Rosemary Lynne Tait Obituary
May 11, 1951 – November 3, 2016
Rosemary Lynne Owings Tait was promoted to glory on November 3, 2016. Rosemary Lynne Owings Tait, affectionately known as Lynne, was a woman of nuance: a steel magnolia and a sweet southern belle, a Tennessee Volunteer and a Georgia Peach (but never a bulldog), a fighter and a lover, a believer and a woman of deep questions, and a childlike wonder accompanied by a deep wisdom. She was a wife, a mother, a sister, an educator, and a friend. She was pearls and red lipstick regardless of how she felt and the world is a darker, lonelier place without her inner sparkle, sense of humor, and her dignity and grace. She truly believed that the right shoes could change your life and she left the world a better place than when she came into it.
Lynne was born Rosemary Lynne Owings, the youngest of seven children, in Rockwood, Tennessee on May 11, 1951 to Thomas and Zola Owings. Her father was a carpenter and her mother was a housewife, a caterer, and a high school cafeteria manager. They instilled in her a strong faith in God, a love of country, and a fierce work ethic. She graduated from Rockwood High School in Rockwood, Tennessee in May of 1969. She then went on to attend Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in education and a certification in History and English for grades 7-12. After a very brief stint as a high school teacher, wherein some of her students were older than her, she decided that high school education was not for her and she earned her certification in elementary education grades 1-8, while working as an employment counselor for the Tennessee Department of Employment Security. There, while paired on a random employment project, she met a South African man named Maurice Tait, who would eventually become her husband. Although their time together in the United States was initially brief, their first date at the Crosseyed Cricket in Lenoir City, Tennessee, sparked a love and appreciation for one another that continued over the span of two years of love letters before they were married in Rockwood, Tennessee on September 10, 1983, and moved to Johannesburg, South Africa.
Moving to South Africa was the ultimate adventure for Lynne, and she fell in love with the culture and the people. While in South Africa, she worked as an eighth grade teacher/middle school coordinator at the American International School. There she taught her students science and history while they tried to educate her about pop culture and Whitney Houston (whom she thought was a student there). On April 8, 1987, Maurice and Lynne welcomed a baby girl, Elizabeth Sloane Tait, and Lynne made the difficult decision to stay home with her daughter while she was young. Lynne fully immersed herself in South African life and was very involved with the Methodist church, hens and chicks, and made many life long friendships which she maintained all her life.
Although a very difficult decision, Maurice and Lynne decided to relocate back to the United States to a tiny town called Peachtree City, Georgia in 1994. Lynne had discovered Peachtree City on a commercial while stuck at LaGuardia Airport in New York. Fayette County became her family’s home for the rest of her life.
Always an educator, upon her return to the United States, Lynne moved from teaching Pre-K at Kids R Kids to teaching special education, splitting her time between Peachtree City Elementary and Tyrone Elementary before becoming a full-time teacher at Tyrone Elementary. Always driven to learn, she worked full time while earning her master’s degree in early childhood education at the State University of West Georgia in 2002. As a Tyrone Tornado, she taught third, fourth and fifth grades from 1997-2002 before becoming a Kedron Knight. At Kedron she taught fourth and, ultimately, fifth grades until her untimely passing. In total her teaching career spanned twenty-three and a half years. While she always taught every subject with passion and unwavering enthusiasm, her greatest goal was that every child who entered her classroom knew that he or she was loved. She loved every child in her class equally, unequivocally, and as if her own.
Lynne’s Christian faith was very important to her, and she was actively involved with her church, Peachtree City United Methodist. She developed her love for people in far away lands, and served on mission trips, even travelling to Liberia. She continued to assist with mission work both here and abroad by serving on church communities, teaching Sunday school classes, making sandwiches and soup for the homeless, and constantly seeking to make her community a better place.
Lynne was married to Maurice Tait for thirty-one happy years until his untimely passing on December 25, 2014.
Family members who preceded Lynne in death were: sisters Sammye Owings Myers, Betty Owings Martin, and Judy Owings Wassom; brothers Thomas Dock Owings, Jr., Edward Owings, and Jack H. Owings; sisters-in-law Reba Owings, Elizabeth “Betty” Joe Owings, and Berylene Ferguson Campbell Owings; brothers-in-law Richard Martin, Stanley Wassom and William T. Myers.
Child: Elizabeth “Sloane” Tait Blount (Robert Ryland Blount)
Sisters-in-law: MaryAnn Owings and Nora Lee Owings
Many nieces, nephews, family members and countless friends.
The family will receive friends on Thursday, November 10, 2016 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm at the Peachtree City United Methodist Church in Peachtree City, Georgia. Funeral will follow at 6:00 pm. Internment and graveside services will be held on Friday, November 11, 2016 at 2:00 pm in Oak Grove Cemetery in Rockwood, Tennessee. In lieu of flowers, please, send donations to the Kedron C.A.R.E. team or the Peachtree City United Methodist Global Outreach.