Death: Burleigh John ‘B.J.’ Smith

Burleigh John “B.J.”  Smith, 62, of Dallas died March 29 from complications due to liver cancer.

Born in Shreveport to the late Bernard Cyril and Gwendolyn Smith, B.J.Smith worked 20 years for Cinemark Theaters as a film buyer before retiring in early 2010. He had a very outgoing and uplifting personality and he never met a stranger. His hobbies and interests included singing with the Turtle Creek Chorale for 11 years, movies, traveling, cooking and enjoying food and wine with friends.

He is survived by his partner of 31 years, Dennis Bellotto,; his sister Lynn Norton and family of Flower Mound; his brother Barney Smith and family of San Antonio; and his cherished cat Lance.

In lieu of flowers, Smith requested that memorial donations be made to AMFAR or The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society No formal memorial service is planned at this time.

—  John Wright


Marion A. Weger, 61, died at his Dallas residence on March 7.

Born Nov. 28, 1949, Weger was a native of Paradise, Texas, and had lived in the Dallas area for the last 20 years. He co-owned Gratitude Vintage Clothing store with his late partner, Don Dent, for 19 years, and was very proud of the fact that the Oak Lawn shop was named top vintage clothing store in Dallas by Dallas Observer in 2010.

Weger and Dent had been a couple for more than 20 years when Dent died last June. They were both loved and will be deeply missed by family and their many friends.

Services for Weger were held Wednesday, March 16 at Park Cities Presbyterian Church. Memorial donations in his name can be made to that church or to the American Cancer Society.

—  John Wright

Death • 12.17.10

Sharla Diane Rippetoe, 60, died of cancer at her home in Dallas on Dec. 12.

Rippetoe was born April 2, 1950, in Texas and had lived in the Dallas area for the past 40 years. She graduated from Richardson High School, and was a business owner, author and artist as well as a beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

She was the owner of Grammy Sits pet-sitting service and a former delivery driver for Dallas Voice.

Rippetoe is survived by her wife, Maryann Ramirez of Dallas; her parents, Charles David Forest and Clara Jackson; her siblings, Belinda and Charlie; her daughters, Patricia, Veronica and Stephanie; her sons, David and Kevin; her grandchildren, Ean, Tasha, Degan, Helen, Thomas, Jonathan and Ashley; and her great-grandchildren, Eden, Avery, Aspen and Aiden.

A celebration of her life is being planned for a future date. The family asks that memorial donations in her name be made to SPCA of Dallas or to Community Hospice of Texas (

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 17, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Deaths • 08.20.10

Jerry Day, 56, died at his home in Dallas on July 30.

Day was born Oct. 15, 1953, and was a native of Indiana. He had lived in the Dallas area for the past 18 years.

He loved his job working in the ladies’ shoe department at Neiman-Marcus. He also loved to cook, and he loved animals, especially his cat Spaz and his dog Harley.

Memorial donations can be maid to Resource Center Dallas’ AIDS programs.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 20, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Deaths • 07.30.10

Jeffry Lee Knaub, 41, died of cancer on July 19 at his home in Dallas. Knaub attended Royal Valley High School in Mayetta, Kansas, and the University of Kansas. He worked as manager of Super Cuts and of Beauty First Salon, and had lived in the Dallas area for the last 19 years.

Knaub was known for his loving and generous spirit. He was a true friend to many and always put others first. He had a zest for life and a contagious smile that kept him surrounded by friends who loved him and will miss him sorely.

Knaub was preceded in death by his sister, Sheila Knaub. He is survived by his mother, Karen Gilbert of Scotts Bluff, Neb.; his father, Jerry Knaub and his wife, Sheri, of Las Vegas, Nev.; his brother, Scott Knaub, and his wife, Sue, of Atlanta, Ga.; his nephew, Daniel Knaub, of Atlanta, Ga.; his niece, Rachel Knaub of Atlanta, Ga.; his brother, Matthew Gilbert of Scotts Bluff, Neb.; and his grandmother, Shelly Purnell, of Scotts Bluff, Neb.

A gathering to remember Knaub’s life will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 30, at Black Eye Pea restaurant on Cedar Springs Road. Memorial donations can be made to the Jef Knaub Memorial Fund at Cathedral of Hope, 590 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, Texas 75235.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 30, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas