Funeral scheduled for Albert Mata

Tim Brookover and Albert Mata

Albert Mata, the long-time partner of Houston GLBT Community Center president Tim Brookover, passed away on Monday, Feb. 20.

Albert was a vivacious man. I could always tell if Albert was at an event. His laughter would echo through the room the second I entered, inevitably emanating from the a tight circle of conversationalists over which he was holding court. Sweet, kind and a little naughty, Albert’s energy and gentleness will be greatly missed.

Services for Albert will be held at Bethel United Church of Christ (1107 Shepherd).

Visitation – 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, February 24, 2012
Memorial Service – 4 p.m., Saturday, February 25, 2012

—  admin

UPDATE: Services set for Spanke Studer

As noted in this previous post on Instant Tea, John “Spanke” Studer passed away of natural causes sometime on Sunday or Monday at his home in Oak Lawn. According to his brother, Greg Studer, a funeral service for Spanke will be held Friday, Nov. 4, at 10 a.m. at Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road.

Watch for a full obituary in Friday’s Dallas Voice.

—  admin

‘Morphing’ at The Ochre House tonight

Dark comedy runs in this family

Sure we’ve heard the stories where hidden secrets discovered over a funeral or vacation begin to eat away at an already dysfunctional family. Playwright Matthew Posey has that covered in Morphing. They just don’t usually involve live music, dancing, a video performance, and a large man-eating puppet.Let’s not even get into the morphine addiction thrown into this show.

DEETS: The Ochre House, 825 Exposition Ave. Through Sept. 15. 8:15 p.m.$15. OchreHouseTheater.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Drawing Dallas • Rick Phillips

With the holiday upon us, floral designing is a labor of love for Dallas’ Rick Phillips

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator
mark@markdrawsfunny.com

Name: Rick Phillips

Occupation: Floral designer

Spotted at: Dog park on Swiss Avenue

Tanned, fit Aquarian Rick Phillips was born in Dallas but raised in neighboring Grand Prairie. He sprouts from a small but creative family: His mother sings opera, his brother is a drummer in a rock band, and his grandmother was also a gifted artist.

Labor of Love: Rick has been creating beautiful floral arrangements for more than 17 years. His first job interview in the business was to create a funeral arrangement. “I almost cut my thumb off,” says Rick, “I think they felt sorry for me. I got the job!”

Studying photography in college led to a natural progression into painting and finally into floral design. The instant gratification he gets from the process satisfies his art muse. Rick says he makes up his arrangements as he goes along. “I have a concept about color and shape when I start, but after that I free-wheel it.” He has been the exclusive florist for a high-profile jewelry store for eight years.

When he’s not handcrafting floral masterpieces, Rick enjoys cooking and shopping vintage and junk shops for awesome shirts and cool coats (and he can’t wait to for the weather to get cooler so he can wear them!) He loves all kinds of music from classical to techno/dance.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 2, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

DEATH: Paul David Tomko

Paul David Tomko, 41, of Dallas died on Aug. 19.

He was born in El Paso and graduated from Irvin High School and University of Texas in El Paso.

Tomko had lived in Dallas for the past 10 years. He worked as a senior IBM consultant, and previously had worked as a project manager at CPM, and before that worked at White Sands Missile Range.

Tomko was preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy Tomko.

He is survived by his father, Donald Tomko; brothers, Jackie Tomko, Donald Tomko Jr., DwayneTomko and Jammye Tomko; nieces, Megan Tomko and Samantha Tomko; and many aunts, uncles and friends.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Aug. 27 at 11 a.m. at North Dallas Funeral Home, 2710 Valley View Lane.

Tomko was a frequent donor to AIDS Inerfaith Network, Resource Center Dallas and Genesis Women’s Shelter and donations in his memory can be made to any of these organizations.

—  John Wright

AZ Lawmakers Totally Harshing On Westboro Baptist’s Protest Of 9-Year-Old’s Funeral

Hoping to beat the Supreme Court in screwing with the Westboro Baptist Church's travel plans, lawmakers in Arizona are rushing through a bill that would prevent protests within 300 feet of a funeral or burial service, from an hour before to an hour after the event, effectively barring the Phelps clan from demonstrating at 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green's service on Monday. Green was among those killed during Saturday's Safeway shooting, and Westboro quickly announced plans to escort her body into the ground. That said, the bill will only make it a misdemeanor to show up within the safety zone, and I think Shirley Phelps would be willing to become a semi-martyr for a community service conviction.


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Westboro Baptist Discovers Cool iPhone Camera Effects Just In Time For Elizabeth Edwards’ Funeral

OH SNAP — Having been granted a permit to protest outside Elizabeth Edwards' funeral today in Raleigh, the Westboro Baptist Church did just that. We spotted this TwitPic uploaded by Megan Phelps. Isn't it nice to see strong women supporting each other?

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THE SUPREMES: Kagan & Co. Just 3 Days Away From Hearing Westboro’s Free Funeral Speech Claim

With three women on the bench for the first time, the Supreme Court's 2010-11 term will tackle a slew of cases predicated one on of our favorite issues 'round these parts: the First Amendment. Put a condom on in case you blow your wad, because there's also some gays mixed in!

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—  John Wright

Rhode Island legislature overrides governor's veto

R.I. Governor Don Carcieri
R.I. Governor Don Carcieri

Same sex couples living together in Rhode Island may not be recognized, but now at least they can die legally.

Although the state’s capital is the only state capital with a gay mayor, the governor is certainly not sympathetic. Last year, as same sex marriage swept through New England, Governor Don Carcieri said he would opposed the measure in his state. Then, the Rhode Island legislature passed a measure to allow a same sex partner arrange his or her partner’s funeral. Incredibly, the governor vetoed the bill.

He said, “This bill represents a disturbing trend over the past few years of the incremental erosion of the principles surrounding traditional marriage, which is not the preferred way to approach this issue.”

Yesterday, the legislature overrode the veto.

“Now, at the worst time of their lives, people won’t have to fight simply to lay their loved ones to rest,” said Kathy J. Kushnir, executive director of Marriage Equality Rhode Island.

—  David Taffet