Dec. 10, 1967 was one of the best days of Boonville local Lilas “Cricket” Lohr’s life — it was the day her beautiful daughter, Tammy Lohr, was born. Aug. 1, 1992, was the worst — it was the day Tammy was murdered.
She was 24.
Now, 15 years later, Lohr is starting up a Tri-State Support Class for parents who have lost their children.
Lohr said she has met many parents who have also lost their children over the years, personally knows the grief and hard times that come with losing a child, and wants to do something to help all of the ones that need support.
The support class will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. the 3rd Wednesday of each month, starting Feb. 15. at the Boonville Library, located at 611 W. Main St. The meetings will take place in the small conference room and anyone from other counties are welcome to attend.
Lohr said she first started the support class a year after Tammy’s death and originally intended it to be for the parents of murdered children only.
“But I changed it when a parent whose child had committed suicide asked me if they could attend,” she said.
Lohr she her husband was so distraught by Tammy’s death, that he couldn’t even speak her name.
“I still talked about Tammy because I couldn’t let him forget,” she said.
Lohr said coming to the support class also helped him grieve.
“He came to a few of the support classes,” she said, “and I think it made our marriage stronger.”
Lohr said she was so distraught by Tammy’s death herself that she almost considered committing suicide.
“But then I thought, ‘I won’t let the murderer have the joy of killing not one but two,’” she said.
Glenn Patrick Bradford, an Evansville Police officer, was convicted of the murder of Tammy, a Vanderburgh County corrections officer, and is currently serving an 80 year sentence. Bradford petitioned for post-conviction relief in 2013 but it was shot down by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
Lohr said her original Tri-State support class ended when she and her husband moved to Alton, Ill — an engineering job for Vic and ownership of a Bed and Breakfast for Cricket — for a few years. She said she decided to start it up again because a woman recently stopped her in the street to ask her if she would.
So far, she said three people are interested in attending and she hopes more do.
“You’d be surprised at just how many people need to just talk,” Lohr said.
Although Tammy is no longer alive, her legacy lives on at the Tammy Lohr Field located in the Boonville Junior League baseball complex behind Boonville High School and also at the University of Southern Indiana, where she had a full athletic scholarship and now has a scholarship in her honor — the Tammy Lohr Fast Pitch Scholarship, which goes to current softball players.
Lohr said the Tri-State Support Class will help grieving parents cope with their children’s death.
“They need to talk about the child they lost,” she said. “A lot of them keep it bottled up inside and that’s not good. So If I can help one person, then it’s worth doing it.”
As for Tammy, Lohr said her daughter will always be in her heart.
“We still have pictures of her all over the wall,” she said. “We couldn’t take anything down.”
To donate to the Tammy Lohr Fast Pitch Scholarship Fund, send checks to the USI Athletic Department. To contact Cricket Lohr, call her at home at 812-641-0122 or on her call cell at 812-217-9052.