Brian Cross, 52, died suddenly on Monday, March 6.

Brian graduated from North Mesquite High School and received his B.A. from University of North Texas after having been expelled from Dallas Baptist University for being gay, even though at the time he didn’t know he was gay.

Before he retired, he worked in art restoration and for several years ran an art gallery in Breckenridge, Colo. He served on the board of Congregation Beth El Binah, where he was always made sure anyone coming to the group for the first time was welcomed. In February, he helped welcome about 100 LGBT teens that were in Dallas as part of a B’nai Brith Youth Organization convention.

Brian is survived by husband, David Taffet; mother and stepfather, Margaret and Bob Austin; father and stepmother, Steve Cross and Yvonne Cronin; his sister, Robin, and her family; his brother, Ken, and his family, and his uncle, David Ruth.

Brian’s memorial service will be conducted by Congregation Beth El Binah at Northaven UMC, 11211 Preston Road, at noon on Friday, March 10.



Patrick Warren Armstrong, 56, died peacefully at his Dallas home, beside his partner in his own bed, on Dec. 7, 2016.

Patrick’s parents, Lou and Donna, worked for Braniff Airlines and inspired his love for all things Braniff. In 2008, Patrick guest-curated the Braniff exhibit at Frontiers of Flight Museum, Love Field. Many of the items included in that exhibit, in fact, belonged to him.

Patrick worked on the ramp in fleet services for American Airlines DFW until his medical retirement in 2004. He bravely fought illness for years, with uncommon spirit. His loving nature and warm smile will be greatly missed.

Patrick was preceded in death by his loving parents and, in 2002, by his previous partner, Harry Losey. He is survived by his partner, Russell Lewis, and his brothers, Dana and Terry Armstrong.

Patrick was a U.S. Navy veteran and he will be laid to rest, with honors, close to his parents in a columbarium at the Fort Sam Houston National Military Cemetery in San Antonio on Friday, March 17, at 1 p.m.  His family, friends and Braniff family area welcome to attend.

Rest in peace, dear Patrick.



Tommy Ray Marion Sr., beloved father, grandfather and husband, and celebrated life-long Dallas educator, passed away on Feb. 24 at age 71.

Tommy was born Jan, 28, 1946, in Dallas, to unknown parents at St. Paul Hospital (now St. Paul Medical Center). After being cared for by the Holy Sisters of the International Order of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul  for one year, he was adopted by Raymond and Minnie Marion of Dallas. The Sisters took special care to watch over Tommy as he grew, frequently visiting the Marion household. As a child, Tommy was an avid tap dancer and piano player.

At age 13, Tommy snuck out of his house to attend Judy Garland’s historic 1961 concert at the Music Hall at Fair Park. His parents never found out.

Tommy graduated from Jesuit College Preparatory School in 1963, then from Southern Methodist University in 1968, where he also earned his master’s degree. He had an intense passion for education that lasted throughout his lifetime, beginning at Jesuit Dallas, where he taught Spanish from 1973 until 1992, serving for a time as chairman of the Foreign Language Department. In 1985 Tommy was honored at the White House, under President Ronald Reagan, as one of the country’s Most Influential Teachers, receiving a Certificate of Excellence in the Presidential Scholar Program.

After many wonderful years at Jesuit, Tommy began his second career at Richland College in the Dallas County Community College District, starting in the Corporate Services Department. It was during this time that he taught at businesses across North Texas, including Alcatel, Ericsson, and MBNA, giving Spanish for Business and Industry courses. He also taught Command Spanish courses to first responders in Dallas County and the Plano Public Library.

Tommy was honored by Richland in 1995 with the Adjunct Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award for his Spanish credit course instruction. Following his retirement, he continued working part time in the International offices where he was employed until his unexpected passing.

As an adult, Tommy was an avid local and world traveler. He was active in the Lebanese-American community, and helped found the annual Lebanese Food Festival. He loved classic movies and musicals, and could often be found along with his husband, Ray, at the Dallas Voice/Magnolia Theater’s Big Movie Tuesdays or at the Winspear Opera House.

Tommy married Ray Sablack, his partner of 15 years, on June 26, 2015, the day marriage equality was made legal nationwide. They were one of the first male couples legally married in Dallas.

Tommy was preceded in death by parents, Raymond and Minnie (Ashmore) Marion of Dallas. He is survived by his loving husband, Ray Sablack of Dallas; his two adult children from his previous marriage, Tom Marion of The Colony and Carla Marion Peritz of Allen; son-in-law Don Peritz Jr., also of Allen: and two grandsons.

A memorial will be held at Richland College — Lago Vista/Richland Library at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 31. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Dallas Public Library for Spanish Languange Materials, so that Tommy’s legacy will continue to inspire others to never stop learning.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 10, 2017.