Tamika Joy Spaulding’s legacy is defined by a life well lived, overflowing with love, creativity, encouragement and wit. She passed away unexpectedly June 30, 2021, yet not before leaving an indelible mark on her family and friends. She entered the world on a “high note” on Sept. 1, 1978, at 1:45 p.m. at West Jersey Hospital in Voorhees, NJ. From that day until her passing, she brought great joy to her parents, Ricardo and Dorothy Spaulding, sister, Melinda, niece and nephew, Landon Joy and Felix II and a diverse and devoted group of family and friends across the country. The common thread among all whom Tamika touched is the awareness of her God-given gift to make everyone feel special and supported.
Raised initially in Camden, NJ, Tamika later moved to Williamstown, NJ, with her family. Tamika’s exceptional talents and gifts emerged early in her life. She was a voracious reader as a child. That paved the way for Tamika’s career and led to her first official certificate on May 29, 1982: the Storytime Good Listener Award from the Collingswood Public Library. This would be the first of many awards and achievements during her lifetime. Tamika attended Transfiguration Catholic School and the Monroe Township Public Schools. She graduated from Williamstown High School in 1996. She went on to attend Howard University in Washington, DC, and later made the bold choice to continue her passion by attending the Harold Ramis Film School at Second City in Chicago, IL.
Tamika’s parents ensured that her foundation was in the teachings of the Bible. She grew up in the Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church in Camden, where she was an active member throughout her childhood, was baptized, and accepted salvation at a young age. She taught Vacation Bible School, served on the Junior Usher Board, sang in the youth choir, traveled with the youth group, attended Sunday School weekly, and presided over many Youth Sunday services. Tamika also had fond memories of the foot-tapping, soul stirring singing and preaching of her grandmother Nadine Harris’ home church, Pine Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Johnston, South Carolina.
Tamika was naturally curious about all things, which gave her the skill of talking to anyone about anything from a very young age. Throughout her elementary education, Tamika’s interest in academics and music grew. Her Uncle Terry Spaulding introduced her to the sound of the trumpet and instantly her musical talents emerged. She learned to play the trumpet, piano, guitar, flute and other instruments. She loved learning and wasn’t satisfied if there was more to learn. Joining the band made her realize she also had singing ability. She auditioned for the Middle School choir and earned a spot. Following the path of singing, she was chosen for the elite “Select Singers Choir” at Williamstown High School. These musical abilities earned her many awards. Even with musical talents, she always left room for more reading, receiving the Accelerated Readers Award, Library Club Award and Math Wizard Award. Music from various genres remain an integral part of Tamika’s life and story.
Tamika’s wide range of interests abilities extended to having a keen sense of technology, strategy, media and lobbying… before she even knew “it was a thing.” The passions cultivated as a child, would foreshadow her future career path. She joined the Computer Club and earned the Logo Computer Award. Tamika’s talents included being an expert marksman and someone who pushed herself outside of her comfort zone. In fact, she lobbied and succeeded in naming Fenwick Street in Williamstown, NJ.
Her college years at Howard University introduced her to new friends, new creative ideas in the School of Communications and new opportunities, including a job that would eventually become the springboard for her longtime consulting business. From meetings at the White House to meetings of the minds, Tamika would learn, observe and brainstorm with some of the brightest minds in our nation’s Capitol, all while maintaining humility, humor and excellence in execution. She served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Technology CEO Council, a CEO-led tech advocacy group in Washington, DC. She managed events in over 15 states and 10 countries through her consultant and advisor work, garnering Public Relations Society of America and Hermes awards along the way for creative content and visual projects. Her clients ranged from corporations and small business to associations and campaigns. She provided services that included creative content, marketing, issue advocacy and project management.
Always entrepreneurial and creative at heart, Tamika would finally use her gift of ideas to execute and produce passion projects for herself. She teamed up with her sister, Melinda, to make their childhood dream come true by creating a business named for the address where their grandparents, Joseph and Mildred Spaulding, launched their branch of the Spaulding family. 1092 Media’s work was featured in the New York Times for a show conceived during the coronavirus pandemic that launched in Houston and flourished in Chicago with Tamika as executive producer. We Still Teach was a reflection of Tamika’s care for children and the underdog. The show enabled teachers to connect with students with no access to internet/remote learning by broadcasting directly into their homes. As usual, Tamika supported her sister’s idea and made it 10 times better. Tamika always wanted to make her parents proud and help both sides of her family rise in thought, knowledge and exposure… and she did.
Tamika’s love of helping others was exemplified by her fierce devotion to her God children (Landon Joy Chevalier, Felix Spaulding Chevalier, Jordan Davis, Evie Love) and her selfless mentoring to younger cousins and friends in all stages in life. She was determined to make sure her niece and nephew tried new things, read, and opened their minds to all of life’s possibilities, and she loved them like her own children.
The precocious Storytime Good Listener Awardee as a child would have a full circle moment when she started listening to the advice she gave to others… and applied to her herself. Tamika began an intentional journey nearly 10 years ago when she took risks and showed courage to further her life on her own terms. She took to the stage to do standup comedy, produced an international comedy show, and wrote scripts. Then, hilariously describing herself as the oldest one in the class, she put all doubts aside and moved to Chicago after being accepted in the Harold Ramis Film School. She went on to write and direct the award-winning film, Mojana, which was shot in the country of Colombia. Her parents always knew to fasten their seatbelts and trust that Tamika knew what she was doing, her sister and brother-in-law Felix rooted for her along the way, and her niece and nephew thought everything Aunt Mika did was the awesome norm.
And that’s how Tamika would want to be remembered. She pushed limits, she did the hard things, she listened, she encouraged, she cared, she dreamed, she helped others and she executed with class, humor and grace. At the time of her untimely death, she had encouraging notes to herself on her refrigerator. Her family would like to share one of those inspiring quotes that would apply to all when a moment of self-encouragement and resilience is needed:
“Know that your worst moment is the first moment of your best moment.”
“You can do it without a doubt, you can do anything!”
“Keep a long and growing list of the people you love. Then make sure to put yourself first.”
“I am basking in the abundance of ideas and possibilities.”
Tamika Joy Spaulding
Tamika leaves the following loved ones behind to celebrate her life: parents, Ricardo and Dorothy; a beloved Godmother and aunt Emma Dean Schofield; sister Melinda (Felix); niece and namesake Landon Joy Chevalier; nephew Felix Spaulding Chevalier; Aunts: Mary Dell Harris, Brenda Kaye Talib and Deena Spaulding; Uncles: Terry Spaulding (Patty), Elliott Harris, Curtis Harris, James Harris, Stephen Harris and Darryl Harris. God children, Jordan Davis and Evie Love, and a host of cousins, dear friends and supporters.
Relatives and friends are invited to a visitation on Friday, July 9th from 10:00 - 11:00 AM at the Grand Theater, 405 S. Main St., Williamstown. A Celebration of Life Service will follow at 11:00 AM.
To attend this service remotely click this link: https://client.tribucast.com/tcid/5523171118
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