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Tsuneo Tamura
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Obituary for Tsuneo Tamura

Tsuneo (“Tammy”) Tamura passed away on February 14, 2018 quietly in his home, surrounded by his family after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Tammy was born on November 15, 1925 in Lahaina, Hi. His parents were immigrants from Japan and his father worked as an electrician on a large sugar plantation. Tammy received a scholarship to attend the University of Hawaii where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry 1948. After receiving his degree, he received a research assistantship in the soil science department at the University of Wisconsin. Working under the direction of Professor Marion Jackson, Tammy received a PhD in soil science in 1952 in the area of uranium radioactivity in soils.
After brief stints at Yale New Haven Research Station and Westinghouse Corporation, Tammy joined the Health Physics Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1956. It was in Oak Ridge that Tammy found his career home and where he and his wife, Amy raised their family. Tammy’s expertise in radioactivity in soils was immediately valuable to the laboratory and in the early 70’s, he joined the Environmental Sciences Division where he would spend the rest of his research career. Tammy was an active scientist with numerous publications and he was often called as an expert witness for legal proceedings involving soil contamination.
After retirement, Tammy and his second wife, Helen Pfuderer, were active in church and travel. They made trips to China and Europe and to numerous locations in the United States. Oak Ridge however remained their home base and their family their first priority. Tammy is predeceased by his first wife Amy, and his second wife Helen. His survivors include his sister, Irene Nakagawa (Lahaina HI), three sons, Richard (Wadesboro NC), Roy (Tampa, FL) and Robert (Simpsonville, SC), two step-daughters, Katie Grossman and Susie Lange, eleven grandchildren; Shannon, Nicki, Timothy, Peter, David, Andrew, Alexandra, Elizabeth and Alayna and a soon to be great grandson.
The funeral is at 3:00 pm on Saturday, February 17 at Weatherford Mortuary. The family will receive friends at Tammy’s house at 8117 River Road, Oak Ridge at 5PM after the funeral and burial. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to either the Agape Society at the First Baptist Church of Oak Ridge, Tennessee or the Caris Hospice, 10651 Coward Mill Rd, Knoxville, TN 37931 for their sister hospice in Ethopia. An online guest book may be signed at

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Previous Events





3:00 PM
Weatherford Mortuary

158 South Jefferson Circle
Oak Ridge, TN 37830

Graveside Service




4:00 PM
Oak Ridge Memorial Park

1501 Bethel Valley Road
Oak Ridge, TN 37830





5:00 PM
Tammy Tamura's home

8117 River Road Road
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831

The family will receive friends at Tammy's home, 8117 River Road, Oak Ridge, TN

Memorial Contribution

Caris Hospice

10651 Coward Mill Road, Knoxville, TN 37931

First Baptist Church, Agape Society

1101 Oak Ridge Turnpike
Oak Ridge, TN 37830

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