The 47-year-old Navarre father of one died unexpectedly while taking a break from paddle-boarding on Navarre Beach April 4.
"We got up early that morning, like we do every Easter and were going to get ready to go to my mom's house for brunch," Tammy said. "It was calm out and I could see Jeff staring at his paddleboard. He went out real quick and said he'd be back in time to get ready before we had to leave at 9:30."
Tammy and her son, Skyler, stayed behind.
However, as the time grew near and eventually passing 9:30, Tammy became worried. Jeff wasn't answering his cell phone.
"That was unlike him, so I hopped in my car and drove down to the beach," she said. "There was his truck, with his medicine, identification and cell phone still inside."
From a lifeguard, Tammy learned that Jeff had gone out to paddleboard, came back to shore and rested against his board.
Shortly thereafter, he went into cardiac arrest.
Kimberly Barcena, a congregant of Navarre Beachside Church, had been walking the beach in between Easter sunrise services. Upon noticing Jeff slumped over his board, she ran back to those gathered for worship.
"She asked if anyone knew CPR and I and my son did," said the Rev. John Kerns. "So my son ran over and gave him mouth-to-mouth, doing chest compressions."
Kerns said that after awhile of CPR, Jeff's color began to turn flesh tone and his breathing was shallow.
"We had more than 100 people praying for him," Kerns said.
Emergency crews arrived and took Jeff to a local hospital.
However, on the way, he suffered a massive heart attack.
"When they told me where he was, I thought he was in open heart surgery," Tammy said. "We expected that, because he already had five stints in his heart. That was inevitable. I didn't expect that he would have died."
Tammy remains strong, though, because she knew Jeff died doing what he loved.
"That's given me some piece," she said.
Jeff and Tammy moved to Navarre in 1990. He was known as a having a "big heart and willing to be there for anyone," Tammy said.
Services will be held at noon on Thursday, April 8 at the Emerald Coast Funeral Home in Fort Walton Beach.