Posts tagged with "obituary"

NYC LGBT party promoter and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity member dies via 360 MAGAZINE.

FRANK WATSON’S HOMEGOING

Frank Watson, a popular NYC LGBTQIA+ party promoter and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. member, will always be remembered.


NYC legendary promoter Frank Watson, William Allen, B-Hen via 360 MAGAZINE.
NYC legendary promoter Frank Watson, William Allen, DJ BRIAN HENRY via 360 MAGAZINE.

“I first met Frank Watson in Harlem in the early days of the 2010s, I can’t recall exactly the year, but I do recall his and others like him, an ambition trending group that would change how thousands would see themselves and attempt to define a new world, even for me. It was the breaking days of the New Harlem — young energy and freedom rushed in like a tsunami.

Frank had ideas about parties and asked me a lot of questions on how to do it in Harlem and NYCwide. I had spent a few years serving as a development advisor to an emerging magazine that expressed fashion freedom and black gay pride as well as help to create the first major black comedy club in the 1990s, located in Harlem, that created substantial new opportunities that formerly was only open to a few blacks at a time. More of my story later in another article.

In the pic above, it was at one of a handful of people at Frank’s first party venture that happened to take place in Harlem, the DJ Brian Henry, on my right, a mentee who had invited me, was a recent college graduate working at Verizon and living in Harlem. Brian is now the famous B-Hen, hosting amazing block parties all across the nation and performing abroad. Back to Frank. I’ll never forget that conversation that night and the countless others, his humility, charm, and drive to make other people enjoy their lives was evident. He had a soul that couldn’t be broken and was a strong architect of much needed ventures and events that made pride beyond one day, month, or a season. He gave life to a new generation that chose to be dominant in popular culture and not in the shadows. May God grant him peace. He was a king.” — William Allen


360 MAGAZINE remembers No.1 NYC Promoter Frank Watson.
No.1 NYC LGBT party promoter, Frank Watson, memorialized via 360 MAGAZINE.

FRANK’S HOMEGOING


Date: Saturday, December 3, 2022, at noon.

Location: Monticello Middle School, 180 Clyde Ross Drive
Monticello, AR 71655

Important details to note:

If you’re coming from Little Rock on the day of, please begin your drive by 9AM in order to arrive around 11AM.

If you drive through Pine Bluff and Star City, which is via Highway 425, you will have cell reception the entire trip.

If you choose to drive there via Highway 530 South, you will NOT have cell reception for at least an hour of the drive.


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Melvin Sampson illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Remembering Melvin Sampson

By Hannah DiPilato

Melvin Sampson was a leader throughout his life and was dedicated to fighting for the rights of indigenous people. Before his passing, he was a tribal councilman that pushed for Native American’s rights. 

Some of his most monumental efforts include helping to establish the Indian National Finals Rodeo, assisting in the improvement of health care for Native Americans across the nation, advocating for the construction of the Yakama Nation Indian Health Services clinic west of Toppenish and pushing to improve fish restoration in the Yakima and Columbia basins.

Sampson passed in his home on December 11 at 82-years-old and left behind his wife, Betty Jean and his four daughters. He will be remembered by his big family of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Sampson’s full obituary can be found on Heggies Colonial Funeral Home’s website and anyone is able to leave thoughts, prayers and condolences for Sampson’s loved ones. People can also send flowers or a virtual gift and share photos and videos, a beautiful way to share remembrance amidst the pandemic. 

“He’s bigger than the Yakama Nation,” said Yakama General Council Chairman Roger Fiander, who grew up beside Sampson. “Besides that, he was my roping partner.”

Sampson’s legacy of helping to gain rights for Native Americans will live on for generations. Hopefully, many more people will follow in his footsteps to preserve tribal culture. 

Sampson was an advocate of better healthcare for Native Americans for 17 years while he served on the National Indian Health Board. He also helped form the Portland Area Indian Health Board, which monitors the federal administration of Indian health services in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. 

In Washington D.C., Sampson was at the head of an effort to gain funding for a new Indian Health Clinic. Eventually, his efforts led to an expansion of the clinic which expanded it into a facility of over 80,000 square feet. 

Sampson also wanted to improve fish rearing practices in the Yakama and Columbia basins in order to help the fish that lived there. With Sampson in charge, the Yakama Nation gained control of the Klickitat Hatchery which is found on the Klickitat river outside of Glendale. This hatchery was designed to rebuild the population of salmon by mimicking the natural habitat system that fish thrive in. 

Everyone that knew Sampson believed he was a born leader. He had a diverse understanding of tribal culture and government which allowed him to make many changes in his lifetime. George Waters, a lobbyist for the tribe in Washington, D.C., said that Sampson was just a person able to operate in different worlds. 

He was able to create many amazing things such as doing leatherwork and beginning a shop in his basement. Sampson can also be remembered for his forward-thinking ways that were ahead of his time. 

Irving Pinkham, another childhood friend of Sampson, said that Sampson cared for everyone and always wanted to help indigenous people. “In our way, nobody is better than anyone else and that’s what he believed too,” Pinkham said. “He never was a person who said ‘I, I did this, I did that.’ He was always a person who said ‘We, we did this, we did that.’ “

Sampson’s perseverance and ability to understand people helped him become a success in many aspects of his life. He was able to improve healthcare and the way of life for those around him and his legacy will be seen in all of the work he accomplished over his lifetime.

Yvonne Maria Lowery

Yvonne Maria Irby was born on 14 October 1941 in Asheville, N.C. She is the firstborn of Mary Elvira Wilson and James Edward Irby. Both met and married in Washington DC. There were five children in that marriage. Yvonne was the eldest and was referred to as Irby. Her beautiful godmother MaryAnna helped raise, love and adored Yvonne. She also provided equal love and admiration to the children of Yvonne. She came each summer and created wonderful memories. Yvonne really appreciated the relationship.

Yvonne grew up a Catholic and attended private school throughout college. She was only a few months from becoming a nun, until a special person came and changed the direction of her life. While studying at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, she met and married her beautiful teammate Joseph Echols Lowery Jr. of 1964. The couple decided to advance and relocate to Detroit, Michigan. Before moving out of Ohio, Yvonne and Joseph opened a restaurant in Dayton. They had a fish market in Detroit, too. Following the closure of the businesses, Yvonne started new businesses. With her warm and friendly personality, she chose to run for the Detroit District Council (yes, there was a district council at the time). She was trying to change things within her community.

Yvonne worked for Amurcon Management Group in the 1970s and early 1980s as a property manager. One of the properties she ran for some years was Research Park Apartments and Townhouses, which she and her family lived on for years. For over forty years, Yvonne and her children have created genuine friendships which continue to this day. Later, Yvonne and Joseph both earned contract positions with Detroit Edison (now known as DTE) in 1981 as analysts. This gave them a tremendous opportunity to contribute to the Hawaii hurricane disaster in 1982. They spent about four to six weeks in Hawaii to help evaluate electric damage in 1983. In 1984, Yvonne came to Rivers Investment Group as a property manager and remained there for several years.

Yvonne got sick in the early 1990’s. Her health was up and down for many years thereafter. She was quite a winner, to say the least. She remained a human being. Always optimistic, positive and cheerful. She’s become very fiery in recent years. If you know one of her kids, then you know, they’re part of her personality.

She was always proud of all her children and grandchildren. She was so proud and enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her grandkids. She liked to joke with them. Sometimes she laughed so loud that she almost fell and we had to run and grab her. She loved my candy! Her favorites were Tootsie Rolls, Mentos, Mints, and Milky Ways. She loved watching local sports and cheering for the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Tigers every season. She was a ray of light that will always continue to shine above us all!

She leaves in memory of her passing:

Her parents: Mary Stephen and James Irby, (both deceased) her brothers, James Irby (deceased) Charles Irby of Charlotte, North Carolina, her sisters Jane Tahir (Melvin) of Baltimore, Maryland, Regina Gates-Flowers (Michael) of Los Angeles, California.

Her children: Joseph Lowery III of Silver Spring, Maryland, Dawn Lowery-Campbell (Gregory) of Detroit, Michigan, Rashawnda Lowery of Detroit, Michigan, Vaughn Lowery of Los Angeles, California, thirteen grandchildren and two-great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and family friends.