Tawana Louise (Cuddie) Grabarz was born March 7, 1967 in Ashland, OR to Norman K and Catherine L (Campbell) Cuddie. They lived in White City, OR for two years. In 1969 they moved to Cave Junction, OR. where Tawana grew up and blessed the Illinois Valley for 54 years.
Tawana attended all three Cave Junction schools and graduated with honors from IVHS in 1985. However, drugs and alcohol dominated the next two years and almost stole her future. A traumatic car accident gave her a new chance at life. With the grace of God, support from her family, a new boyfriend and a desire to live a deeper life, Tawana began a new chapter. She married Stacey Grabarz, the love of her life, July 7th 1990. She dedicated her life to God and was baptized in the Illinois River. By the end of her life, she had celebrated 32 years of sobriety.
Being a quadriplegic, breast cancer survivor, and all of the many health issues she battled, God gave her the ability to do what seemed impossible. She received an Associates of Applied Science degree in counseling the chemically dependent, a Bachelor's degree in business management and a Master’s degree in social work. She was an inspiration to countless people through her work as a drug and alcohol counselor, professor at RCC and for the last 16 years working at LBMS as a Student Advocate.
Tawana’s other volunteer work included Mirror Ministries Puppet and Clowning Troupe, public speaker for disabilities and spinal cord awareness at public schools since 1998. She was a Co-founder and board member of Healthy U. Tawana was a member of the NACSW and Joni & Friends of So. OR. She was a member of the JOCO and So. OR Historical Societies. She was a local historian and self-published historical writer. Genealogy was another great passion and she compiled extensive research for family and friends.
Tawana loved her God, family, friends, cats, and students. She went to heaven September 12, 2021. She was preceded in death by her father Norman Cuddie, step-father Perry Pullen, Brothers Danny & Norm Cuddie. She is survived by her husband Stacey Grabarz, mother Catherine Pullen, sister Kelly Bethke and countless step and extended family and friends.
This was not just a life, but a legacy. She gave all the glory to God for being able to serve Him all of her life. Tawana was always filled with gratitude for the many “hands” that helped her make this possible: family, friends, and healthcare assistants. Tawana’s favorite scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
A memorial service will be at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, October 16, 2021 at Edgewater Christian Fellowship.