Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Obituary, Draft #1

I want to write my own.  Because, you know, I know my life best.  And because I don't want my daughter to have to summarise it all. I'm not near dying, which is the best time to think about these things.

Born in 1957, the heyday of post war America, Tara was born to young and industrious parents, who would go on to provide a good life for their three daughters.  Ann and Patrick Crowley did a pretty good job.

Tara lived throughout California, from San Diego to Sacramento.  Her most memorable years were on the Monterey Peninsula and north in Santa Cruz.  Here she gave birth to her daughter at age 30, a long awaited and most joyous birth.

Tara was a young go-getter, going to college at Monterey Peninsula College while working various part time jobs and volunteering as a DJ at a local Community Radio station, KAZU.  This is where she met her first husband, and father of her child, Kevin Sean Cashen.  They both moved to Santa Cruz for Tara to pursue a degree in Fine Art.

After the birth of her daughter, she worked at UC Santa Cruz for 23 years in various positions within the Student Affairs division.  She survived the political tumult endemic to universities, until she'd had enough and took early retirement at 52 years of age.  She worked briefly as a home health aide before providing care for her mother, who lived with Parkinson's Disease.

In 2020, Tara was predeceased my her husband, Dr. Steve D. Barbour.  Upon his death she moved to northern Colorado to join her daughter and family.

Tara had many interests, including musicianship, writing, fine arts and photography.  She was inspired by her great great Aunt Lou Goodale Bigelow, a pioneering photographer in the early 1900s.  

Tara's life was graced with intimate, lifelong friendships, from a junior high school classmate to friends of her parents.  This was her passion: the friends she made in life who shared values, passions, and their hearts over the decades.

Tara is survived by her daughter, Laurel Cashen Harris (Josh) and two grandchildren, Eden and Dylan.


  1. Well, that is a fine obit. I particularly love the past about friendships being your lifelong passion. Such friendships are as compelling as romantic relationships, as people now understands.

    1. And my friendships have lasted decades, which I cannot say the same for my marriages! So lovely to see you've stopped by for a read.


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