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Tamara "Tami" Lewton

Updated: Jun 27

Tamara Diane Lewton (Pollard) was born on October 12, 1965 in Denver, Colorado, and passed away on June 19, 2024 at Unity Point Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, ending her 5-month battle with cancer.

Please join us in celebrating Tami’s life at her visitation on Monday, June 24 from 4:00 – 7:00 and funeral on Tuesday, June 25 at 10:00 at Ankeny First United Methodist Church.

After growing up in Colorado and Connecticut, the Pollard family settled in Wheaton, Illinois. Tami’s sparkling personality took no time in building a social and athletic legacy. During her time at Wheaton Central High School, Tami devoted time and passion to the pom-pom team (first priority) and track. Ironically, she added tennis along the way, even placing in the top 10 at the Illinois State Tennis Tournament.

It was that competitive spirit and athletic edge that earned Tami a tennis scholarship to Iowa State University. While tennis was set in stone for the next four years, deciding on a degree was a different story. Tami knew fashion was in her future, always setting the next new trend or predicting the others, but after “close counseling” from her dad, she settled on a finance major and fashion merchandising minor. At ISU, Tami met her future husband Russ.  While not a love at first sight story, Tami eventually broke her “no Iowa guys” rule and Russ became the love of her life.

Once married in April of 1988, Tami moved out to Connecticut to be with Russ, where her historic retail career began. Through moves from Connecticut to Chicago and finally back to Des Moines, Tami pursued her fashion merchandising passion, working in store management for several retailers, preparing her for a career at Younkers/Sak’s in Des Moines.  Starting as an Assistant Buyer, Tami rose to become a Divisional Vice President, one of the youngest in Younkers history.

Although Tami loved her career in fashion, her calling to be a great Mom was even stronger.   In 2002, Tami proudly left her profession to stay home with her young children – Jackson, age 5, and Alyssa, age 2, Tami raised her children with the same ideals she learned and earned throughout her life.  It was during this time that she rekindled her love of tennis.   Once her kids were old enough, Tami took a job as a Tennis Pro at Des Moines Golf and Country Club, starting her down the path to become the Boys Tennis Coach at Ankeny Centennial High School in 2016.  Tami was incredibly passionate about teaching kids (and anyone else who was interested) the game of tennis, but also about taking chances and trying new things.  Her greatest joy was helping kids gain self confidence and inspiring them to be their best selves on and off the court – a job she found most fulfilling. Tami continued to do what she loved until  her cancer diagnosis in January of this year.

Tami was preceded in death by her father, Thomas Eugene Pollard, and her mother, Shirley Joan Pollard (Plank). Tami is survived by her husband, Russ Lewton, and her two children, Jackson and Alyssa Lewton; as well as her sister, Trudy Bennorth.


“My mind still talks to you, my heart still looks for you, but my soul knows you are at peace.”


4:00 - 7:00 pm

Monday, June 24, 2024

Ankeny First United Methodist Church

206 SW Walnut St, Ankeny, IA

Funeral Service

10:00 am

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Ankeny First United Methodist Church

206 SW Walnut St, Ankney, IA


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