The Deaf Sports world has lost a legend as Tamara “Tammy” Petra Marcinuk, from Fitchburg, MA, died on Saturday, September 29, 2018 at home. Tammy, 69, was a Deaflympic skier who won five gold, one silver and three bronze medals in six international Deaflympic Games over a 24 year period starting in 1967.
Retired from competitive skiing in 1991, Tammy continued with the Deaflympic Ski team as a coach, was inducted into the USA Deaf Sports Federation Hall of Fame in 1993 and lit the torch at the opening ceremonies at the 2007 Deaf Olympics in Salt Lake City. In addition to many state accolades, the city of Fitchburg presented Tammy with two keys to the city and in 1971 the late Mayor Harold Lemay proclaimed a day in her honor.
Tammy began her skiing career as a teen at Burbank Hill in Fitchburg, practiced at Mt. Wachusett and was eventually coached by Jack Coffey at Stowe Mt. In addition to skiing, Tammy excelled at many sports and outdoor activities such as ice skating, swimming, windsurfing, sailing and scuba diving. As a child, Tammy spent hours roller skating at Whalom Park with her beloved grandmother Rose, who watched her every move.
A master of lip-reading and American Sign Language, Tammy earned a bachelor’s degree from Boise State and a master’s in elementary and physical education from Boston University. She taught deaf high school students in St. Croix, Cleary School for the Deaf in Smithtown, NY and college students at Mount Wachusett Community College where her competitive spirit and quest for excellence was expected from her students.
A funeral mass will be held at 11 AM on Tuesday, October 23rd at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 84 Salem St, Fitchburg, MA. Family and friends are invited to a reception following the service in the banquet room at St. Anthony’s. Memorial contributions may be made to a GoFundMe page for the American Society of Deaf Children in Tammy’s honor: gofundme.com/tammy-marcinuk.
Funeral Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli and the Fitchburg Chapel of the Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Homes, 243 Water St. Fitchburg.