Legendary business and philanthropic leader I. W. Marks passed away at the age of 73 on February 27.
A respected Houston businessman, philanthropist, and civic citizen, Marks was known for his larger-than-life presence and the host of charitable organizations to which he gave generously, including GLBT-supportive causes. His philanthropic net extended to projects and programs for Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, Society for the Performing Arts, and TIRR (The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research), Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Crime Stoppers, Better Business Bureau and Community National Bank in Bellaire, the Jewish Community Center, and countless charity and school auctions.
Born in Chicago in 1934, Marks was predeceased by his parents and his first wife, Diane Golman Marks. His survivors are his wife Shelly Ann Marks, his son and daughter-in-law Daniel and Susan Marks, and their sons William and Andrew, his son and daughter-in-law Bradley and Melissa Marks, his sister Ruth Silver, numerous nieces and nephews, and his dedicated employees.
Died Elmer Lavon Shehane, 47, whose drag name was Stella Link Seville, died unexpectedly of a stroke on March 20.
Shehane was a popular performer in Houston’s gay community. He had been president of the Garden Party Inc. organization and presented the annual Mr., Ms. and Miss Pride pageants. He was also a board member of the Empire of Royal Sovereign and Imperial Court of the Single Star of Houston and was elected “empress” in the fundraising social group.
His funeral was held March 26, at Rosewood Funeral Home Chapel, with internment in Rosewood Memorial Park. Close friends later held a celebration of life to honor his memory.
Shehane is survived by his mother; brother, Michael; sisters, Brenda and Linda; sister-in-law, Donna; nephew, Todd; son, John, friends Joe and Ronnie, stepfather, Eddie; and a multitude of friends whose lives he enriched.