Tari “Tara” O’Dea
April 14, 1949 - February 16, 2024

Tari Jean (Perkins) O’Dea, known affectionately as Tara, passed away on Friday, February 16, 2024, in Jacksonville, NC, at the age of 74. She was born on Thursday, April 14, 1949, in Elmira, NY to the late Jack Perkins and Barbara (Hance) Perkins. She was the loving wife to Robert “Bob” O’Dea for over 31 years, she was his sweetheart from day one; their love was immediate and never wavered throughout the years.

Before relocating to Jacksonville, NC to retire and live near her daughter, she spent many years in various parts of California- Los Angeles County, Orange County and Fairfield. She worked as a Buyer for several manufacturing companies such as InfoGraphics Communication Manufacturing Company; she was a valued employee and co-worker. However, her true joy came from her interests outside of work.

Tara was known for her love of reading. When she relocated homes, she generously donated many books to share her passion with others. She also had a love for country music which shone through as she sang along to the tunes of her favorite stars, Patsy Cline and Reba McEntire, among others.

Tara was an avid and talented flower gardener, creating a beautiful flower jungle that sang with the colors of nature. She was a Christian who held her faith close to her heart; her garden was a true sanctuary where she found worship and solace. Although life’s path prevented her from completing her master gardener certificate, Tara’s commitment to learning and growing never stopped.

In addition to her husband, left to cherish her memory is her daughter Jennifer (Henry) Johnson and her husband, Michael of Jacksonville; grandchildren, Brittany Brown, Mikayla Johnson, and Cody Johnson; great-grandson Cooper Brown; sister Candy Krumpe and her husband, Herb of Carmichael, CA; brothers Gary Perkins and his significant other, Kathryn Armstrong of Sacramento, CA, and Dan Perkins and his wife, Marilyn of Walnut, CA.

Tara’s services will be held at a later date, with details to be announced by the family. She will be remembered as a loving person who cherished her family and brought joy with her good sense of humor and sweet smile. She will also be remembered as a loving individual who cherished her family and had a playful, goofy side that brought joy to those around her.

Tara’s presence will be deeply missed, but her spirit will forever bloom in the hearts of those who knew and loved her. May her memory be a source of comfort and inspiration to all who were touched by her presence.

To express condolences or to share a memory, please do so below.

Coastal Cremations of Jacksonville is serving the family.


  • Hilda Culton Posted February 20, 2024 4:42 pm

    Rest in peace dear friend

  • Lori O’Dea Posted February 20, 2024 7:54 pm

    Sending love and deepest sympathy to all the NC family. Tara was such a sweet and fun soul. She will be missed very dearly ❤️

  • Christine and Ronald Jenks lll Posted February 20, 2024 10:54 pm

    What a beautifully written obituary, that captured everything about Mrs. Tara perfectly. I only met her a few times, but she was lovely, inside and out., from all accounts. Our hearts and prayers go out to you and the family in this sad time. Praying for you to have peace.

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