Tammy J. Simkins, 66, of Knoxville, passed away peacefully with her family at her side on Monday, May 17, 2021, 10:30 PM at her home. Tammy was born on December 30, 1954 in Galesburg. She was the daughter of Leonard “Buck” A. and Vera M. (Shaw) Byerly. Tammy married the love of her life, Mike Simkins in Davenport on May 19, 1989. Together, they celebrated 32 years of marriage. She is survived by her husband, Mike; children, Zach (Pauline) Asbury of Knoxville, Jacob (Tag) Hartman-Simkins of Brooklyn, NY and Jadian (Cory) Bishop of Woodstock, AL; her siblings, Mark (Lorrie) Byerly of Galesburg, Lenny (Sally) Byerly of Salisbury Center, NY and Larry Raaen of Pickens, SC; her adoring grandchildren, Waylon Asbury, Luca Bishop and Briggs Bishop; and her loving puppy dogs, Rio and Janie. Tammy was preceded in death by her parents. Tammy graduated from Galesburg High School. In 1995, she graduated from the Carl Sandburg College Nursing Program as a Registered Nurse. She worked as an R.N. at the Knox County Nursing Home and later she worked at the OSF St. Francis Oncology Unit until her retirement. Nursing was her calling and it showed through her kind, compassionate and generous heart. She would always lend a compassionate ear to not only her patients, but also to strangers as they would talk about their trials and tribulations. She was a gentle and selfless soul who would willingly go without in order to not see someone struggling. Her grandchildren were the apple of her eye, and she loved every minute of being the “awesome grandma.” When not working, Tammy loved to craft, especially draw and paint. She found a love of traveling after her children moved out East, and playing with her dogs. Tammy loved all things Christmas. She reveled in the Christmas season, mostly because it meant being able to enjoy the one thing she loved the most, spending time with her family. Tammy’s loving smile and gentle spirit will be missed by those who were honored to know her best. Visitation will be from 3-5 pm on Friday, May 21, 2021 at Hurd-Hendricks Funeral Homes and Crematory, Knoxville. Funeral service will follow visitation at 5 PM at the funeral home. Cremation rites will be accorded after services. Deacon Michael Crummer will officiate. Hurd-Hendricks Funeral Homes and Crematory, Knoxville have been entrusted with arrangements. Memorials may be donated to OSF Hospice or to the Knox County Humane Society. Expressions of sympathy maybe left to the family at www.hurd-hendricks.com.
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