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Blank, Tari
Tari Ann Blank, 56, of Pine River, passed away on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 due to a tragic car accident.

She was born on July 25, 1961 to the late Donald E. Smith and Nancy Wenzlaff. She married David Blank, the love of her life, on June 25, 1983 in Elm Grove, Wisconsin.

Tari was a kind soul whose mission in life was to help others. She was a member of the ski patrol, a surgical technician, an emergency medical technician in the emergency department at Aspirus Wausau Hospital and a volunteer first responder for the Pine River Fire Department; always committing herself to helping others, but especially committed to her family. She was the proud mother to three amazing daughters, Leigh, Chelsea and Aubrey and grandmother to Evalynn. Tari was also a lover of animals but especially loved her horses Bandera, Cody and Lacy who she would take out on organized trail rides, and her donkeys Harriet and Anna. She also enjoyed traveling, hiking, and fishing. But most important to Tari were her friends and family. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

Tari is survived by her husband, David of Pine River; daughters, Leigh (significant other Dustin Hein) of Milwaukee, Chelsea (Brian) Fisher of Milwaukee, and Aubrey (Fiancé Ben LaPlante) of Rothschild; granddaughter, Evalynn LaPlante; Mother, Nancy (Jim) Wenzlaff of Wisconsin Rapids; brothers, Don (Noel) Smith and Steve (Robin) Smith; and her sister Sandy (John)Knol.

A service will be held at 12:00 noon on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at Brainard Funeral Home-Everest Chapel, 5712 Memorial Court, Weston, WI 54476. Visitation will take place on Friday, November 3, 2017 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and again from 10:00 am until the time of services on Saturday. All to take place at the funeral home.

The family of Tari Ann Blank is setting up a scholarship fund in her honor at Northcentral Technical College. This scholarship will honor Tari Smith Blank’s life by being available to non-traditional students who have different life experiences that led them to a career choice in fire, police or EMS services. We know Tari would love this and appreciate any and all contributions. Please send contributions to:

NTC Foundation
RE: Tari Ann Blank Memorial Scholarship
1000 W Campus Drive
Wausau, WI 54401

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Comments

  1. Bill F

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    My sincere condolences to the family and friends ,so sorry for your loss. Please find comfort in knowing that Jehovah God will soon resurrect our dear loved ones (John 5:28-29). Oh how we long for the day when pain, suffering and death will be no more, these former things will have passed away (Revelation 21:3-5).

  2. Scott Wildman

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Dave and family – I’m so sorry To hear about Tari. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your daughters and the rest of your family and friends.

  3. Ann Bentzen-Bilkvist and Jim Whitney

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Dave, my heart broke when I read about Tari’s accident on Facebook. She was such a big part of what Jim and I love about skiing at Granite Peak. We looked forward to seeing her at the beginning of the season, and spening time with the two of you when schedules permitted. She lit up the room – whether at the lodge, a restaurant, or at the hospital. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the girls.

  4. Tricia Slagle Murray

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Sandy,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I have many memories of all us kids running around the neighborhood. Tari was the older cool kid that was always so nice to me.
    xoxo,
    Tricia

  5. Bill Nortman

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Dave and family,

    I am so sorry for your loss. May the wonder times and memories you had with your wife/mother remind you and your family how blessed you all were. God bless your family.

    Bill Nortman

  6. Lisa Tulisaari

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    My deepest sympathy to the whole family, I can’t imagine the grief you are experiencing. Many fond memories of Tari dating as far back as high school. Tari was full of life and touched so many lives with her infectious smile and laughter. She will be missed, but her memories live on. Thoughts, prayers and Blessings to all of you. Lisa Tulisaari

  7. Vicki Rheinschmidt

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    So very, very sorry for your tragic loss. Tari was an awesome person. She will be greatly missed by many. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless you all.

    Vicki Rheinschmidt
    (Kronenwetter Veterinary Care)

  8. Marcia Welther Fisher

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    To Dave, your children, Nancy and your entire family, my deepest sympathy on the loss of Tari.
    May your happiest memories of your time with her sustain you through this difficult time.
    I have sent a donation to NTC Foundation in her name.
    Sincerely,
    Marcia (Welther) Fisher

  9. Jenny Kim

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Dave and Family,
    I was deeply saddened and heartbroken to hear about Tari. While I haven’t seen her in a while, I was so happy to connect on FaceBook. Memories of high school and visiting after Leigh and Chelsea were born have been fond memories. She was a beautiful friend inside and out. Tari will be in my heart forever.❤️

  10. Deb Olson

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    So very sorry for your loss. I worked, skied, and also hung out a good deal with Tari over a number of years on Payrol at Granite Peak where she will be greatly missed from her ski patrol to the rescue ring tone to her striving and usually succeeding being the 1st one to the rescue. Although I never got to meet any of her family I heard about her Mom and the wonderful trips she enjoyed with her, the good meals that Dave prepared especially the Brazilian dishes and of course many mothers pride stories about you girls. Prayers for you all!

  11. Vicki

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Tari’s kind spirit will always be alive at Granite Peak!

  12. Marguerite Steele

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    She sounds like a woman who always gave of herself. She is flying with angels now. Rest in heaven.

  13. Troy and Jen Gutowski

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Dave,
    Troy and I are just heartbroken and still in shock at Tari’s passing. You and Tari became his best friends. She was an amazing person and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to know her. We always looked forward to our dinners out with you both so much. To say she will be greatly missed is a serious understatement and does not begin to capture our sentiments.

    You and the girls are in our thoughts and prayers.

    With deepest sympathies,
    Troy and Jen Gutowski

  14. Noreen Landowski

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Family of TARI, I’m so sorry for your loss. I was devastated to hear about her passing away. She loved everyone. She always greeted me with a hello a big smile and always a big hug. She will forever be missed.

  15. David Schmit

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Dave,

    I would like to express my deep sympathies to you and your daughters over the loss of Tari. From our conversations, I know she was always concerned for others, always helping others. My simple words cannot express the deep sense of loss I feel for you and your family. The devastation you must be feeling. I can’t imagine the sense of loss you are feeling. Please know that Cathy and I will keep you and your family in our prayers as the days go by. If you need to talk, I am only a phone call away. God be with you all as you face the days and weeks to come.

  16. Adam Webster

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    David, there are no words that I can say to make this any easier for you and your family. From the time I was able to spend with Tari, I could see that she filled her life beyond her years and we all can be grateful. I know you were her biggest fan, as I’m sure she was for you. You have my deepest sympathy. Adam

  17. Karen Schwartz

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    David, please know our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We are just heartbroken for you. We are all here for you and want you to know that you have family in HR to support you. We are so sorry for your loss. Our condolences.

    Karen Schwartz
    Janet Hannon
    Teresa Martin
    Counce Mill HR Department

  18. Deb and John Hoffmann

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Nancy and Family,
    I was devastated when I heard about Tari ! I remember her so well from all the reunions at Fond du Lac. You and Don raised a very remarkable daughter. All the things mentioned in her obituary are a credit to your loving influence that shaped her into the exceptional woman she became. Not only will she be welcomed into the loving arms of God, there are so many of her earthly family who have gone before her waiting to hug her and welcome her ! My heart goes out to David and her daughters and their families ! She will obviously be missed by all who loved her. Cherish the wonderful memories you have of your beautiful daughter and may God comfort each and every one of you ! You are all in my prayers !

  19. Mike and Sally Tulisaari

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Dave and the Smith family. So sad to hear. We are praying for you and Tari.

  20. Don and Rose Molley

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Dave and Family,
    Words will never fill the hole that has been created without her here. Tari was so involved in so many things. She brought joy, compassion, knowledge, understanding, commitment and drive in everything she did. She was so passionate about the ER. I will always remember her taking care of Rose after our kayaking accident, the support she gave me while working at Aspirus, and how she had to get that loud donkey. I always felt better running on a first responder call knowing she was there too. She was a gift God let us have. Prayers for you Dave and your whole Family.

  21. Don and Rose Molley

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Dave and Family,
    Words will never fill the whole that has been created without her here. Tari was so involved in so many things. She brought joy, compassion, knowledge, understanding, commitment and drive in everything she did. She was so passionate about the ER. I will always remember her taking care of Rose after our kayaking accident, the support she gave me while working at Aspirus, and how she had to get that loud donkey. I always felt better running on a first responder call knowing she was there too. She was a gift God let us have. Prayers for you Dave and your whole Family.

  22. Joni Hahn

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Tari’s presence was larger than life. When she walked in a room you felt her passionate energy. Tari truly cared about each and everyone of us and making a difference in our lives. I will miss her greatly along with all of our family in the ER. Prayers to her family that were the center of her life. You were all greatly loved!

  23. Susan Leopold

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    I had the pleasure of working with Tari at the Aspirus YMCA. She made every day fun, enjoyable and became more than someone who did a fantastic job of handling the front desk, but a friend as well. She also gave me a Christmas tree and decorations at a time when I had little. I will always remember her for her kindness and her humor .

  24. Tanya Kramar

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    I am in absolute shock. Tears. Sadness. This woman has left a legacy unparalleled to others. I am so sorry for the loss.

  25. he extra mile to help o

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Tari,

    You have taught so many of us what compassion really means. Your willingness to always go the extra mile for all you have encountered was amazing. Thank you for being the teacher you were to many of us. You will be missed by all. My thoughts and prayers for your family .

  26. Maria Schalow

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    My heart goes out to you All! Taro was the first friend I made when my family moved to Riverview. We did many fundraisers together, but most of all she was my comfort when I was in the ER. I loved this Angel and she will be truly missed.

    Maria Schalow and Family

  27. Robin Jaye Lord

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    I haven’t seen Tari since high school but it hurts to hear of her passing. I remember her as such a kind and caring person. It sounds like she lived life to its fullest and lived to help others. My condolences to her family. I know she will be so dearly missed.

  28. Kimberly

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    I have fond memories while raising our daughters at the Methodist Church in Wausau. She was vibrant, caring, and had a personality that drew people to her. May your memories see you through this trying time.

  29. Katie Allen

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Tari will be sorely missed…I worked with her in the ER in years passed, when she started there, and then as she began to mentor other EMTs. Not only did she teach those she was seeking to teach new skills, she was a lesson by example by being honest, compassionate, real, and full of life. Very few people live life with same vigor and energy she did. I have no satisfactory words to express how sorry I am for your loss…but wanted to share how she made an impact on me. Those of us who knew her are better for it. It was an honor and blessing to have worked with her.

  30. Melissa Meyer

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    I was shocked to hear the news of her passing. Tari always had a smile on her face and never hesitated to answer questions, hop in and help others or show someone how to do something. She will truly be missed.

  31. Kay Weiss

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    David, Leigh, Chelsea, Aubrey, baby Evalynn and family, I am heartbroken for you. I worked with Tari in the emergency department prior to retiring 2 years ago. She was a vibrant, confident woman. Tari was a force in the ER. I can picture her, in her black scrubs, her curly black hair bouncing as her long strides took her through the department. She seemed to have a name for everyone, mine was K-bird. That is how I will remember her. May your memories, in time, bring you comfort. My deepest, heartfelt sympathy to all of you.

  32. Danny Bobrow

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    I am deeply saddened and shocked by this terrible news, and that, owing to the 8 hour round trip, it will not be possible for me to attend the service. Tari was rapidly becoming a close friend of mine who I very much looked forward to seeing every Monday morning to help open the Granite Peak Ski Hill. Notwithstanding I knew her less than a year, this is a deep personal loss for me.

    My love and best wishes to her family and friends.

    Climb On Tari!

  33. DeAnne Mickelson

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Tari was a big part of my daughter Tami (& our horse Sassy) growing as a rider. She was coach, cheerleader and occasionally medic. She gave selflessly of her time & expertise, asking nothing in return. She celebrated the victories and consoled the losses. She had the biggest heart, and will be missed. My heart goes out to those she left behind.

  34. Dean Goulet

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Tari,
    You were there to show us just what it means to serve. Your infectious laugh, your enthusiasm and your smile will be greatly missed. The ER has a void that none can fill. Thank you for being such a mentor to many and a friend to all. Go peacefully to the arms of God for you are truly a hero.

  35. Gary Howell

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Hard to believe this would happen to Tari. One who has given so much to others. Dave and family are in my prayers.

  36. Sherry Atwell

    11/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    My prayers go out to Tari’s family. She will be missed by many. She gave her life to saving others. She will always be remembered for being a kind and caring soul.