Nature 05

Tamara Jane "Tammy" (Plake) Callahan

January 27, 1958 ~ June 3, 2021 (age 63)

Obituary Image

Life Story

“Family Sticks Together”


“Happiness is like a butterfly which, if pursued, is always beyond our grasp. But, if you sit down quietly, it may even alight on you.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Nathaniel Hawthorne


Ms. Tamara Jane Callahan, 63, of Elkhart, passed away peacefully within the comfort of her Elkhart home on Thursday, June 3, 2021, at 9:00 pm following a sudden illness. Tammy was born on January 27, 1958, in Alexandria, Indiana to the late John and Norma Jean (Perry) Plake.

She is survived by her sons Ronald “Ron” (Morgan) Callahan of Butler, Pennsylvania and Harold “Mike” Mattson of Elkhart; her daughter Leslie A. (Shawn) Mullins, also of Elkhart; her beloved grandkids Karly, Julia, Liam, Jayden, Kylie and Emma, and her “bestie” best friend Paula. Additionally, Tamara will also be fondly remembered by a large group of loving extended family, work associates and good friends.

Billings Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Elkhart is hosting Tamara’s celebration of life with a memorial visitation at the funeral home on Friday, June 11, 2021, from 6 to 8 pm. No formal service will follow, just a gathering of Tamara’s friends and family for memories and fellowship.


“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower!”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hans Christian Anderson


As you can tell by the title, Tammy was a HUGE advocate for family solidarity, and “Family Sticks Together” was the philosophy that she instilled in EVERYone. She absolutely loved her children and her grandchildren and even those she “considered” family. Spending time with the grandkids was at the top of her favorite activities list, and if it involved cook-outs or making Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee box pizza “Tammy Style” (adding extra pepperoni, cheese and other ingredients), well, all the better! She was also everyone’s biggest fan, most notably during her son Ron’s high school athletic career. 

Tammy was a “simple” lady, and she did not require a lot of hoopla to be happy. Some would call her a “homebody”, but to Tammy, her home was more of her “World Headquarters” for her daily activities and adventures. The perfect day would include an emotional, tear-jerky episode of The Bold And The Beautiful followed by a knock-down-drag-out episode of Jerry Springer complete with a stage peppered with pulled out hair, sad crumpled flowers and cake frosting. Then her perfect day would continue by random bouts of crocheting, doing sudoku puzzles or jumping online to play games there, all of which brought her great peace. Finally, her perfect day would end with the traditional evening bowl of ice cream and some popcorn later before bed.   


“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maya Angelou


Finally, it should be mentioned that Tammy loved and appreciated the beauty and inspiration of the simple butterfly. No matter where she was or what she was doing, she never missed an opportunity to pause to observe the precarious air ballet of a lovely butterfly on the wing. Whether she was inspired by its simple, natural beauty or by its deeper philosophy of personal change, Tammy always took note of the utter happiness and joy that a simple insect would bring her.


“I almost wish we were butterflies and lived but three summer days – three days that with you I could fill with more delight that fifty common years could ever contain.”                                                                                                                                                    John Keats

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