Tara Shanelle Hinnant

Tara Shanelle Hinnant

September 23, 2021, 49, Goldsboro –

Tara Shanelle Hinnant, 49, (affectionally known as “Opie” by her family and close friends) gained her heavenly wings on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021. Even though she had so much more to do and accomplish while on this earth, the Lord said it’s time to come with Me.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, September 29, 2021 from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at Howell Funeral Home & Crematory in Goldsboro. A graveside service will follow at 12 p.m. at Wayne Memorial Park North Cemetery in Dudley. 

There is a multitude of things that describe Tara, but to name a few, caring, giving and selflessness are on the top of the list. She had a great passion for children and working in the field of education following her mother and her sister. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English from East Carolina University. She later obtained her teaching certification while attending UNC Wilmington and NC Wesleyan. Because of her great passion and desire for moving further in the field of education, she went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix, but she persevered even further. She worked tirelessly on her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and was only lacking her dissertation before being addressed as Dr. Tara Hinnant. Even though things were cut short before she could accomplish all that she’d dreamt and prayed for, the Lord said I have a school in heaven that needs an administrator and there’s room for promotion.

Where to begin with her acts of kindness that permeated through everyone she knew. If you needed something, she would be the one who would come through and would have words of encouragement to keep you going. She baked cakes and lots of other sweet confections for a multitude of people, whether it was to celebrate a special occasion or once again, an act of kindness for the special people in her life.  Over her 20+ years of working in the field of education, her passion for teaching grew exponentially. In addition to being a middle school Reading teacher, she performed a plethora of leadership roles as serving as chair to a host of committees such as Reading chair, grade-level chair, for example. She also served as testing coordinator and leadership team member, in addition to conducting staff development seminars at various teacher conferences, and was a mentor for a young women’s group. Tara loved her students as if they were her children and they knew it. Sometimes she would have to fight off the ones who would run to her to get a hug every day. They loved Miss Hinnant, but she didn’t play, and making sure her students were successful in the classroom was her first priority.

As a member of Sanders Chapel O.F.W.B. Church, Tara served as a member of the choir and selflessly volunteered to help prepare and serve food during special events. In addition to reporting the church announcements, Tara also facilitated the Women’s Ministry, outings for children, Toys for Tots, and she hosted the telephone ministry.  

She was also a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. and the National Association of University Women. Her Zeta family was very important to her and she was proud to represent her sorority.  Being a lover of pets, her passion for helping others inspired her to adopt two rescue dogs “Rocky” and “Chance” who were so dear to her heart. She’s definitely the picture of a strong praying woman who has overcome many obstacles in her life, including beating cancer and kept going without missing a beat. Even though her attributes of being caring, giving, and compassionate stood out, we can’t forget how Tara was the “life of the party” who lit up every room she entered. She always kept you laughing, so there was never a dull moment when she was around. Those times will be greatly missed, but she would want you to remember those happy moments.

Tara is survived by her parents, Bobby and Alice Currie Hinnant, her sister, Danya Hinnant Cowan, husband Anthony, and their children to whom she was a second mom, Brandon, Briannah, Jayden, and Justin Cowan, her brother Gerald Ruffin and wife Priscilla, and her sister, Tracy Bryant. In addition, she is also survived by her special aunts, Judy Currie Lennon, Ronda Hinnant, Carolyn Hinnant Brown and husband John, and Jackie Hinnant Batts and husband Lynwood; and a special uncle, Larry Don Currie, and wife Geraldine. Tara is also survived by a host of nieces and nephews and her cousins are too numerous to mention, but they were so special to her as she thought of them as her own siblings. She also leaves behind a very special person in her life, Frank Monroe.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to your choice of two organizations that were very important to her; the ASPCA, in her name, at secure.aspca.org/donate/memorial and the American Cancer Society at donate3.cancer.org/. 

Professional services are entrusted to Howell Funeral Home & Crematory in Goldsboro.