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Tammy Travis



Mecklenburg - 1971-2018

Tammy Travis, known to most as the brilliant and talented owner, pastry chef, and chocolatier of Sarah's Patisserie, died of an acute and undiagnosable illness on May 1, 2018. She was 46.

Tammy graduated from the French Culinary Institute in New York City in 1999. She worked with the school's dean, Jacques Torres, in the pastry program, and he instilled in her a passion for the art of chocolate making.

After graduation, Jacques Torres hired Chef Travis as his pastry assistant at Le Cirque 2000, a four-star French restaurant on Madison Avenue in New York City. She later returned home to her beloved Finger Lakes and opened Sarah's Patisserie.

Tammy was an incredibly sensitive and passionate person and put all of her heart into anything and anyone important to her. She loved deeply. Those fortunate enough to experience Tammy on an intimate level will attest to her unique and profound kindness, wit, generosity, and spirit.

A true introvert, Tammy didn't do small talk. She could say more with her face than most could in a monologue. As Tammy would say, "My face doesn't lie."

There were very few people who got to know her well, but those who did knew that she was one of the kindest, most generous people on the planet. There was a gentleness about her. She was a sweet and funny woman who brought happiness to many people, and who was amazingly talented and wonderfully unique. She had the biggest heart and anyone who was welcomed into that heart was luckier for it.

Karen said that to be loved by Tammy these past few years was to experience more love than most people get in a lifetime. Karen and Tammy were the loves of each other's lives and together with their children, they built a life that neither had imagined possible. Theirs was a life of deep appreciation for each other, their love, and their profound love for their children, which is what makes her passing so very tragic. The hospital chaplain said that one smile from Tammy to Karen told him everything he ever needed to know about their relationship.

So many people lost a friend, Karen lost her love, and the children lost their mother, far too soon.

Tammy's described herself as sweet, playful, honest, sensitive, and intense. She liked to joke that she swore and drank like a sailor. She loved her kids like crazy and they always came first. She loved irises, good wine and good company. She loved a clean kitchen, a good bonfire, and never tired of the sunsets.

Survivors include her beloved, Karen Small; her daughters, Ilah and Frida Jefferis and Jaizah Pearl; her son, Carlos Blackburn Small; a brother, Scott Walthall; longtime friend Maria Thomadaki; as well as her loving friends and admirers.

All are invited to the burial for a time of remembrance and celebration of Tammy's life at Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve in Newfield on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 1 p.m. For directions, visit www.natural burial.org

After the burial, guests are invited to a reception the home of Scott Dolphin and Todd Nau, 1779 Trumansburg Rd., Trumansburg.

In lieu of flowers, please send cards of gratitude to the ICU staff at Crouse Hospital, 736 Irving Ave., Syracuse, N.Y. 13210


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