After graduating from Pottstown High School, Tammy started to work in the school’s office. Later she worked for The Mercury from 1992-1999. She was in the classified department, which also handled death notices.
Tammy and Kurt Klotzbach had a working relationship — as Kurt was an area funeral director. He would call in the notices to Tammy who would handle it on the paper’s end.
One day Kurt sensed (over the phone) that Tammy was going through a difficult time in her life and asked her out to dinner for the next day. They hit it off in person just as much as they did on the phone.
Tammy and Kurt married in 2000. In May of 1999, she quit her job at The Mercury to start to work at the Campbell-Ennis–Klotzbach Funeral Home in Phoenixville and the Cattermole- Klotzbach Funeral Home in Royersford.
Tammy has no children of her own. But the marriage brought to her two step-sons — Josh and Andrew. The family blended together and became part of each other’s lives. To add to the joy is Josh’s two daughters: the dancer — Brynn and Morgan — the racer — 11 and 9, respectively.
Kurt died unexpectedly in 2002 due to complications from health issues. Devastated, Tammy made a decision to continue with the funeral homes and became the president of both facilities. She is not a funeral director, but she gets to do everything else connected to the business.
Young at the time of their dad’s death, Josh and Andrew went on to become funeral directors. Today, both operate the family business along with Justin V. Caramenico III.
To fill the void in her life after Kurt's passing, Tammy vested herself in charitable endeavors. It was known throughout the community you only had to ask. She has cut back her involvement as she wants to spend more time with her granddaughters.
Tammy was very instrumental in The House – Phoenixville Women’s Outreach, procuring its first facility in the borough.
The list of her involvement touches every group you can think of.
She remains active with the Soroptimist Club. The club’s mission is to “Improve Lives of Women — to educate.” They are dedicated to raising money through their annual Fashion Show and Bingos, as well as several other events that help raise funds.
Eight years ago, Tammy met Scott Levan from Gilbertsville online. They have been enjoying married life for the last three years.
Tammy credits her mom Doris Strunack with the family’s good and solid upbringing. She is the youngest of four children with two older sisters and her brother. Mrs. Strunack was a single mother since Tammy was 4.
Due to health issues and wanting to keep her safe, Tammy moved her mother into the family home next to the funeral home on Main Street. It seems to be a good move both for mother and daughter and the family.
Tammy’s kitchen is always busy. She shares with us a favorite recipe.
THE FAMILY’S SLOVAK HALUSHI
#10 can of sauerkraut
2 small bags gnocchi
1 lb. real butter*
¼ cup sugar
Put sauerkraut into large pot — cover with water & add ¼ cup sugar. Bring to a boil & boil for 15 minutes. Strain sauerkraut & rinse very well. Press all the water out of the sauerkraut with your hands with increments of a baseball. Once the sauerkraut is pressed, melt half of the butter in a large frying pan. Fry until sauerkraut starts to brown. It will crackle as it fries. Cook gnocchi in boiling water as instructed on package. They will float to the top when cooked. Drain & rinse gnocchi — then add the remaining butter onto it. Immediately dump the sauerkraut & gnocchi into a large pot or serving bowl & mix well. It is ready to eat.
*Yes, 1 whole pound of real butter — no substitutes.
Contract columnist Bette at banjack303.verizon.net. Search YouTube – with BetteBanjack as well as phoenixvillenews.com (search bar Banjack). She can be found on Facebook. Her book “2 Cups of Yesterday” can be found at the Gateway Pharmacy or by contacting her directly.