On Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, Kim Louise Tannahill lost her fight with an illness and went home to our Lord and the waiting arms of her mother.
Kim was born to Hugh and Sue Tannahill on Sept. 14, 1966, in Clarkston. She was the fifth born of nine children. She was aptly named after actress Kim Novak, and Kim would go on to live up to that name.
Being born into a large family, the memories and stories are endless. Kim's personality was kind, sweet and loving. From childhood to adulthood, there wasn't a baby or an animal Kim would pass up. As a child, her brother Duke had a pet turtle. Being an animal lover through and through, she couldn't stand the thought of that turtle being cooped up. While mom was cleaning the house, and the other siblings were playing in the yard, Kim stole Duke's turtle and set it free. Needless to say, older brother Duke was furious.
Since dad Hugh was in the U.S. Army, the Tannahills were accustomed to moving around. As children, Kim and her siblings got the opportunity to live in several states across the U.S. From Alaska to California, from Washington to North Carolina and several places in between, Kim was well traveled before she even hit adulthood. You can imagine the squeals, stories, giggles and adventures had between the siblings being cooped up in a station wagon for three days making cross-country treks.
Following her high school graduation in 1985, Kim attended Lewis-Clark State College for a year, taking business courses, and then embarked on her first job as a nanny and found herself living in Boston. After her time in Boston, Kim moved back to Lewiston and worked as a phlebotomist for St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, and then for Potlatch Corp. for a short time.
A new position took Kim to Salmon, Idaho, in the early '90s, and while working there she found herself being introduced to an A-list celebrity couple and started working for them as a nanny to their three children. This really sparked the nanny bug and after working for them, she never looked back. Her lifelong passion of babies and children would lead her to become a very sought-after newborn specialist among celebrities, CEOs and songwriters. This was Kim's passion in life and was her career from 1992-2014.
Kim came back to visit her siblings all the time between her nannying jobs. One year, she came back during the time that Lewiston was hosting a demolition derby and decided she was going to be a competitor. Her brother Duke had transformed his grandmother's station wagon to be his derby car, and Kim commandeered it for her debut, and Duke had to build himself a new one. She drove that car like the devil himself and outdrove her bother. She finished her heat and Duke didn't; he was so worried about how Kim was doing that he couldn't concentrate on his own car. Kim was an activist for adventure. She traveled the world, jumped out of airplanes and even started her journey to become an airplane pilot. Kim had so many stories from around the world, and she wasn't shy in telling her favorite experiences and best stories from her travels. We all loved when Kim came home. It was like a breath of fresh air and insight into a life we never knew.
While working for her celebrity clients, Kim was introduced to the Hollywood life, and she loved it. She took acting classes and was the lead in several plays in Hollywood. She also starred as an extra in several movies including "The Scarlett Letter," "Now and Then" and the first "X-Men." Her nieces and nephews were so proud to see her and watched the scenes over and over, showing their friends and bragging, "That's my aunt!" She was a movie star from her wardrobe down to the cars she drove. And although Kim never had any children of her own, she had her fur baby Zorro, a Jack Russell terrier that she trained from a puppy to also act in movies. She trained Zorro to do anything; Kim was amazing. It was like they had a special language and understood each other from somewhere only found in a very special bond between two souls. From a young age, she loved the theater, but Hollywood reawakened this love, and Kim wanted everyone to love theater and the acting life with her. Even before she was introduced to Hollywood, she loved going to plays at the Lewiston Civic Theatre, dragging her younger sisters with her, and going to drive-in movies in the Lewiston Orchards.
From her clothes to her fragrance, Kim brought Hollywood home and introduced her sisters and cousins to the best products and latest beauty secrets and regimes. Kim was a seeker of knowledge as well. She would research and comb through articles about every product she wanted to try. She wanted to know what was in it, how it worked and how it was made. Even at family pig roasts (a revered Tannahill family tradition) she walked in and it was like Hollywood came to town; she never failed to show up dressed to the nines, showing off her amazing fashion sense, and her excited anticipation to impart her knowledge of new tips, clothes and latest gadgets to her family. Everyone lived a little vicariously to Kim. From her time living in Brentwood, Calif., to her lifetime work as being a celebrity newborn specialist, stories of her work and the people she met left everyone wanting to go home with Kim and live her life. She met and worked with many celebrities and the stories are unbelievable. Like our mother, Kim never met a stranger. She hugged the Beach Boys, worked for several celebrities and even dated Ethan Hawke. She was friends with everyone she met. Celebrity or not, Kim was not one to treat anyone like a stranger.
Kim's laugh and sense of humor was contagious. She never failed to walk into a room and light it up with her smile and positive attitude, or help lighten the mood if need be. On a trip with her sisters Susie, Mary Ellen and Tara and niece Hailey to watch her nephew Chanse graduate from boot camp, Kim gave some great life advice; she said, "As long as you have a mirror, you'll never be alone." She then proceeded to give an example and look in her makeup mirror and said, "There you are!" A little comic relief goes a long way and Kim had perfect timing with her goofiness. When our mom died, Kim brought squirt guns and instigated a squirt gun war with her nieces and nephews. Her squealing laughter lifted the mood and reminded us all that we are the Mighty Mighty Tannahills and that with our family, we can get through anything when we have each other.
Kim was preceded in death by her mother, Patricia (Cadillac Sue) Tannahill; paternal grandparents Hugh and Orahbell Tannahill; maternal grandparents Fred Busby and Nora McGill; uncle Earl Tannahill; cousins Jackie Wren and Tony Tannahill; and brother-in-law Tommy Shrader. She is survived by her father, Hugh and Shirley Tannahill; siblings Susie (Brian) Luthy, Mary Ellen Tannahill Baker, Duke (Brenda) Tannahill, Tina Tannahill, Lori Shrader, Orlean Tannahill and Tara Tannahill; sister-in-law Sheila Northrup Tannahill; aunts and uncles Orah Lee Morgan, Ray Tannahill, Lynn Tannahill and Jeff (Lois) Tannahill; nieces and nephews Beau Luthy, Brina (Toby) Gardner, Justice, Rivers, Briar and Rain Baker, Kayla (Josh) Flerchinger, Karla, Hughston, Hunter and Spencer Tannahill, Jamie Hawkins, Jace, Johnny and Jorah Thompson, Chanse (Red) Shrader, Hailey (Bubba) Braucher, Saxton, Random and Trulee Wallace, and Dara (Matt) Robinett, Dallas, Steven, Abby and Tony Vanhorn; cousins Theresa Morgan, Tracy Montgomery, Chris Marek, Shelly Coombs, Tiffany Brinkley and Terry, Shane, Tammy, Dusty, Stacey, Todd and Nicholas Tannahill; and several great-nieces and -nephews.
A celebration of life for family and friends will be held beginning at 2 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in Lewiston. In true Kim fashion, this will be a black-tie event. Any donations should be made in Kim's name to The Lewis-Clark Animal Shelter or Helping Hands Rescue.