Christine Tarr passed away peacefully at Seacoast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Gloucester on Saturday, January 21, after a long and robust life spanning 95 years, that saw her deeply involved with her family, the community, and the many things that she was so passionate about in her life.
Born on November 29, 1921, to Constantine and Jennie (Jais) Taliadoros, she was one of seven brothers and sisters in the family they raised after coming to Gloucester, which followed their emigration from Greece near the turn of the century. She lived her entire life with a close connection and commitment to her parents and her siblings, John, Mike, Nick, Tony, Bessie, and Bill. While each of them built their business endeavors, such as Tally's, the Causeway Restaurant, and Tony's, and pursued other important things in their lives, she was always a strong and supportive presence at the family farm on 80 Essex Avenue in Gloucester.
In fact, her life on the farm imparted to her a love of animals and growing things in the garden and the fields that lasted for all of her years. She spent many pleasant hours gardening with her sister-in-law, Dorothy Taliadoros. Being a very practical person, she also learned to knit and sew, and later in her life crafted beautiful sweaters and clothing for her sons and granddaughters.
Although she spent much time at the farm, she was also very industrious in her own right, working for more than 15 years at the LePage’s glue factory in Gloucester as well as for some time at Jordan Marsh in Peabody. Earning a pay check enabled her gregarious and adventurous spirit to flourish, particularly when she was able to purchase a Henry J automobile that carried Chris and her friends near and far, to events such as gatherings of her "club" of friends.
In 1950, Chris married Edward “Murph” Tarr and began a new chapter in her life. He taught her how to play golf, and they worked together to build a foundation for their family to come. Their first son, Brian, was born in 1951, followed by Brent in 1952 and Bruce in 1964. With Ed working at the Bass Rocks Golf Club and then the Gloucester Department of Public Works, they settled at the family farm and began to pass on a great family legacy to their sons.
A significant part of that legacy was civic involvement and service to the community, and each son advanced it in his own way. Brian dedicated his working life, until recently retiring, to Gloucester’s children as a teacher and Assistant Superintendent of Public Schools. Bruce served as a State Representative before being elected to the State Senate, where he currently serves as its Minority Leader. Brent, an owner of NBT Electricians, has and continues to be involved in many community projects such as placing American flags on Stacey Boulevard in the summer and obtaining, transporting, erecting and decorating the Christmas tree that illuminates Kent Circle every holiday season.
Chris supported her sons in all of their ventures and activities, from scouting and activities at St. John’s Episcopal Church to school projects, group activities with friends, businesses like selling corn and Christmas trees to elections for the legislature. She was behind them always, and in the process forged deep and lasting friendships with their friends, who cherished their time with her. Often in her later years they would pay a visit to the farm just to check in with her or seek some advice.
Chris welcomed a daughter-in-law to the family in 1979 when Brent married Cathy. Soon afterwards, her granddaughters, Elizabeth and Emily were born and brought new joy to her life. She loved caring for them, bringing them to places like the North Shore Music Theater and fostering in them her love of animals. They shared many things, including raising and keeping goats and other animals. Chris was radiant in September of 2013 when Elizabeth married her husband, Mike Leung. And she always enjoyed visits from Elizabeth and Mike and Emily and her companion, Jamie, particularly when they came with their dogs.
Over the years as Chris grew older, Cathy became her special caregiver and helped her in countless ways. Together they faced the challenges of Chris' aging, even when it was very difficult.
One very special activity in Chris’s life was swimming. Whether it was synchronized swimming or instructing students with special needs at the YMCA, or swimming in the summer in the pool the family built at the farm, she loved being in the water and being there with friends. She helped to teach her granddaughter to swim and for many years met with friends every morning at the Cape Ann Marina pool. There she often did laps for over a mile each day.
Chris Tarr will surely be remembered for many things, from knitting to growing things in the garden to swimming and raising goats. Most of all, her place in our hearts will live on because of each time in our lives when she proved just how much she loved her family and friends, and was with us for everything that came our way in life.
She is survived by her sons, Brian and Bruce of Gloucester; Brent and wife, Cathy (Boudreau) of Gloucester; granddaughter, Emily and partner, James ("Jamie") Oliver of Gloucester; granddaughter, Elizabeth Leung and her husband, Michael of Millstone, New Jersey; her brother, Anthony Taliadoros and wife, Arlene of Essex; and her sister-in-law, Dorothy Talidoros of Gloucester. She is predeceased by her parents, Constantine and Jennie (Jais) Taliadoros; her husband, Edward Tarr; her sister, Bessie Mentis and husband, George of Malden; brothers, Michael, John and his wife, Phyllis, Nicholas and William Taliadoros, all of Gloucester.
A celebration of her life will be held at the Beauport Hotel, 55 Commercial Street, Gloucester, MA on Sunday, January 29, from 5 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Senior Care, 5 Blackburn Center, Gloucester, MA 01930, the Visiting Nurse Association Care Network, 8 Angle Street, Gloucester, the Addison Gilbert Hospital Citizens Fund, 298 Washington Street, Gloucester or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are by the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington Street, Gloucester. For online condolences, please visit .
James C. Greely Funeral Service