With a heavy heart, we mourn the passing of Syd Shoka who died on October 6, 2022, in Hampton, VA at age 17. Syd was born on October 27, 2004, and grew up in Pleasant Hill, CA. He is the beloved son of Max and Estrella Shoka and little brother of Mia. His aptitude for music was apparent early on. As a young child, he loved dancing and singing around the house. As Syd grew up, he learned multiple instruments before dedicating himself to the French Horn. As a freshman at Hampton University, he picked up the mellophone so he could realize his dream of being in a marching band.
In addition to music, Syd was passionate about social justice. He was concerned about the challenges of less privileged and marginalized groups, taking their worries into his own heart and mind. He could not tolerate ill-treatment and readily spoke out whenever he saw unfairness or unkindness.
In large groups, Syd could seem somewhat quiet and introverted. But in smaller groups, he displayed his wonderful sense of humor, big heart, and great mind.
In addition to Max, Estrella, and Mia, Syd is survived by an extensive family including Balele Shoka, Caroline Ruria, Daniel Sitlani, Debbie Salmon, Erik Bataller, Gaspar Hernandez, Harry Hernandez, Jeffrey Hernandez, Mary Braham, Ravi Sitlani, Roberto Jaime, Ronald Hernandez, and many cousins across the globe.
Family and friends are invited to join Syd’s Memorial Service at 5 pm on Thursday, October 20th at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery Chapel, 1965 Reliez Valley Road, Lafayette, CA, 94549.
Donations in memory of Syd may be made to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, New York, NY (afsp.org) or Rainbow Community Center, Concord, CA (rainbowcc.org). Flowers may be sent to Queen of Heaven at the above address.
In his brief life, Syd left an indelible and deep impression on the hearts and lives of many. He will be sorely missed.