Tammy Anne Van, 63, of Chandler, Arizona, passed away peacefully at a family home with loved ones by her side on Monday, November 27, 2023. She fully survived a ruptured brain aneurysm in 2021 and battled pancreatic cancer for nearly three years before laying down her burdens for peaceful rest.
Tammy was born October 29, 1960 in Cedar Falls, Iowa, to Ron and Marlene (Snapp) Carney, the second of their six children. The family lived in Iowa, Chicago, Kansas City, and northern Colorado during her childhood. Tammy was the “mama bear” of the family, taking care of her siblings and setting the tone for her life as the person who would take care of anyone who needed it and handle anything that came her way.
In 1988 Tammy married Danny Van; the couple purchased their first home in 1989 and had their daughter, Jessica Danielle, in 1990. Tammy embraced the joys and challenges that came with motherhood, and it was by far the most important and valued title she ever held.
Tammy lived in Chandler and the surrounding area for nearly 40 years. She loved her adopted hometown’s community celebrations; the annual Greek Fest was one she never missed. She was a tremendous cook, marking all major (and minor) holidays by serving up unbelievable meals to express her love to family and friends. She believed in getting the details right, whether she was making the meal herself or dining at a restaurant. Cooking not only provided nourishment for loved ones, but gave her an opportunity to be creative; experimenting with flavors and ingredients was one of her favorite things to do.
Tammy provided not only shelter but love and comfort to every one of her siblings and both of her parents when they needed a temporary relief from the travails of life. She was a fantastic mother to all who needed her, especially her daughter, Jessica, and her informally adopted son, Vega. With Vega joining the family, along came her reign as “Mz. Van,” whose home provided a safe place for Jessica and Vega’s high school friends to gather and be animated young adults. She remained Mz. Van until her beloved grandson joined this world and she quickly became GV (Grandma Van), a title she loved and adored very much.
Tammy enjoyed many things about life but truly enjoyed traveling, spending time with friends and family, arranging flowers, gardening, cooking, classic rock, and had a passion for art and, especially, for Diet Coke.
Tammy married Danny Lee Van in 1988; they later divorced. She is survived by her daughter, Jessica (Eric II) Hankins; son, Aaron (LePree) Vega; grandson, Eric Hankins III; siblings Tony (Cinda) Trenery, Terri Carney, Tim (Jo DiMando) Carney, and Deanna (Tim) Pickering; 11 nieces and nephews; and 9 great-nieces and -nephews. Tammy was preceded in death by her parents, all four grandparents, and her beloved sister, Leisa Alverson.
If you would like to pay your respects to Tammy, you are welcome to attend the memorial service we are holding in her honor at Gilbert Memorial Park, Gilbert, Arizona. Viewing will be held on Friday December 8th from 5-7 pm.
Final visitation on Saturday December 9th from 9-10am, with the funeral service to start at 10:30am. Social Luncheon to follow the funeral services.
Flowers are welcome, especially from our adored Fred’s Flowers in Tempe, or donations can be made in Tammy’s name in great appreciation to the angels on this earth who work with Hospice of the Valley in the Phoenix area.