Raymond “Versace” Walker, 34, died Feb. 10, after a two-year battle with failing kidneys.
Walker was the youngest son of Sandra Lee Smith and the late Thomas Clyde Walker. He was a 1990 graduate of Wilmer-Hutchins High School and lived all of his life in Dallas.
He embraced life as the ultimate adventure. His friends and extended family in the black gay/lesbian community will remember his sense of humor, enthusiasm, passion and spirit. He loved to be center stage with a mike in his hand. He was a frequent performer at Club BoxOffice, Elm and Pearl, Club N V and the Brick.
If he wasn’t performing as a box dancer, he might be involved in a drag show. If he wasn’t in drag, he might be performing as a male entertainer. If he wasn’t on stage, he was backstage, helping with costumes, makeup or hair. Performance art was the center of his life and he performed well.
Walker is survived by his mother, six sisters, five brothers and numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held at noon Saturday Feb. 17, at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 2815 S. Ervay St. in Dallas.
Crystal “Cher” Swilley died Feb. 12th.
Swilley was born in Queen City, Texas where she attended high school. She moved to New Orleans at 16 and worked at the Silver Frolics on Bourbon Street as “one of the prettiest boys in the world.” This lead to a centerfold spread in High Society magazine. Later, she moved to Kansas City and worked at the Jewel Box and then she moved to Houston for a brief period.
She had lived in Dallas for the last 23 years, working at several gentlemen’s clubs in the city as a topless waitress and dancer. She later became self-employed as a antique dealer specializing in dolls.
Swilley had a passion for raising money for children with AIDS and would always perform at charity events to raise money for that cause. She was also passionate about being a mentor to young transsexuals.
She is survived by her partner, Albert Cortez, and her brother, Ed Rhey, and her idenitical twin brother, Gray Rhey, along with many nieces and nephews and hundreds of friends.
Burial will be in Queen City. A memorial is being planned for Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. at Mickey’s, 3851-A Cedar Springs Road.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 16, 2007.