August 2, 1935 to August 15, 2020

She relished life

Alice Benson—a doting mom, excellent cook, and enthusiastic sports fan—passed away from a rare form of liver cancer on Saturday, Aug. 15th, in Goodyear, Arizona, her children at her side.

She was 85.

Frosted brown hair framing a gorgeous face in her younger days (as shown above), Alice relished life and never wasted a precious second. Whether diving into a swimming pool, preparing a gourmet dinner, or playing den mother to her two sons’ Boy Scout troops, she did it with flair and enthusiasm.

The first of five children, Alice was born Aug. 2, 1935 in Albany, New York to Theresa Rock Smythe and Francis Smythe. There followed two sisters Pat and Cathy, and two brothers, Jimmy and Allan.

The Love of her life

Continue reading “ALICE BENSON”



November 18, 1947 to May 13, 2020

A Woman of Faith and Virtue

Reverend Evangelist Mother Annie Evelyn Sampson—a woman who devoted her life to family, serving others, and God—succumbed to pancreatic cancer at home in Georgia on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, her beloved family at her side. She was 72.

Much like her biblical heroes, Annie acquired superlative strength and wisdom when it came to inspiring others. Whether family, friends, or those who knew her as “the fireball preacher”, she could always be heard, encouraging others to “Tell the Lord Thank You!”

Continue reading “ANNIE EVELYN SAMPSON”



January 24, 1938 – January 7, 2017

By Katharine Blossom Lowrie

A U.S. Army Hero

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Even though I wrote this some time ago, I wanted to pay tribute to Frank Foronda, a true hero.]

Frank Martinez Foronda, Sgt. Maj. (Ret.), a passionate spokesman for veterans’ issues and recipient of the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars, died peacefully at home in Little River, South Carolina on January 7, 2017, his adored wife, Ila Jean (“I.J.”) Hurley, by his side.

In an illustrious U.S. Army career that spanned 30 years, Foronda—who will be buried with full military honors at Whiteville Memorial Cemetery in Whiteville, North Carolina—served multiple tours of duty all over the world, including three in Vietnam.

He was awarded the Silver Star for extraordinary bravery in Vietnam when, on March 20th, 1970, he pulled wounded U.S. soldiers to safety after their firebase was overrun with Viet Cong. Foronda and his unit retook the area the next morning.

He rose above racial differences




November 8, 1972 to April 14, 2020

She called the shots

Tyler Curry with his mom.

Oshuntoki “Toki” Stamps—a beloved mother, aunt, and AKA sister, whose talents ranged from planning spectacular events to orchestrating government contracts—passed away from breast cancer in San Diego, CA on Thursday, April 14th. With her at the end, her father and two brothers, as well as, in spirit, her only son, Tyler Curry, who was working out of state at the time.

She was just forty-eight.

One thing most understood about Toki, she called the shots (often in a very loud voice) and knew what she wanted. A licensed cosmetologist while working her way through college, she went on to earn an MA in Business, her aim to prosper in the corporate world.

Toki was born November 8, 1972, in Chicago, IL, to Robert Tucker, Sr. and Dorothy Stamps. Although her parents separated, they remained close friends until Dorothy’s death in 2012. Robert had three other children, sons Tony and Robert, and a daughter, Taisha. Continue reading “OSHUNTOKI STAMPS”



December 5, 1941 to December 2, 2019

“The heart and soul of our family”

Cleo Patricia Curd—a quiet philanthropist and intensely devoted wife, mother, and entrepreneur, whose creativity and intellect served family, friends and community alike—passed away on December 2nd, in Las Vegas, NV, her husband at her side.

She was 77.

“Cleo” did not like her first name and insisted on being called Pat. It suited the San-Francisco-raised gal with the mid-Western temperament just fine. When her kids called her “the heart of our family”, you believed it. Yet, her inventive flair and compassionate nature made for the gracious, sophisticated, caring person she was. Frequently referred to as “sweet Pat”, she was not only sweet she was also smart and ambitious. And she loved a good joke.  Continue reading “CLEO PATRICIA CURD”

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