Tamara was born in Rome, Georgia November 7, 1959. She was preceded in death by her parents, Wilma Scott Milam and R.H. "Dean" Milam, and also a husband, Stephen Michael Patton, to whom she was married February 6, 1981, until his death on May 22, 2001.
Tamara was educated in Rome, starting with Northside Elementary School, then East Rome Junior High. Tamara had the unique opportunity to attend East Rome High School, Darlington School, and finally West Rome High School, from which she graduated in 1977. Tamara then attended Auburn University, Floyd Jr. College, and completed her studies at Berry College, earning a B.A. in English with a minor in teaching in 1981.
Tamara began her career with WROM/WKCX radio as a copywriter and advertising sales representative. She then began a long and successful career of 25 years working in the travel business with Bryant and Garrett Travel Agency before earning a Certified Travel Counselor designation while specializing in corporate and group travel.
Tamara returned to Berry College and earned her Master's in Education in 2010. She worked as a substitute teacher with the Rome City School System then taught at Georgia Northwestern Technical College as an adjunct instructor in English and college success classes. Tamara also worked in the tutoring lab, helping students who needed individual assistance.
Tamara was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church and the adult discussion Sunday School class, which she enjoyed while she was able to attend and participate.
Tamara always gave her best effort to those who she helped, from her travel clients, to her many students, and always to her friends and family. Tamara had a great enthusiasm for life, and if you were lucky enough to catch the sparks she sometimes sent, you will always have the warmth of who she was and what she was about.
Tamara is survived by her husband, Mark D. Bates, whom she married August 7, 2004; sisters and brothers, E.J. Johnson (Jerry), Canton, Ga.; Phil Milam (Linda), Rome; Alecia Powell (Terry), Benton, Ky.; and Shelley Hopkins (Greg), Rome; and many beloved nieces and nephews. Tamara is also survived by special family members Gregory and Margie Patton, Rita Patton Foley, and mother-in-law Shelia Bates.
Family will receive friends Saturday, March 9, from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. at Daniel's Funeral Home. A memorial service will be conducted Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the chapel of Daniel's Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to Heyman Hospice, Salvation Army, Rome Floyd Humane Society, and Westminster Presbyterian Church of Rome.