Tamara Kincaid

image of Tamara Kincaid

Tamara Kincaid

On April 8, 2019 the world lost a light. Tamara Elspeth Kincaid of Seattle died suddenly in her home. She was 59 years old. Tamara suffered from chronic illnesses but her spirit remained strong in the face of immense pain.

But more than her death, we should celebrate her life. She would want us to. Tamara was a kind and caring woman who made everyone she knew feel heard and important. She loved others fiercely, even when they did not love themselves.

Tamara was born in Millington, TN, into a Navy military family. While they were posted on Whidbey Island, WA she attended Oak Harbor HS, studied abroad in Germany, then studied anthropology and communications at Western Washington University. Her career included Director of Communications at the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Public Affairs Director at the Seattle Police Force, and Marketing Director at Lifelong AIDS Alliance (NW AIDS Foundation).

Tamara made friends everywhere she went, including on the bus, at the grocery store, and even on the side of the road. She loved hosting people at her home and sharing stories over home-cooked meals. Tamara was a core part of the community at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral. The most important part of Tamara’s faith was loving her neighbor and she lived out the gospel every day by fighting for justice,  especially in the causes of immigration and women’s rights.

Tamara is is survived by her partner, David Harms, and daughter Zoe Gluck, who will graduate from American University in Washington, D.C. on Mother’s Day. We know that she will be deeply missed by everyone who loved her and we hope that the love she showed to others will be carried on in her memory. Donations can be made to the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP) at www.justgiving.com/niwapinc in her memory.

A memorial service will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral on Sunday, May 19 at 2pm to celebrate her life.

22 Responses to “Tamara Kincaid”

  • Kevin Johnson says:

    Tamara, I was blessed to know you and it felt like you always did. May you rest in peace and rise in glory.

  • Matthew Duffy says:

    I only knew Tamara through a Facebook group, but I can say this, the world is a smaller place without her and her voice. May you find peace and relief from pain. Rest well warrior and I will see you on the other side.

  • Kevin C. Johnson says:

    Tamara, I was blessed to know you and it felt like you always did. May you rest in peace and rise in glory.

  • Daniel Valentine says:

    I met Tamara in a time of need. As members of an ardent Facebook group, we came to know each other through our mutual experiences with chronic pain.

    Her wisdom and strength were truly an inspiration. She will be missed and never forgotten.

  • Esther Roberts says:

    Tamara was the essence of what we should all be in this world – true to herself, true to her faith and true to her loved ones. She was able to do all 3 without contradiction. She let her faith guide who she was but not change who she was; she then turned around to help guide so many others. We have lost a beautiful and vibrant friend. She will be greatly missed.

  • Keith Hemmig says:

    Tamara was fierce, compassionate, gentle and loving. And she was funny. Really funny. I loved her sharp wit and she had a heart so big it could not be contained by this earthly body. I miss her but her presence will always be felt. Peace and love to Dave, Zoe and to all who were fortunate to know her.

  • Colleen Ferrari says:

    Tamara was a wonderful human being. She stood for those without a voice– she was a light and a beacon for good. She will be missed.
    Gods speed Tamara!

  • Sue says:

    I met Tamara through mutual friends online, never in person, but that didn’t get in the way of our friendship. She was so kind and caring, helping me handle my own chronic illness diagnosis (although it was rainbows and ponies compared to what she lived with). She also helped as I struggled with parenting my teenage daughter. She never met my daughter, but I believe she would’ve been as fierce in protecting her as any mama bear could be. To be her friend meant you were loved and protected. If she was here, I would’ve called on her last week to help fend off some Facebook trolls trashing a town project I’ve been volunteering on. Her intelligence, humor and sass would have shut them right up. She loved Dave and Zoe. So. Much. I feel a hole in the world and I only knew her from afar. Sending her family and friends much love. I believe Tamara is watching over us

  • Sue says:

    I feel a hole in the world and I only knew Tamara from afar. To be her friend was to feel loved and protected. And important. Special. She helped me cope with my own chronic illness diagnosis (which was rainbows and ponies compared to what she lived with) and shared wisdom and kindness when I struggled in parenting. I’m glad I got to know her. I’m sorry I never got to experience one of her undoubtedly powerful hugs. Sending love to her family and friends

  • Sue McHugh says:

    I feel a hole in the world and I only knew Tamara from afar. To be her friend was to feel loved and protected. And important. Special. She helped me cope with my own chronic illness diagnosis (which was rainbows and ponies compared to what she lived with) and shared wisdom and kindness when I struggled in parenting. I’m glad I got to know her. I’m sorry I never got to experience one of her undoubtedly powerful hugs. Sending love to her family and friends

  • Wendy Townsend says:

    Loved Tammy. She was kind and loving soul who inspired so many of us! Rest in peace, beloved friend.

  • Michelle Maher says:

    I had the pleasure of getting to know Tamara on Facebook. I saw her as a kind loving and passionate person who would do anything to help someone in need, even when she was hurting and in pain. She opened her heart and home to me and my family by offering us a place to stay this summer. (Please, Dave, do not worry. We are covered for our trip. I remain forever grateful.) I am mourning the loss of never getting to meet in person this wonderful woman and getting one of the hugs she was famous for.

    Dave and Zoe, I hope all the messages here will give you some comfort in knowing how many lives Tamara touched. Your loss is felt deeply, and she was loved a great deal.

  • Fiona Murphy says:

    The first word that comes to mind when I think of Tamara is “Zoe.” Before everything she meant to me, before everything she did to bring joy and healing to others… she loved Zoe. And Dave, of course! We often heard tales of what a wonderful partner she had found in Dave. I am so grateful that she had that. She deserved it more than anyone I know. She was so full of love for her family- and so well-loved in return by them- that it overflowed and caught the rest of us in its reach, to the betterment of each of us who were so lucky to know her.

    Zoe, you are such a beautiful, strong, independent and mighty legacy to your mom- not just in your current and future successes but in the moments when you are so perfectly imperfect. That was one of the gifts she gave me that I treasure the most- the understanding that we don’t have to always be in our finest hour to be absolutely, thoroughly worthy of love and care. I know that nothing will ever compare to having her next to you in the chapters ahead but I have not one ounce of doubt that she is with you at every step. You two are too much a part of one another to ever truly be separated.

    Tamara bound so many of us together with a ferocity borne of overcoming struggles and an unbridled joy for seeking out the adventures of human connection. She is irreplaceable and she is unforgettable.

    Her name will ever be the household word that it always was to so many of us.

    “Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!”
    -Henry Scott Holland

  • Missie Mauldin says:

    Tamera was one of those people that when she loved, she loved hard, and you knew you were loved, there was just no doubt about it.

    She would speak of her adoration for Zoe and her deep love of Dave. How perfect her family is and how lucky she was to have you two.

    She helped me in dark times and for that I will always carry a piece of her with me in my soul.

    Tam, you are SO MISSED. We’re all better having known you.

  • Jay Gusick says:

    Dave and Zoe: My heart is with you as you adjust to this profound and sudden loss. As you fight-on through the ache of your grief, no-doubt struggling to adapt to a “new normal” filled by Tamara’s absence, I want to share something with you.

    News of Tamara’s death absolutely rocked me — in a way that far exceeded our limited professional connections, and our frequent Facebook back-and-forths on spirituality, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Since then, I’ve noticed that she’s actually MORE present in my life.

    Somehow, knowing that I won’t see her uplifting posts, her championing of good people and worthy causes, and her winking humor, I’ve realized that the void of her absence has made her MORE present for me. I find myself thinking of her before choosing my responses. I’m literally saying to myself “what would Tamara have said?” Or “”What would Tamara do in this situation?” Twice yesterday I was aware of consciously choosing to be less reactive… to give benefit of the doubt to others, even as I gently spoke my truth. That was Tamara!

    Holy cow, that’s a legacy and an impact! And it lives on in me, as I’m sure it does in both of you… and in scores of others whose lives she touched deeply in her kind, wise, compassionate and caring way.

    Somehow, before her bright torch was extinguished she managed (in her uniquely Tamara way) to light torches for many of us — some, like me, who may not even have been aware that we had a torch in our hands! But now that I’m awake to the gift she gave to me, I will honor it… I will carry her with me into noble, worthy causes both big and small.

    Please know that I am holding you both in my heart at this tender time.

  • Sue Z. says:

    I knew Tamara only on facebook – we share like opinions. While I didn’t know her well personally, I do know two things about her: she loved her daughter Zoe and was super proud of her. That was the most important thing. Second, she wanted people to behave justly and it frustrated her when they didn’t – and she spoke up for those people that were not treated fairly. I miss her commentary and the world will miss her fighting spirit.

  • Katie says:

    There are so many things to say about Tamara. The highest compliment I can pay her is to say that she loved without judgement.
    She was a light shining in the darkness and she reached for others, always helping, always extending grace.
    I miss her.

  • Erin Reeves says:

    Tamara, a “gentle light” in this big world. Her words were comforting and she had a sixth sense when it came to others, even strangers; to the likes of a mother having that innate ability to soothe even when she herself did not feel well enough to get through the day. You’ll be missed. Sending long distance hugs to Dave and Zoe.

  • Karri Hemmig says:

    Tamara was an incredible force. Her loss is felt every day in our shared group. I feel incredibly lucky to have crossed paths with her. She leaves a fierce spirit for social justice in this world through her daughter. I am so sorry for you loss Dave and Zoe.

  • Kevin Moylan says:

    Tammy Kincaid I first met at North Whidbey or high in 1975 we had journalism and English and debate class I never could out wit her nor beat her in a debate she was very smart and though I lost touch with her I reconnected with her again on Facebook I’m am deeply saddened we have lost such a beautiful soul and I will miss her quick wit rest in peace Tamara you will be missed by your friends and classmates from Oak Harbor

  • Jada Pfarr says:

    You just floated onto my front porch like a feather from heaven and landed on my broken heart. None of it expected and none of it rehearsed just this plain conversation between two survivors as if we’d known each other’s battle wounds our whole lives. There was no apology or sympathy for pain just pure understanding and for that I could never thank you enough. You were here just when I needed you and you left long before I was ready but I’m okay with letting you go. I think you accomplished what you set out to do and it was no small task. I’ll see you next lifetime friend. Until then, I’ll carry the torch.


    Tamara and I never got around to meeting up like we talked about for years, and I am so sad about that. I know a lot about loss. I also know that Tamara continues. And that is a gift to all of us. What a wonderful person. My heart goes out to Dave and Zoe, and those who had the honor of knowing her better than I did.

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