Tansy Sue Birchim
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our dear Nana, Tansy Sue Birchim, who died during emergency heart surgery. She was the love our life and the center of our world. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support from our friends and family near and far, and are seeking solace knowing that she is now reunited with her daughter, Alana, and her father, John. She has gained her wings and we know her spirit is with us everywhere and forever. Her grace and heartfelt devotion shaped her loving family, keeping it whole. Memories of Nana’s life with us will always bring comfort and peace as she was a mother in the truest sense of the word. Rest in peace and pride Nana, until we all meet again.
Tansy was a native Californian raised on her folks cattle and alfalfa ranch in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the small town of Independence located in the Owens Valley. After High School graduation in 1966 Tansy attended and graduated from UCSB, after which she chose to remain living in Santa Barbara.
Her husband of 47 years, Russ, attended school with her in Independence. After High School graduation he was drafted into the army. They lost track of each other until a chance meeting in 1969. They fell in love and were married in 1970, and settled in Santa Barbara. They raised a family of three – John, Alana and Bo. Russ worked for the Sb County Sheriff’s Department, retiring after 31 years of service.
Nana’s beautiful daughter, Alana, died in 2001 at the age of 23, eight months after being diagnosed with leukemia. This cruel loss was a heartbreak for the family. Tansy struggled to accept her death and it affected her remaining years.
Tansy chose to be cremated and asked that her ashes be spread along with those of her daughter in Birchim Lake in the High Sierras.
Tansy is survived by her husband, Russell; mother Tansy Smith; son John and his wife, Jenn; son Bo; 5 grandchildren – Jamyn, Zea, Cainan, Koa and Zenn; sister Cara Erikson; brother Zachery and his wife Virginia; along with numerous nephews, nieces and other loving relatives.