”I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day.” — II Timothy 4:7-8
JOHNSON CITY — Tara Gaston Dugger, 47, of Johnson City, with her loving family by her side, entered into her eternal glory peacefully Sunday following a hard fought, courageous battle with mucosal melanoma at Holston Valley Medical Center.
Born Feb. 25, 1972, in Hicksville, Ohio, she was a daughter of Larry and Sharon Williams Gaston, of Greeneville. Tara was raised in Antwerp, Ohio, moved to Greeneville in 1990, and had been a resident of Johnson City since 1997.
She was a faithful, active member of Maranatha Tabernacle, Unicoi, where she was a youth director, sang in the choir, and served the Lord in many capacities within the church.
Tara was formerly employed with Philips-Magnavox in Greeneville, then for several years with General Shale’s Corporate Office in Johnson City before joining the Milligan College family, where she worked in the Academic Affairs office.
Tara was known by many for her loving demeanor and her sweet smile. She always had an ear for anyone that wanted to talk and was a dear friend to many. To know Tara was to love her!
She was a devoted wife to her husband, Travis, and loving mother to her two girls, Parker and Julie. Tara’s love for her girls knew no bounds. If it was soccer, she was at every practice and every game. When both girls were cast in Kingsport Theater Guild’s “My Fair Lady,” rather than sit and watch, she joined them, auditioned, was cast the part of Mrs. Pearce and took the stage with her two daughters. To know Tara was to love her.
Tara is preceded in death by her infant triplets, Jonathan, Joseph and Ashley Dugger, who passed away in 2000.
She is survived by her husband of 22 years: Travis Dugger, whose sense of humor, devotion and love sustained her for many years. In addition to Tara’s parents, she is also survived by her two daughters: Parker and Julie Dugger; a sister: Tamara Elchert-Whitcomb, of Galion, Ohio; her father-in-law and mother-in-law: Alfred and Wilma Dugger, of Johnson City; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law: Matthew and Angela Dugger, of Sneads Ferry, North Carolina; nephews: Josh Scott, of Defiance, Ohio, and Jordan Scott, of Galion; nieces: Madison Elchert, of Galion, and Madison and Sarah Dugger, of Sneads Ferry; and a best friend: Cindy Saylor, of Jonesborough. Several aunts, uncles and cousins also survive.
A going home celebration will be conducted at noon Saturday at Maranatha Tabernacle, 300 Maranatha Lane, Unicoi, with Pastor E.L Wheeler officiating. Music will be provided by Queenie Wheeler, Mark Dugger and Hannah Bishop.
The family will receive friends Friday from 4-7 p.m. at Appalachian Funeral Home, 800 E. Watauga Ave., Johnson City. Friends may visit with the family Saturday prior to the service from 11 a.m. to noon at Maranatha Tabernacle.
The graveside committal service and interment will follow the funeral at Washington County Memory Gardens.
Pallbearers will be selected from family and friends.
The family expressed a special thank you to the nursing staff of the fifth-floor ICU of Holston Valley Medical Center for the tremendous, courteous care for Tara during her stay.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Maranatha Tabernacle Building Fund, c/o Queenie Wheeler, 122 Timberidge Drive, Erwin, TN 37650.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.wadugger.com.
Woodall-Anderson & Dugger Funeral Home and Cremation Services is in charge of the services.