May They Rest in Peace
Final farewell to dearly departed North Texans of 2013
Amid all the joyous occasions of 2013, Dallas-Fort Worth residents also endured plenty of grief. Join us in saying goodbye to celebrities, chefs, philanthropists and others who helped make our city great.
Harold Simmons, 82
Billionaire businessman Harold Simmons died December 28 in Dallas. He came from humble beginnings to build a drugstore empire and eventually become one of the wealthiest men in America. In 2013, Forbes estimated his net worth at $10 billion.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Simmons donated heavily to his alma mater and myriad philanthropic and political causes. After his death, Gov. Rick Perry called Simmons "a true Texas giant."
Johari the lion, 5
The Dallas Zoo suffered a loss when a 5-year-old female lion named Johari was attacked and killed by two male lions on November 17. Zoo officials called the killing "quick," but attendees said that it went on for 10 to 15 minutes until the female lion became lifeless.
Johari was one of three sisters, along with Josiri and Lina. The male lions that killed Johari, name Denari and Kamaia, are brothers. The five lions were thrown together in 2010 without parental guidance to become part of the zoo's Giants of the Savanna exhibit.
Louis Canelakes, 58
Louis Canelakes, owner of Louie's on Henderson Avenue, died November 10. A friend of the family said Canelakes was in the hospital for pneumonia; other outlets described it as a lingering illness.
Before opening Louie's, Canelakes was a bartender at Joe Miller's on McKinney Avenue, in the space now occupied by The Loon. Canelakes and his brother Chris opened Louie's in 1987. Its thin-crust pizza and casual atmosphere made it a legendary hangout for journalists and local politicians.
Kumar Pallana, 94
Dallas actor, restaurateur and yogi Kumar Pallana, who opened the Indian vegetarian restaurant Cosmic Cup (now Cosmic Cafe), died on October 10 at age 94. Pallana was a discovery of director Wes Anderson, who gave him roles in Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited. He also appeared in the 2011 film Another Earth, among others.
Jerry Russell, 77
Jerry Russell, founder of Fort Worth theater company Stage West and father of Sen. Wendy Davis, passed away peacefully September 5 at Harris Methodist Hospital. He had been hospitalized for several weeks following complications from abdominal surgery.
Russell had retired (for the second time) from Stage West last year, ending a tenure that began when he founded the company in 1979. Appearing not just with Stage West but also Dallas Theater Center, Casa Manana and others, he was a beloved member of the Dallas-Fort Worth theater community.
David "Kidd" Kraddick, 53
Longtime Dallas radio personality Kidd Kraddick died July 27 of cardiac disease. He was in New Orleans for a charity event at the time of his death. Kraddick was best known as the impish morning host on KISS-FM, along with cast members Kellie Rasberry and "Big Al" Mack.
In 2001, his Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show became syndicated to more than 75 cities in the United States. His Kraddick Foundation created a number of programs and events to benefit children. Kraddick was divorced from his wife, Carol, and had a daughter, Caroline, who was frequently featured on his show.
Rusty Fenton, 53
Veteran restaurateur Rusty Fenton passed away on June 24 from cancer. Fenton co-founded the Uncle Julio's Mexican chain in the '80s and also worked for Carlson's E-Brands, Pappas and the now-closed Trader Vic's in Dallas.
He founded Rusty Taco late in life and was one of the first to see the rising fortunes of tacos when he opened the first branch on Greenville Avenue in 2010. There are now more a dozen locations, most of which are franchises.
Kenny Harris, 53
Off-duty Dallas Fire-Rescue captain Kenny Harris was killed in the explosion of a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, on April 17. Harris, who lived in West, was initially reported missing. He was off-duty at the time of the incident.
He was not a volunteer firefighter in West, but when he became aware of the fire incident, he responded as a helper. Harris had been with the department for 30 years. He was married and a father to three grown sons.
Pat Summerall, 82
Player-turned-broadcaster Pat Summerall died April 16 of cardiac arrest at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Summerall played in the NFL for 10 years, from 1953 to 1961, for the Chicago Cardinals and New York Giants.
But the Southlake resident was better known to sports fans as a broadcaster, for the likes of CBS, Fox and ESPN. He helped broadcast 16 Super Bowls and was inducted into the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame in 1999. Whether it was the NFL, Masters or U.S. Open, Summerall was considered the standard of broadcasting.
Randall Copeland, 39
Randall "Big Cat" Copeland, the well-liked chef and co-owner of Restaurant Ava and Boulevardier, died on April 2. According to a spokeswoman for his restaurant, Copeland died in his sleep; the cause of death was not known.
Copeland was born and raised in East Dallas and attended the culinary program at Skyline High School, followed by El Centro College. He worked at the Park Cities Hilton, the Eastern Hills Country Club in Garland and the Green Room under chef Colleen O'Hare. He left Dallas in 2004 to work at Bradley Ogden inside Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas before returning to Texas in 2007.
Nancy Lee Bass, 95
Fort Worth native Nancy Lee Bass, whose family has helped steer the fate of Fort Worth, died at her home on February 28. Bass and her oil magnate husband, Perry, were generous contributors to the arts, and their four sons — Sid, Ed, Bob and Lee — have had their own profound effect on arts and the prosperity of the city.
The Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall, which opened in downtown Fort Worth in 1998, marks their significant contributions. The Basses made a stunning gift of $1 million to 50 charitable institutions on their 50th wedding anniversary in 1991. Perry died in 2006 at age 91.
Van Cliburn, 78
Van Cliburn, the legendary pianist whose eponymous competition has been bringing world-class musicians to Fort Worth for more than 50 years, died February 27. Cliburn was born in Shreveport to an oil company executive father and a classically trained pianist mother.
He was raised in Kilgore, where he graduated from Kilgore High School. He attended Juilliard and made his debut with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall in 1954. He became world famous in 1958 when he won the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition at the tender age of 23; Time magazine dubbed him "The Texan Who Conquered Russia."
Vance C. Miller, 79
Real estate mogul, Republican donor and Dallas philanthropist Vance C. Miller died February 23 after suffering a heart attack. Miller was chairman and chief executive officer of Henry S. Miller Companies, which was started by his grandfather, the company’s namesake, in 1914.
After serving as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, Miller joined the company in 1959. By 1981, the company was the largest real estate brokerage firm in Texas and the seventh largest in the nation. He is survived by his wife, Tincy; two sons, Vaughn Miller and Greg Miller; and daughter, Cynthia Vance-Abrams.
Chris Kyle, 38
Former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle was shot and killed on February 2 at a North Texas gun range. The man charged with killing him is Eddie Ray Routh, 25, another Iraqi war veteran who has also been charged with killing Kyle's friend Chad Littlefield.
Nearly 7,000 people gathered at Cowboys Stadium (now AT&T Stadium) in Arlington for Kyle's public memorial. He did four combat tours in Iraq as a Navy SEAL; he's been called the deadliest sniper in American history, with more than 150 confirmed kills. Kyle is survived by his wife, Taya, and their two children.
Ty Pickens, 21
The grandson of billionaire T. Boone Pickens, Ty Pickens, died January 29 of an apparent heroin overdose. Pickens was a junior at Texas Christian University.
Tarrant County grand jury indicted former TCU student Brennan Trainor Rodriguez, 21, for Pickens' murder, alleging that Rodriguez injected heroin into Pickens' arm. Rodriguez was also indicted on three related felonies: manslaughter, tampering with evidence, and delivering a controlled substance which resulted in death.