Erich Adelbert Austin, 42, died at his home in Dallas on Jan. 6.

Austin, who had made Dallas his home for the past four years, was a native of Atlanta, Ga. He was recently employed as head merchandising designer for Craig Bachman Imports, Inc., at the Dallas Market Center. He had also worked in Dallas with Coldwater Creek and Ann Taylor Loft stores in sales and merchandising. A retail veteran of more than 25 years, he had affiliations with Federated Department Stores and the Belk Stores.

Austin was a graduate of Georgia State University and was active in community life with the West Tennessee Cerebral Palsy Center, the Carl Perkins Child Abuse Center and numerous other organizations. He and his partner of 23 years operated Holland’s, a specialty floral, gift and gourmet business in Tennessee.

Austin loved the outdoors, was an avid reader, loved movies and nostalgia and enjoyed his numerous trips traveling the world.

He is survived by his mother, Wanda Love of Fort Worth; his sister, Heather Love of Fort Worth; his partner, William Holland of Dallas; and his cat, Trevi.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church in Fort Worth. The family requests that those wishing to do so make memorials in Austin’s honor to the charity of their choice.

Joel Howard Ihms, gifted singer and music enthusiast, died Sunday, Jan. 25, at Medical City Hospital in Dallas, from pneumonia and complications due to undiagnosed HIV.

Born March 20, 1978, Joel graduated from Highland Park High School in 1996, and attended Stephen F. Austin University on a singing scholarship for one year. His voice secured him a long tenure with the Turtle Creek Chorale, joining the prestigious male chorus in August, 1997 as the youngest member during that time.

Ihms, a tenor II, was also a member of the ENCORE! Ensemble and was featured as a soloist many times, beginning in 1998 with "Seasons of Love." He recorded solos on eight CDs, and his theatrical credits include regional productions of "The Sound of Music" and "Showboat" among others. He also performed with the Turtle Trio at the Oak Grove United Methodist Church on a regular basis. Ihm’s last performance was in December in "Hottest Holidays Ahead."

Ihms was front desk associate manager at Exhale Spa at the Palomar Hotel after joining the company in 2006. His engaging personality made him a favorite of guests as well as employees of Exhale Spa.

He is survived by his mother, Gaynelle Hines Ihms; father, Randall Gene Ihms; stepmother, Margarite Ihms; grandfather, Lester Ihms; aunt, Debbie Boultinghouse; great-aunts, Peggy French and Lylia Coffman; uncles, Chris Hines, Orlan Ihms and Keith Ihms; and many cousins. He is also survived by his many brothers at the Turtle Creek Chorale and his two dearest friends, Meredith Buhl and Stephen Price.

He was preceded in death by his aunt, Terriann Hines; and grandparents, Vernelle and Terry Hines and Janet Ihms.

A young and spirited heart, Joel sang for humanity and enriched the many lives he touched through song. 

A memorial celebration will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Turtle Creek Chorale, P.O. Box 190137, Dallas, Texas 75219.

We print notices of deaths of members of the GLBT community at no fee. A questionnaire is available to assist you in organizing the information. Certain information is required. The questionnaire can be e-mailed, faxed or mailed to you. You may supply photos as prints (color or B&W) or scans (min. 300 d.p.i. at 3X5). For more information or to submit a notice, e-mail or call 214-754-8710 ext. 128.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 30, 2009.
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