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IN MEMORIAM


Dance Council and described his ballet involvement as “the most rewarding experience of my life.” At the age of 50, Randy began to experience the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, receiving a diagnosis when he was 55. Because of his determination to assist in the research for a cure of this devastating illness, Randy chose to donate his body to science. Randy is survived by his sister Linda Davis and brother Steve Rainwater, who cared for him during the later stages of his illness; two sisters, Vicki Floyd and Kelly Kovar; and six nieces and nephews. Memorial donations may be made in Randy’s name to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, michaeljfox.org


Solomon Espie 1948 — 2019


Solomon Espie, Jr. was born February 24, 1948 in Dallas, Texas, to Solomon, Sr. and Thelma Harris Espie. The family moved to Columbus, Ohio when he was an infant. He was a member if Centenary United Methodist Church. Solomon was educated in the Columbus Public Schools and excelled in music and athletics. His track abilities garnered state wide recognition and awards. He graduated from East High School and was awarded a track scholarship to the University of Michigan. He became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. while attending there. In 1969 he married Waverly Hagey, two daughters were born to this union. He graduated from Michigan in 1970 and began a career in teaching. His passion for education was evident through his mentoring and influencing children for 40 years. He moved to Dallas in 1985 and united with St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church. He was a member of the Sunrise Choir and Bible Study facilitator. On February 24, 1986, he married Deborah Larkin Garland and one daughter was born to this union. Solomon continued his career in education as a physical education teacher with Dallas Independent School District until his retirement in 2010. During his years with D.I.S.D., he established a dance troupe at Lisbon Elementary


School and held offices in the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Solomon was a avid supporter of the Arts. He served as president of the Dance Council of North Texas. He was also on the Board of Directors of Beckles Dance Company and served as chairman. Along with the numerous lives he touched, he leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of 32 years, Deborah Espie; his children, Nikki Espie of Asheville, North Carolina, Meredith Espie (Jon Anderson) of Brookfield, Illinois, Elizabeth Espie and stepson, Jonathan Garland; brother, Douglas Espie (Adrenna) of Reynoldsburg, Ohio; nephews, Doug “Thumper” Espie of Grovesport, Ohio, Jordan Bostic of Columbus, Ohio, David Hawkins (Candra); niece, Alexis Espie of Reynoldsburg, Ohio and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Solomon departed this life on February 17, 2019. He was preceded in death by his parents.


Joy P. Riley 1928 — 2019


Joy Petta Riley was born on March 26, 1928 in Fort Worth, Texas and passed March 23, 2019. The youngest of 5 children, Joy was born to Sicilian parents Phyllis and Joe Petta. She attended Our Lady of Victory Catholic School and Paschal High School. At age 14, Joy established her first dance school in Fort Worth.


Randy Rainwater 1950 — 2019


William Randy Rainwater died on 8 Feb 2019 in Mesquite, Texas at the age of 68. Randy was born on 2 Nov 1950 in Texas City, Texas, to Clois Miles Rainwater and Nancy Jane McIlhaney. He received his public school education in Texas, New Mexico, and Illinois, graduating from high school in 1968. He attended his first year of college at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and completed his BBA in Finance at the University of Texas, Arlington in 1974. He took post-graduate classes at Dallas Theological Seminary and El Centro College. He served in the Naval Reserves from 1971 to 1977. Randy worked in banking and real estate before settling on computer programming as his field of employment. He worked for several different companies, including Mini Computer Systems, Stonehouse Telecom, NCR, and Ericsson, retiring from TXU at the age of 66. While singing in


the choir of Northwest Bible Church, Randy quite


accidentally discovered an interest in ballet. After years of classes, Randy participated in a number of amateur and semi-professional performances, including many productions of The Nutcracker. He served on the Dallas 6 • DANCE NORTH TEXAS


• MAY– JULY 2019


A long-time dancer and dance instructor, Joy choreographed the first color broadcast at WBAP-TV Fort Worth in 1954 with a young Pat Boone. In 1955, Joy married Dale Riley. They opened Riley’s Dance Workshop in Irving, Texas, in 1957. Over the years, they trained thousands of dancers – many of whom went on to make successful careers in show business. They also choreographed the Miss Texas Pageant for many years. In 1979, Joy and Dale founded the Irving Ballet Company and produced multiple dance productions including Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, and brought Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite to Irving audiences for years. They were instrumental in the development of the Irving Arts Center. Joy and Dale choreographed and performed with theatre companies throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. After retiring from dance, Joy began a new career as a real estate agent. She applied her tenacity and love for helping people to the art of selling homes and was in the multi-million-dollar sales club for years with Henry S. Miller, Virginia Cook and finally Ebby Halliday. Joy is survived by her husband of 63 years, Dale Riley. She was the beloved matriarch of a large and loving family. Joy and Dale are blessed with five children: Steve, Jeff, Rick, Tiffany, daughter-in-law Christy, son-in-law Dick Monday and the late and much-loved Joe Pat. Her 12 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren all affectionately refer to her as “Mama Joy.” “Joy has one of the greatest giving spirits of anyone I know. She‘s the one all the children always go to for help, and I don’t mean just our kids, all kids are attracted to her. Joy has some type of charisma that you just can’t put your hands on.” – Dale Riley Joy lived up to her name in all ways – knew how to make people smile, laugh, be at ease, feel cared for and loved. She always had a story about her children or grandchildren, or her life growing up. Joy is loved by so many and will be sorely missed by all who had the great fortune to know her. Memorial donations may be made to The Laughter League at laughterleague.org.


Kent Whites 1957 — 2019 Kent


passed


Whites, away


62 at


Texas Harris Hospital in Fort Worth on Saturday, April 6, 2019. He was born Alan Kent Whites on March 2, 1957 in Oxnard, California to Otis & Callie Whites. Kent began his career in theater at age six. He was first seen on the stages of Fort Worth performing lead roles for Casa


Mañana Theater, Hip Pocket Theatre and The Acting Company performing and directing shows for the Holiday Ranch Dinner Theatre. Kent was seen in the TV series Hart to Hart, Second Family Tree, and Finders of Lost Lovers. He was a member of the original Fort Worth Ballet before moving to New York where he attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in addition to The Harkness House School of Ballet, The Melissa Hayden School of Ballet, The Robert Denever’s School of Ballet, The Maggie Black Ballet School, and The American Ballet Theatre School. Kent was the Artistic Director of the Dallas Ballet Youth Ensemble and The New York Ballet Company. He choreographed ballets for The Baltimore Ballet, The Virginia Ballet, The Baltimore Dance Theater, The Manhattan Opera, The Dallas Ballet Company, The Chamberlain Ballet, and Ballet Dallas where he was the resident choreographer. As a dancer, he appeared with The Puerto Rican Dance Theater, Baltimore Ballet, St. Louis Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet, Albuquerque Ballet, and Dallas Ballet performing on stages all across the United States and abroad in France, Italy and Japan. Upon moving to Granbury, Kent served on the Granbury Opera House Renovation Committee and was a member of Granbury’s Tourism Advisory Board. He also served as the President/Chairman of the Board for The Granbury Theatre Company and later as GTC’s Artistic Director where he produced, directed and choreographed Ghost, To Kill A Mockingbird, Spamalot, The Odd Couple, Wait Until Dark, Legally Blonde, Driving Miss Daisy, 1776, Godspell, and Romance/Romance. While there, he also enjoyed playing the lead roles of Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple, George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life, Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, and John Adams in 1776. Kent was preceded in death by his parents Callie and Otis Whites. His three children, Callie, Gabriel and Mercy Whites along with former spouse and mother of


his children Teresa LaBarbera, survive Kent.


A brother Barry Whites, sister in law Michele and nephews Chase and Mason Whites also survive him along with aunts and uncles David & Valrie Watson, Bob & Laneta Watson, Noel Watson, Daisy Rienhart, Jim & Lily Watson and numerous cousins and friends in addition to his beloved dog Khaleesi and lifelong companion, an African Grey parrot Elliot. 7 • DANCE NORTH TEXAS


• MAY– JULY 2019


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