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Victim was game show contestant, horse lover

  • Published Thursday, May 10, 2007, at 1:35 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008, at 5:15 p.m.

Sarah Tackett was a horse breeder for most of her life. But it was her 10 years working as a house painter that got her on the "What's My Line" television show.

"They flew her out, and she was on the show," said her sister, Julia Cooper of Van Buren, Ark. "They couldn't guess what her occupation was. They just couldn't dream that she was a house painter."

Ms. Tackett, 72, died last week in the tornado that leveled the city of Greensburg, where she had been living in an assisted-living center.

Cooper said her sister's life was all about horses.

"One thing I'll always remember about her is that when she was about 10 years old, she would sneak out of the house and go clear across town.

"She would go out in a field to where these stallions were, and they would let her ride them bareback. She loved horses from the minute she could walk."

Cooper said she and her sister grew up in Wellington, where their parents owned a plumbing shop.

Ms. Tackett lived in several parts of the country, including Fort Scott, Kansas City and Las Vegas. Although she was at one time a sought-after house painter, Cooper said, she always seemed happiest when raising horses.

"At one time she had 22 brood mares and one or two stallions," she said.

Graveside services for Ms. Tackett are scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at the Prairie Lawn Cemetery in Wellington.

Hurst Laviana

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