Pastor Linda Harris in critical condition

Pastor Linda Harris

Local artist Robb Conover contacted me this morning to let me know that Pastor Linda Harris, former pastor of Sanctuary of Love church, is in critical condition at a Fort Worth hospital, and is not expected to live much longer.

Conover said friends of Pastor Harris who would like a chance to see her again and say goodbye are urged to do so as soon as possible. He said she is being giving morphine to control her pain, but is awake and alert at times.

When Conover called this morning, he said Pastor Harris was in Room 321 at Fort Worth Medical Plaza where doctors were working to remove her pacemaker and defibrillator. Once that is accomplished, he said, Pastor Harris will be transferred to hospice care on the seventh floor of Baylor All Saints hospital in Fort Worth.

Conover said the family asked him to let Pastor Harris’ friends know of these latest developments, and said that anyone with questions can contact him at 214-623-7790.

—  admin

Deaths 12.31.10

Debie Denise Hackett, 40, died on Dec. 24. She was a therapist living in Dallas. She is survived by her parents, Ben and Ginger Hackett of Richardson; her brother and sister-in-law, Danny and Wendy Burks; and nephews Josh and Daniel of Whitewright, Texas. Friends and family will gather to remember her on Sunday, Jan. 2 at 3 p.m. at First United Lutheran Church, 6202 E. Mockingbird Lane in Dallas, in the back building separate from the main chapel.

Daniel Bennett Keenan of Dallas died peacefully at his home on Dec. 15. He was 55.
Dan was the son of William E. Keenan and the late Sue B. Keenan of Charlotte, N.C. He was born in Tulsa, Okla., and moved with his family to Houston in 1961. There he attended Bunker Hill Elementary, Memorial Junior High, and Memorial High School and was a member with his family of Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church.  He was active in Boy Scout Troop 703m where he became an Eagle Scout and senior patrol leader of the troop and twice participated in Rocky Mountain adventure camping at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.

After graduation from the University of Texas, Austin, with a degree in marketing, he earned a Master of Business Administration from St. Edwards University, Austin.  He subsequently joined Southwest Bell Telephone Co. in its computer services department in Houston and after Southwest’s merger with AT&T transferred to Dallas.  He retired earlier in 2010.

Dan is survived by his sister, Kathleen Keys and husband Dennis Keys of Dallas; brother, James E. Keenan and wife Becky of Charlotte, N.C.; sister, Allison and partner Lee of Durham, N.C.; father William E. Keenan of Charlotte; partner Daniel B. Campos of Paris, France; and daughters, Elise and Laura.

The family will celebrate Dan’s life with a private gathering.  Those who wish to offer a memorial gift in his name are urged to consider A Sister’s Gift, 1515 N. Town East Blvd.#138-380, Mesquite, TX 75150  (www.asistersgift.org); Vitas Innovative Hospice Care, 8585 N. Stemmons Freeway, Suite 700, Dallas, TX 75247; or a church or charity of the giver’s choice.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 31, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Death • 11.12.10

Betty Fairchild, 89, a longtime friend and supporter of the LGBT community, died Nov. 7 in Dallas

In the 1970s, Fairchild was a founding member of the Washington, D.C., and Denver chapters of PFLAG. Her experience with the gay community and PFLAG, as well as her passion for writing, led her to co-author Now That You Know — A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Their Gay and Lesbian Children, published in 1979. The book was one of the first to openly address the issues and concerns for parents and helped countless families through the coming out process.

In 1981, Fairchild fulfilled a longtime dream and moved to San Francisco, where she lived for 20 years. There she continued her involvement with the community, walked in her beloved Golden Gate Park and, in her 70s, discovered an interest in and talent for water colors, becoming an accomplished painter. She continued to paint until her death.

Fairchild spent her final years in Dallas near her oldest daughter Elizabeth. She also had two sons, Blaine and Brian, and a second daughter, Barbara.  She loved and accepted all of her children for their unique gifts, talents and qualities.

The family asks that contributions in memory of Betty Fairchild be made to VITAS Hospice Care, 8585 Stemmons Frwy., Ste. 700, South Tower, Dallas, Texas 75247, or to Pearl Nordan Care Center, Juliette Fowler Homes, Inc., 1234 Abrams Road, Dallas, Texas 75214.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 12, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Dutton wins Bank of America ‘local hero’ award

Samaritan House head honored for work in housing people with AIDS, other chronic illnesses

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer taffet@dallasvoice.com

Steven Dutton, president and CEO of Samaritan House in Fort Worth, has been named a Bank of America local hero. The award is given to five people in each of 45 cities across the country.

Winners were chosen by a committee made of local leadership from Bank of America, previous grant recipients and other civic leaders, according to Mike Pavell, Fort Worth market president of the bank.

Samaritan House provides affordable, quality housing to low-income individuals and families including those affected by HIV.

“We were impressed with Steve not only because of his tireless pursuit to develop housing for persons who are homeless, ex-offenders, and those with chronic illness and disabilities,” said Pavell, “but because he speaks with residents of his program all day, showing them respect and care and enables them to become the strongest voice in their own recovery.”

Since joining the agency in 1996, the focus has shifted from hospice care to long-term support and even transitional housing. Soon after joining Samaritan House, the agency moved from the Northside into a 32-bed former nursing home southeast of downtown.

Dutton oversaw the new facility grow to 60 beds.

When the Villages at Samaritan House opened in 2006 with 66 apartments, they began serving 375 people, many affected with HIV.

In addition to providing housing, they help with finding employment opportunities for residents. Through a partnership with Z’s Café inside the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, 15 residents are employed.

“Z Café is going great,” Dutton said.

He called that project one of Samaritan House’s greatest successes because it has led to other restaurants in the area who are looking for new employees to call.

“One of our ambitions is to multiply the number of job opportunities,” he said.

He said it was a joy to see people who haven’t had a job in years after their first day at work.

“But it’s not just restaurants,” he said. “Others are working in maintenance and construction.”

The Local Heroes award comes with a $5,000 grant that Dutton directed to Samaritan House. He earmarked the money to an HIV prevention campaign.

“Every week, the number of persons contacting us increases,” he said. “Most new residents are under the age of 24.”

As part of that campaign, he has scheduled a screening of the film, And the Band Played On Sunday, Nov. 7 with the Lone Star Film Society. Bob Ray Sanders will introduce the movie. He said that with the average age of his new residents so young, most had never seen the HBO film.

Dennis Bishop, Lone Star Film Society director, was vice president of production at HBO when they made the film. He will be on hand at the screening to answer questions and talk about how difficult it was to bring this controversial movie to TV.

Dutton noted that they will hold one of their biggest fundraisers next week. On Wednesday, Nov. 10, they will present their Out of the Box fundraiser.

The luncheon will be held at the Fort Worth Sheraton and there is no cost to attend.

While the luncheon is free, reservations are required so they can plan the number of lunches to provide.

Reservations can be made by phone.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 5, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens