November 8, 1972 to April 14, 2020
She called the shots
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.
(L to R) Tony Tucker, Taisha Tucker, Robert Tucker Sr. (father), Toki Stamps, Robert Tucker Jr.
Lifelong sisterhood in AKA
Toki spent the first six years of her life in Alabama, and then moved to San Diego with her dad. She attended Lincoln High in San Diego, but spent the last two years, under her mother’s care, at Talladega High in Talladega, AL. She matriculated at Talladega College, where she earned a BA in 2001, later graduating with a masters from Faulkner University in Pensacola, FL in 2016.
College afforded Toki lifelong sisterhood in Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA), and she treasured sorority friendships throughout her adult life. AKA colors of pink-and-green decorated her interiors, and she adored wearing her AKA pin and the twenty pearls that signified her twenty years as a member.
But Toki was a people-person, if there ever was one, and friends from way back in high school remained close, as did so many professional associates and event planning clients.
She met Kyser Curry in Talladega just after high school. Son Tyler Curry came along on February 8, 1993. Although Toki and Tyler considered San Diego home, Tyler often spent summers with his family in Alabama.
But Toki was a people-person, if there ever was one, and friends from way back in high school remained close, as did so many professional associates and event-planning clients.
She met Kyser Curry in Talladega just after high school. Son Tyler Curry came along on February 8, 1993. Toki and Tyler considered San Diego home, but Tyler often spent summers with his family in Alabama.
Federal Contract Specialist
After graduate school, Toki worked in childcare at the Naval Base in San Diego, landing thereafter a job as a US Federal contract specialist, meaning she evaluated bids, negotiated terms, and acted as a purchasing agent. The job took her to Victorville, where she worked from 2007 to 2014.
Toki was a devoted mother, always emphasizing the importance of school and family obligations to her son. She frequently attended his basketball, baseball, and football games during his youth and continued to support his choices in adulthood.
Trouble with categorizing Toki’s career is that the list is endless. Add Mary Kay cosmetic sales, make-up artist, AKA activist, certified cake/cookie designer, and event planner. Whether creating a birthday party, Easter egg hunt, church, club or charity event, Toki could be counted upon to bring the décor, the fondue-festooned cookies, and famous her red-velvet cake.
She planned two grand family reunions, one in Alabama in 2001, another in Pensacola, FL in 2019. She lived in Pensacola from 2014 to 2019, where she worked as a substitute teacher and continued her Federal contract job.
Along with her son, her five nephews—Robert Tucker III, Tariq, Marcel, Justin, Messiah, and niece Savannah—thought of their spectacular Aunt Toki as a role model. And she knew it.
Only 5-foot-2, with a curvaceous figure and the most amazing brown eyes—eyes so large and expressive they seemed to gobble you up—Toki could make an entrance in her stylish wardrobe, gold jewelry, and AKA pearls, of course. On occasion, she liked to change-up her hair with golden-blonde highlights.
She watched TV shows when possible, especially every Law & Order show and spinoff. Toki also relished travel. She went to Washington DC to tour the White House, and vacationed in Catalina, Mexico, and many other places. One of her last trips was with her adored AKA sisters to England in 2015. She was recovering from breast cancer surgery, but that did not stop her, not for a second.
And she always retained her zany sense of humor. Where she could be dead serious about her life choices, Toki would joke with her nephews and niece, teasing them as to whether they had any girlfriends or boyfriends yet.
Predeceased by her mother, Toki is survived by her son, Tyler Curry; her father, Robert Tucker, Sr.; her brothers, Tony Tucker and Robert Tucker, Jr.; her sister, Taisha Tucker, and her five nephews and one niece.
Son Tyler, knowing his mother’s reverence for her AKA sorority, dressed her splendidly in finery and pearls, and laid her to rest in a coffin laden with her favorite pink and green, AKA decals adorning the outside.
A viewing will be held on May 7th, 8th, and 9th at Terry’s Metropolitan Mortuary, 1702 West Battle Street, Talladega, AL 35160. Graveside burial service will be at Pine Hill Memorial Park, 35036 Alabama Highway 21, Talladega, AL 35160.
Tyler and his mom.