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Tamala Ennis

Tammy Ennis, age 64, passed away peacefully on December 23rd at Regency Care Center with Jay and Teri by her side.  A visitation is scheduled for Thursday, January 4th, from 4pm to 6pm at Merle Hay Funeral Home, 4400 Merle Hay Rd. in Des Moines.   


Tammy was born in Marshalltown, Iowa to Bob and Mary Ennis, joining her big sister Teri.  They moved to Des Moines in 1960.  Little brother Jay completed the family in 1966.  Tammy attended Elmwood, Callanan, and Roosevelt schools.  She was very social and in her element when surrounded by friends and there were lots of kids in the 37th street neighborhood to play with, ride bikes, and stay out until the street lights came on. 


While in her first year at Roosevelt Tammy was diagnosed with mental illness and began a journey into the mental health system.  Thanks to our mother’s tireless advocacy and many outstanding care providers, Tammy lived safely and as independently as possible.  She received support from a variety of organizations, group homes, counseling services, hospitals, community support programs, social services, and family and friends.  Tammy lived at Mainstream Living group home where she made many friends and had happy times.  Eventually, she participated in an independent living program and had her own apartment for many years until health issues necessitated a move to full time care. 


Despite her 50-year struggle with paranoid schizophrenia, Tammy was a creative, funny, sweet and kind person who was well-liked.  She enjoyed cooking and cookbooks, collecting refrigerator magnets, Disney movies, knitting, and especially Christmas and birthday celebrations.  Tammy’s faith was important to her, and we are comforted that her struggles are over and she is at peace.  In memory of Tammy – Be kind because you never know what someone is going through. 


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