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Santie Huckaby, age 81, passed away on Sunday, April 14, 2019 in Novato, CA. He was born February 1, 1938 in Cleveland, Ohio to Ruth Ross and Joseph W. Huckaby. He completed his high school education in Cleveland, Ohio.
Santie’s gift of musicianship was recognized by the 29th Army Band in his position as their head drummer while he was stationed in Okinawa in the mid-fifties. After his term with the army, Santie continued involvement in the musical world as a noted drummer and percussionist with such artists as Sun Ra, Big Black, and Yusef Latif in tours across the country. He continued playing, performing and teaching percussion throughout his lifetime. With involvement in numerous local bands in Cleveland, Denver, San Francisco and Tucson.
In 1960, Santie took up residence in San Francisco, where he began his work as a muralist and painter of signs and portraits. In the 1980’s he became involved with Culture on the Corner, a non-profit organization concerned with the revitalization of the Fillmore District. There, at the corner of Fillmore and Eddy Streets, Santie worked as the chief artist and mural designer. It was during this time that his well-known mural, a monument to Rosa Parks and the children and educators of the neighborhood surrounding Rosa Parks Elementary School, was completed. This Mural “Now and Then” was awarded Best Mural in 1997. In 2005 he was honored with the Public Community Mural award for “Evolution of the Blues, Part 1&2” located at Post and Steiner Streets, SF.
Santie was always hard at work making large scale murals. During the most prolific period of his 56-year career he completed over 15 interior and 12 exterior murals in a span of 14 years. Included in his resume is the Artist in Residence Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theater; “Grandmother” mural on Pierce & Turk St, SF; A dedication to African American Scientists and Inventors of the 20th Century mural at Burnett Children’s Center on 3rd & Oakdale…just to name a few.
Santie believed that “Art is like love, it’s no good unless you can share it.”
Santie was preceded in death by his mother, Ruth Ross and step-daughter Robin O”Haverty.
He leaves to cherish his memories: his daughter, Amita Graham; son, Santie Huckaby, Jr.; stepchildren, Lynette Davis, Shannon O’Haverty, Gabrielle Russell; grandchildren, Lily Stanley, Nora Huckaby, Liane Russell, Camille Davis; and a host of family & friends.
A memorial service and repass will be held at the John Coltrane Church. The Burial will be at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery. Dates TBA
If you would like to make a donation, we have set up a GoFundMe Account (www.gofund.com/santie-huckaby-memorial). Checks can also be made payable to Santie’s daughter: Amita Graham~29 Perlata Ave~San Francisco, CA 94110 ~ 520-401-1151
Thank you for your support!