honor of Valentine's Day 2003,
Some sweet memories shared from...
Sharon and my sister, Katie, were sophomores at Col-Hi, they were elected
princesses of Homecoming. Anyway, I've kept all these years the picture of
all of them (the queen and princesses) on the front page of our school newspaper,
Sharon came over to our house, which was across the street from the high
school (swimming pool, actually), on Long Avenue, and I have recollections
of her, my sister, and other girls sitting on the lawn talking for a long
was so beautiful, and I remember just staring at her out the window. Being
two years younger, I was so impressed at the older girls.
Peggy Sheeran Finch, Class of 63
Columbia High School
(Later renamed Richland High School)
My names is Audrey Eberhardt Mathews. I went to school with Sharon from 7th
or 8th grade at Chief Joseph Junior High School through 11th grade at Columbia
High School. We were both Army brats although my dad was an NCO and hers
was a Captain or Major.
I was not what you would have called a friend of hers, I knew her and she
would always speak. She was beautiful even in JR High when the rest of us
I remember an event I don't believe I ever told anyone about before. Can't
remember the date but I was keeping the nursery in the Officers' Club at
Camp Hanford for a reception for someone (my dad was enlisted so I didn't
keep up with the affairs of the higher ups); Sharon's parents had made her
attend as a mild punishment for something. She had become bored and walked
around to the nursery where I was, we sat and talked until her parents came
to get her.
I saw in "Valley of The Dolls" and one other movie, I can't even remember
the name. I wish I had not lost my 59-60 yearbook, I believe both of our
pictures are in it. I have discovered that we shared a birthday and did not
even know it. I am also a January 24, 1943, baby.
I will always remember a person who seemed as sweet and kind as she was
beautiful. It really hurt to hear of her brutal murder. Sorry to run on so
but most people don't believe I went to school with her.
Audrey Eberhardt Mathews
(Happy 60th Birthday to you too, Audrey!)
met Sharon in junior high school. Although I never had a chance to get to
know her as well as I wanted because I was too shy, she never hesitated to
talk to me or be friends. I was just a really shy "geek" in today's world.
She was wonderful in not being afraid to talk to people like me.
In high school, we were in the same typing class, and Biology too I believe.
She was alot of fun. I thought at the time she was so lucky to be so beautiful,
and to have such a nice personality. Because other great looking women in
our school at that time also had nice personalities, I thought they were
all that way.
When I attended the University of Washington a few years later, of course
I grew up much more. Then I realized even more how special Sharon was, and
how lucky I was to have come from Richland.
When she was taken so prematurely, I was "crushed" beyond words. It left
a mark on me that remains today. I'll never understand "why". And I pray
the responsible people never ever get out. Sharon deserved to live, and although
life is not necessarily fair, her death remains totally inexcusable.
None of us who knew her will ever understand why she had to go, but all of
us can hopefully contribute something of value to her memory, and maintain
her image she so richly deserves. Thank you.
Dr. Tim R. Avedovech
was September 1955 my eighth grade year at Chief Joseph Junior High School,
in Richland, Washington. My parents had moved the family to Richland in 1944
when I was two. After eleven years in Richland I had not known anyone who
lived there to not be friendly.
Each day of the beginning of eighth grade was busy running from class to
class. Lunch hour always so much fun, not saying classes weren't fun, some
were. I always liked socializing in school the most. Within a few days I
started noticing a student in the hallway that I hadn't seen before. When
I went up to introduce myself, she introduced herself to me as Sharon
Tate. She was in the seventh grade, a year behind me. Sharon said, "her
dad was in the Army". The family had been transferred from a base in Texas
to Richland. As we parted for classes Sharon smiled with what I would come
to know as 'Sharon's famous smile'.
Sharon and I seemed to have an instant friendship. We we're always laughing
about something. Our talks spun into boys, classes and all the normal things
that teenagers talked about. As the next few weeks wore on Sharon got to
know more of her classmates, me off with my classmates. From then on I cherished
whatever time I had with her. Living across town from her, if I didn't see
her at school, I didn't see Sharon much. The students when her name came
up always talked about how pretty and fun she was. Everyone liked her. Her
sweet smile was what always captivated me as well as her friendliness.
My next memories were when we both we're in High School together. (My being
a year ahead) Sharon had endless dates. I was working at Skip's drive-in
where she would come in at times with a date. It would always make me smile
when the date she was with would order a coke, Sharon would order her usual
glass of milk. I probably noticed this because I didn't like milk.
Sharon's parents Mr. and Mrs. Tate as I knew them, were always strict in
a good way. They we're always fun to be around. Time with Sharon in High
School was usually limited to whatever her schedule was at the time and mine.
We had made plans to go out one night for a couple of hours to talk. I was
now driving my families old '49 Plymouth. I picked up Sharon at her parents
home in Richland Village. Waving good-bye to her parents we slowly drove
off heading for George Washington Way. (I think I had only had my drivers
license a few weeks).
Sharon and I were chatting away when a dog ran out in front of the car. We
heard him yelping. Being dark we could hardly see the dog. We quickly got
out of the car to start looking for the dog. We we're both crying. We just
knew the dog had died. We searched the alley way for a while. Neither one
of us could stop crying. After about a half hour we gave up, hoping that
the dog was alive.
There was a compassion in Sharon about life that I had not ever seen. From
there I knew Sharon would always care about life in a passion that many would
not ever know. The evening was spoiled but we managed to go on talking about
all of the delightful things we liked to talk about. Hoping that the dog
had safely found it's way home.
One of my other memories was visiting the Tate's home. Mr. and Mrs. Tate
always welcomed everyone. You knew where Sharon got her friendliness when
meeting the Tate's. Patti Tate, Sharon's baby sister, was born when I was
I couldn't wait to meet Patti, the new addition to the Tate family. Sharon
was so proud of her. I made arrangements with Sharon to visit one night.
Other students were there when I arrived. Mr. Tate was talking to everyone.
Everyone one was captivated by his talking about his travels in life. Debra,
Sharon's five year old sister was already asleep. Patti was being held by
different ones of the visitors. Delightfully my turn came to hold Patti.
Sharon was smiling away.
Soon Mrs. Tate announced that it was time to feed Patti. She invited the
girls into her bedroom while she breast fed Patti. Mrs. Tate explained as
she took us off to the bedroom that this was 'girls time'. The guys stayed
talking with Mr. Tate. Mrs. Tate's motherly ways we're always prevalent.
I admired the way Mrs. Tate handled the situation. This also showed me so
much why Sharon was the way she was. We all yakked away while she breast
popularity had grown leaps and bounds through out her time in Richland. Princess
her Sophomore year to being crowned Miss Richland. It was so exciting when
she won. Sitting there watching her being crowned was delightful to see the
young girl I met so full of joy. Sadly her father was transferred to Italy.
The family left not long after her crowning.
Sharon and I did not keep in touch when she left Richland. When I heard from
other students she was back in the United States acting in "Beverly Hillbillies",
I didn't miss an episode as soon as I knew. Could not believe that her parts
we're small. Sharon was so naturally beautiful, that I didn't like seeing
her with all the makeup she wore when she was on the "Hillbillies". Then
came "Valley of the Dolls". Thankfully she looked more natural I thought.
In my heart of heart's I knew Sharon was going to make it as a star.
Tucked away back in my memory is probably many other situations or private
things that Sharon and I talked about.
God's miracles come when least expected. Being able to share about Sharon
is definitely a joy I am thankful for. What made Sharon was her endless caring!
Drawing all to her with her loving nature. Her physical beauty radiated because
of her inner beauty. Thankfully to her sister Debra, Robin and Chris the
world will always be able to look up on the web to see Sharon's wonderful
smile, still being given to anyone who wants it.
Sharon Tate --Always a Star
Slowly walk with Sharon Tate,
The world slows down to see the beauty surrounding you.
If a smile doesn't radiate from your heart,
Look at a picture of Sharon, your heart will smile.
Your dream isn't coming true,
Notice anything can be accomplished when you care as Sharon did.
Friends not in your life,
Sharon radiated from her inner beauty --to teach the world how to have
Memories may fade,
Sharon will always be there to remind you, memories will always be
Can't find stardom in your life,
Walk with Sharon she will show you your star qualities.
There is only one star,
Sharon Tate, not ever to be forgotten.
There is a special star up in the sky,
Sharon dancing with a smile!
Looking down to earth, still smiling on all the people she touched.
Continuing to touch the old friends as well as the new friends.
By Patti Jones Ahrens
I spent time with Sharon at a time of very formative years that will always
bring a smile to my heart, as she did for everyone.
Patti Jones Ahrens ('60)
Columbia High School (now known as Richland High) graduate and friend always
of Sharon's! Would love to email with anyone who wants to talk about
Sharon, I remember you so well when we were in Verona. It was so wonderful
knowing such a nice, warm person! I especially remember the prom when you
doubled with Donna and Don and your summer job at the kiddie area at Lake
I followed your career when you were on the Pat Boone special from Venezia
and when you were in "Barrabas". I followed you to Hollywood, and got updated
information about you from time to time from Donna Brizzolara.
When I heard the news about the horror that found you, I was first speechless,
then sat down and cried and cried. I have thought about you for all of these
years. When the Verona and Vicenza groups get together, we always remember
you--someone has a videotape and we look at your pictures.
Bev Todero and I talk about you when we see each other from time to time.
I have grieved over you and for your entire family for so long.
God bless you always--I know you are in His care.
Sharon and I graduated together from VAHS. When I was stationed
at the Naval Comm Unit, London, England, I read that Sharon was getting married
so after I got off the mid watch I went to stand with the crowd to see if
I would be able to see her. She saw me and invited me to attend the
also, which I did. The last time I spoke to her was in June 1969 right after
she returned from Paris. All her classmates miss her.
Photo: Sharon's Graduation Photo from VAHS, 1961.
Marie McElligott, Class 1961
Sharon's closest friends here were for the most part in my class, but I went
to Carmichael Jr.Hi and she went to Chief Jo Jr. Hi, so I was not real aware
of her until high school. And I was not in her close circle as she lived
in a different area then I did also. In fact, clear across town from her.
I just knew her from school and thought of her as one of the most beautiful
persons inside and out as she always had a smile and a cheery hello for anyone
That Sharon was beautiful goes without saying. She was tall, slender, loved
to dance and beautiful as was I, but she had the courage and the self-confidence
to take it places and where she wanted to be and I admired her for that very
Debra, that you have lost all of your female members from your family is
so sad, but you are a beautiful person also for keeping your beautiful sister
memorialized. You are to be commended and your page is wonderful.
When I first got my computer, I went into the websites that were up on Sharon
then and copied every picture that was on them and put them into a photo
album. It sits in my library with all of my other photo albums. She was/is
a treasure and pleasing to look at and I always felt close to her even though
I was not in her closest circle.
I was in Florida when the tragedy that ended her life happened and when then
news came on and I heard about it, I burst into tears and I could not believe
it. I just KNEW they HAD to be talking about a different Sharon Tate. Then
they flashed her picture and I knew they weren't wrong. The shock was hard
and the tears were bitter! My hubby at the time and his parents could not
understand why I was crying so over some Hollywood person!
I told them I knew her, but they did not understand. The mother-in-law, who
was a witch (and that is spelled with a capital "B") scoffed at my tears
over a tawdry movie star and that is when I turned on them and let them have
it. We were never friendly at all after that. And I did not care--at best
I could only be civil when they came out here to see us.
Thank you for carrying on Sharon's legacy.
Judy Willox Hodge ~ Bomber Class of '61 ~ Richland, WA ~
Wow, what memories surface with just a little bit of encouragement. I lived
two doors down from the Sheeran's and was between Kate and Peggy ('62) I
didn't know Sharon through school (I went to Carmichael) But my parents belonged
to the Officer's Club and Sharon and I met there. We were even in a few "style
shows" together, she was so graceful. We had a few sleepovers, and then 'boom'
her parents were transferred. I had never known anyone who had to move away.
I later married a military man and moved oh, so many times, I don't think
that a move went by that I didn't think of Sharon, though. The world lost
a beautiful, inside as well as out person that horrible day.
Lyndy Wheeler Myers
Class of '62 Bombers
Did you go to High School with Sharon? Please send email to
with your memories!