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

St. Edward’s bars Equality Texas from campus

Chuck Smith

St. Edwards University in Austin has barred Equality Texas from participating in a volunteer fair on campus according to the Austin American-Statesman.

St. Edward’s is a Catholic school and is listed as gay-friendly on the New Ways Ministry website. New Ways Ministry is a Catholic organization that works for gay and lesbian equality.

The school said the group may not recruit students on campus because its supports marriage equality, which goes against church teachings. An organization called Pride was listed on school’s website, but all information about the group has been removed since the controversy began last week. The Austin newspaper quoted from the site before the information was removed:

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Straight Alliance, “seeks to end discrimination and violence directed toward the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered community.”

Chuck Smith, deputy director of Equality Texas, said he was surprised by school’s decision not to allow the group on campus.

“Historically, St. Edwards is viewed as welcoming and supportive,” he said.

But he said an Austin blog this week has been questioning whether the campus is becoming more conservative. He cited the recent trip to Texas by President Barack Obama. Organizers had wanted the president to speak on campus, but the school denied the request.

Smith said marriage equality is a topic that is being discussed on campus. He said students use Equality Texas as a resource and that he has personally done at least 25 interviews over the last few years with students doing research papers on the topic.

Smith said that on Tuesday, the school made a statement that although Equality Texas would not be allowed on campus, students who choose to volunteer with the organization are free to do so. Smith said the group uses student interns in four areas and some students get credit for their internships.

—  David Taffet