the human birth canal backwards was one of the most enlightening exercise I have ever experienced. Her insight touched me deeply and allowed me to growth immensely. Why did I have to lose a friend to realize I did have a good relationship with her? Lisa, Ryan - May the Great Spirit comfort you to heal the loss of your dear mother. She always got excited when she spoke of you and the grand kids. Blessings!
Ryan and Lisa, the funeral is over and our mourning continues. Your mom was larger than life, strong and generous. Not one of life’s meek and insignificant. She always made a lasting, vivid and colourful impression. She was passionate and not content to simply describe the world, she wanted to change it! There was always energy, enthusiasm and authenticity. She believed in the sacred cause of healing and although one can be critical of her means, her aim was always principled. We are all imperfect and we all carry baggage, but I feel she carried more than was right for anyone. Yet in spite of her personal history, she made a brave decision to leave an unjust country when so many others took the oh so easy option and stayed. She heroically relocated her young family to a foreign land and in the only way she could, raised you guys with little help. There are so many wonderful attributes I see that she passed on to you both. She will always be there in our thoughts, your personalities, your behaviour and your values. I weep with both your families for your and our loss.
Add a TributeSubmit your tribute to Tamara Penn
I Heard Your Voice In The Wind Today - Unknown
I heard your voice in the wind today
and I turned to see your face;
The warmth of the wind caressed me
as I stood silently in place.
I felt your touch in the sun today
as its warmth filled the sky;
I closed my eyes for your embrace
and my spirit soared high.
I saw your eyes in the window pane
as I watched the falling rain;
It seemed as each raindrop fell
it quietly said your name.
I held you close in my heart today
it made me feel complete;
You may have died...but you are not gone
you will always be a part of me.
As long as the sun shines...
the wind blows...
the rain falls...
You will live on inside of me forever
for that is all my heart knows.