Deaths

Troy-SandsWilliam Troy Sands, 48, died in his home in Oak Cliff on Sept. 18. His partner of 12 years, E. Morgan Millican III, and their dog iPod were at his side.

Sands was raised in West Palm Beach, Fla. In high school, he was involved in track and field and wrestling and was a member of the West Palm Beach Youth Orchestra. He lived in Washington, D.C. before moving to Dallas in 1985.

Sands worked for a number of employers, including Bruce Flint Attorneys, American Express Corporate Travel and, his favorite, the Apple Store in Highland Park as a Mac specialist.

He was an expert in music software, technologies and components. He was also an accomplished composer and played piano, organ and violin.

For 25 years, Sands was a DJ in Dallas. He learned his skill from his friend, the late DJ Buc. He worked for the remixing companies Hot Tracks, Direct Hits and Roadkill Records, recording and remixing dance, progressive, trance, house and vocal anthems and progressing from vinyl to CDs to computer. For a decade, he was the house DJ at the Brick. He became a circuit DJ and spun at clubs across the country.

Sands had been battling lung cancer with gusto and an unwavering determination for five years. Despite his recent chemotherapy, he was back in the DJ booth at Dallas Eagle and performed just a week before his death, which he found therapeutic and exhilarating. He said, “Music is a journey and on that musical journey, everyone is welcomed. That is what DJs do. They entertain people with words, sounds and emotions.”

Sands is survived by his partner, Morgan Millican III; his mother, Judy Sands; his grandmother, Louise Crotts; his sister, Theresa Marshall; his brother-in-law, Jim Marshall; his niece, Jackie Marshall; his nephews, Bryan and Brett Wilson; his aunts and uncles, Willene and Ron Burch, Bill and Carol Crotts and Phyllis and Skip Steckley; countless wonderful cousins; Millican’s supportive family; and friends, old and new, around the world.

The family said a special thanks to Brian Husbands, Dan Shupert, Bobby Barron and the Hampton Hills Neighborhood Association. Sands always said he had the best doctors and hospital in the world and ended every visit by saying, “thank you.”

Sands wished to be cremated and plans for a remembrance celebration in the next month will be announced. He also wanted a dance party fundraiser to be held in his name, which is also being planned. Donations in his name can be made to Amelia Court at Parkland Hospital, Resource Center Dallas or a charity of your choice.

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Richard-Potter-Obit-picRichard Michael “Rick” Potter, 56, died Saturday, Sept. 10, at Heritage Gardens Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Carrollton.

Potter was born in Heidelberg, Germany on June 8, 1955. As a child growing up in Denison, Potter attended Parkside Baptist Church from the age of 5 until he moved to Gainesville. He held a perfect attendance record for 14 consecutive years at Parkside.

Potter graduated from Denison High School in 1973 and continued his education at Grayson County College to become a licensed vocational nurse after he graduated in 1974. His love for nursing started at Madonna Hospital in Denison where he worked as an orderly, and he worked in a variety of medical facilities in places such as the state school in Gainesville, the Louisiana State Prison in Angola, La., and the Dallas County Jail. He continued his nursing education at Tarrant County Junior College where he studied nursing home administration.

Potter worked as a nurse in the Vocational Counseling & Rehabilitation Services in St. Louis, Mo. He also worked in Boca Raton, Fla., and at Savoy Nursing Home, Savoy, Texas. He did a lot of private duty nursing for many of his friends.

Potter also loved landscaping and he worked in Dallas for many years as an independent landscaper and as an employee for Noel David Pullam Garden Design. He also loved to travel and collecting matchbox cars and antiques. He touched many lives during his short life and he will be missed greatly.

Potter was reunited by telephone in 2007 with his birth mother, Irmgard Walter, and found out about his eight brothers and sisters and his huge extended family in Germany. Shortly after the telephone reunion with his birth mother, he flew to Heidelberg, Germany, and was reunited with his mom and met his brothers and sisters for the first time. Each of his brothers and sisters loved him and accepted him with open arms, and Potter made several more trips to Heidelberg to get to know more about his family and German heritage.
Potter was preceded in death by his adopted mother, Hilda Potter of Denison, and his birth mother, Irmgard Walter, of Heidelberg, Germany. He is survived by his adopted father, Jesse C. Potter Jr. of Denison; his sisters, Linda Thomas and her husband Charley Thomas of Denison, and Angelika (Geli) Wind, Dorle Gand, Engrid Zimmerman and Rosie Discher, all of Heidelberg; his brothers, Tomas, Udo, Helmet and Heiner Zimmerman, all of Heidelberg; his niece, Allison Lee-Anne Essin, her husband, Sam Essin, and their daughters, Ella Grace, Kimber Faith and Logann Hope of Sherman; Linda’s sister, Angie Dennis of Pittsburg, Kansas; his aunts Christa Murgida of Beverly, Mass., Irene of North Carolina, Jessie Mae and her husband Bob of South Carolina, Carline of  Georgia, Hannelor Hildebrand and Renada, both of Heidelberg; his uncle Dieter of Heidelberg; numerous nieces and nephews in Heidelberg, and a host of very close friends and extended family in the Dallas, New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Raleigh, Mo., areas.

The family extends a special thank you to all of his friends that helped to take care of Potter while he was sick at home, in the hospital and at the rehab center. They were all a blessing and an answered prayer.

A memorial service honoring Potter’s life was held Tuesday, Sept. 20, at Bratcher Funeral Home in Denison, with Dr. Chet Haney officiating. A second memorial service will be held Saturday, Sept. 24, at 3 p.m. in the Interfaith Peace Chapel on the campus of the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas for those unable to make the journey to Denison.

To honor Potter’s lifelong commitment to helping those in need, the family asks that donations in his name be made to the Resource Center Dallas Food Pantry, The Callie Clinic  Food Pantry of Texoma  in Sherman, The Interfaith Peace Chapel Project at The Cathedral of Hope, Dallas and the Grayson County Shelter.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 23, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas