Tamara Durand: grandmom who 'danced her way through life' killed in Waukesha tragedy
Durand was set to make her debut for the Dancing Grannies at the Waukesha parade but was tragically one of the five people to succumb to her injuries
WAUKESHA, WISCONSIN: On November 22, the Waukesha Police Department released the names of the five victims of the Christmas parade tragedy in the city. As we reported, a car plowed into the parade on November 21, killing five and injuring more than 40. The driver was later identified as local rapper Darrell Brooks, who also happens to have an extensive rap sheet.
In the day since, a lot has been made public about Brooks, including old social media posts that appear to indicate racism and support for Black supremacy. The harrowing footage from the incident is now going viral, showing Brooks run over a group of dancing girls. That group has now been identified as the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, who lost four of their members as a result of the tragedy.
Police have now named the victims, with their stories being highlighted ahead of the festive season. One of the five is Tamara Durand, a new entrant to the Dancing Grannies who was set to make her debut at the parade.
Who is Tamara Durand?
The 52-year-old loved to dance, as her husband David Durand noted. "She danced her way through life. She danced when there was no music. She always danced. That describes her personality," he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The young grandmom spent considerable time with her grandson, caring for him four days a week so her daughter could go to nursing school. It was just the latest example of Durand's caring and loving nature.
Between 2017 and 2020, Durand was a chaplain at the Waukesha Memorial Hospital, before which she also served as a chaplain at a Wisconsin hospice and another hospital. For over two decades, Durand was also an educator. According to her LinkedIn page, she first worked as an adjunct professor at St. Mary's University of Minnesota, the Marian University of Fond du Lac, and at Cardinal Stitch University.
Between 1992 and 2009, Durand was an elementary school teacher at Beaver Dam Unified School District in Wisconsin. She had only recently discovered the Dancing Grannies and was set to make her debut for the group on September 21. Tragically, it was a dream she could not fulfill.
In case you wish to donate to the victim's families, there are a large number of avenues to do so. There's one GoFundMe page to raise money for the groups directly affected, including the Dancing Grannies. There's also a GiveSendGo fundraiser to help families directly. Waukesha County has also partnered with other local organizations for the United for Waukesha Community Fund, which again will be used to support the families.