In Memoriam – Tiffany Sedaris

On June 13, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

sedaris_web(1)Tiffany Sedaris left us on May 24th. She was raised in Raleigh, NC but made her home in Somerville for nearly 25 years.

A talented, self taught artist with a child’s eye for color and form, Tiffany worked in a variety of mixed media including broken bits of pottery and dishware which she crafted into fantasyscape mosaics. Her work has been displayed in a local gallery and at Somerville Open Studios.

Tiffany was somewhat of a local legend as an urban archeologist, and an early advocate for pedal powered transport. Before there was a bike path or marked bicycle lanes, she could be seen cruising the city streets on her Bianchi towing a home built cart in which she’d haul her nightly finds. She saw beauty in other’s discards and would use those found objects in her artwork.

She had worked as a professional pastry chef and baker.  But was also an excellent cook who took great pleasure from feeding her friends (sometimes literally by hand), and could almost magically prepare a meal from what appeared to be an empty refrigerator.

As a lifelong music lover whose taste leaned towards jazz standards, soul and hip hop, Tiffany could give a credible rendition of a favorite song by artists such as Dinah Washington, Esther Phillips, Gil Scott-Heron or Biggie Smalls. Her distinctive voice belied her diminutive stature, it was loud and bell clear with a bluesy quality.  In an auditorium setting, she wouldn’t have needed a microphone to hit the last row.

Through the years her pets were a constant source of solace for Tiff. From “Hoos” the rabbit to a succession of cats, each having a two word name.  There was “Little Pants”, “Mr. Wonderful” etc, etc. Try stepping out on your back porch calling “Little Pants, Little Pants” and listen to the sound of your neighbors throwing the deadbolt.

Tiffany was an absolute original. Her life’s rulebook was written for one and subject to revision at anytime. That life could at times be a whirlwind, the safe place was just off to the side where you could feel the breeze and enjoy the show, step into the eye and you could emerge a bit battered and dazed, yet a better person for having been there.

At 49, Tiffany left this world much too soon and gave to it much more than she ever took from it. She gave us all that was gracious and loyal within her.

Rest well Tiffy


7 Responses to “In Memoriam – Tiffany Sedaris”

  1. Roshni says:

    Thank you

  2. Tiffany sounds amazing. I wish I’d met her. She sounds like one of those rare People who’d light up a room just by walking into it. Loved by many. A true , self-made maverick. A creative, original soul. One of a kind. She’s in a special place in Heaven,where all good people go. Rest in peace, Rare, Original Gem.

  3. Tudors Down says:

    “Try stepping out on your back porch calling “Little Pants, Little Pants” and listen to the sound of your neighbors throwing the deadbolt.” Weird and what, is this another posthumous jab at Tiffany? Good grief.

  4. Diane Mcleod says:

    She was a super human being with a big heart. I just read of her passing and that is so true that the world is a better place because she was here. Rest in Peace Tiffany

  5. Bill Dunn says:

    lead poisoning, did they ever check her blood lead levels? Reading about her life, art , work, house, & heath, there’s four red flags I see there. Maybe the family will see this. bil dunn

  6. Nicole Dean says:

    As someone who is kept deliberately at the margins of my family, I can’t help but relate to Tiffany’s story. I can only imagine how horrible it was to be the official black sheep in the we’d-rather-be-funny-than-kind Sedaris family. An ounce of goodwill from them surely could have prevented this. The coldness in her brother’s words on the topic, in interview and essay, sent chills up my spine. She made art from trash, I believe, because she was treated as trash. Perhaps she wanted to make something beautiful from her life, but, as her final choice suggests, she couldn’t manage that creative leap.

  7. Laura says:

    I feel kind of like Nicole Dean said, but I guess it’s not fair, since I don’t know these people. I am such a huge, huge fan of her brother and sister. Yet it feels like there is a lack of empathy toward this sister, on the comments. It saddened me. I understand, too, a at it’s like to be the black sheep of the family. It’s really hard. No one really understands that, like another black sheep. I get why she seemed to her brother to be confusing, why she told him she liked what he wrote about her, then retracted that, when speaking to others. Sometimes we lie that we’re OK with things, when we only want to be accepted, and only later realize that we aren’t OK with those same things, when we realize how it has hurt us. Why us that so hard for others to understand doesn’t mean she was crazy. It means she was desperate to be accepted. And yes, people do talk on and on, when they are nervous, sometimes. Her brother said that was an example of how she ruined an evening. That was unkind. I don’t understand it, why he seemed so much, to dislike her, and portray her so unkindly, making assumptions about her promiscuity, and so on. It was really mean. I just want to extend her soul to feel loved. I realize that I don’t know her, or any of her family, and perhaps she did some things that weren’t great, but who hasn’t? This woman seems never to have been loved by her family. And she definitely deserved to be loved, and not ridiculed, even after she died, by her own family member. I am so disappointed in the article I read about her by David. I wanted to read more about this family, since I saw that Amy has a new show, and I remembered how much I loved listening to David on ‘This American Life’. How disappointed, I am, to read about Tiffany, in one of the articles I came across, which was so unfeeling. I am glad I found this page and the chance to side with her, this forgotten sister. She will not be forgotten, as the Sedaris sibling that I wish we had more if a chance to know. It makes me want to read about Billy, too.

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