DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Tammy Faye Bakker (aged 65)
Tamara Faye Messner ( LaValley, formerly Bakker; March 7, 1942 – July 20, 2007) was an American Christian singer, evangelist, entrepreneur, author, talk show host, and television personality. She initially gained notice for her work with The PTL Club, a televangelist program she co-founded with her then-husband Jim Bakker in 1974. Prior to founding The PTL Club, they had hosted their own puppet show series for local programming in Minnesota in the early 1970s, and Messner also had a career as a recording artist. In 1978, she and Bakker built Heritage USA, a Christian theme park.
DEATH: On July 20, 2007, Messner died after 11 years with cancer. She was 65 years old. What had started as colon cancer had spread to her lungs. She died in her home, said her publicist, Joe Spotts. A family service was held on the morning of July 21, 2007, in the Messner family plot in Waldron, Kansas. The ceremony was officiated by the Rev. Randy McCain, the pastor of Open Door Community Church in Sherwood, Arkansas. She had frequently spoken about her medical problems, saying she hoped to be an inspiration to others. “Don’t let fear rule your life,” she said. “Live one day at a time, and never be afraid.” She had written on her website in May that the doctors had stopped trying to treat the cancer. She died the day after the airing of her interview on Larry King Live on CNN. According to CNN.com, the family requested that King officially report the news of her death on July 21, 2007. Her remains were cremated, and her ashes were returned to Waldron Cemetery where they were subsequently buried.