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Honoring Friends

Mrs. Debra Wallace-Washington

Ms. Tresia Epps

When we all went into shelter-in-place, Team Public Works Dallas (PWD) knew we had to stay connected with our community so we began weekly phone calls. We wanted to know two things – how are you doing and how can we support? Sometimes we celebrated birthdays or good news, sometimes we learned that a community member was having a tough week or they were feeling anxious about not knowing what the outcome would be, all the while our community continued to lift us up. Hearing the voices of our community members and getting to know them has been so special. These humans are our friends, they are family members, they make up this beautiful community we live in.

As the weeks went on we received some sad news and then more weeks passed and we received more sad news. In the time we have been away from our home away from home we have lost two of our beloved community members, Mrs. Debra Wallace-Washington and Ms. Tresia Epps.

Mrs. Debra and Mr. Theo joined Public Works Dallas during The Tempest. She was kind and loving and her community at Beckley Saner adored her. It was evident that she loved Mr. Theo so much and in As You Like It there was an endearing moment at the end of the show that celebrated this love. She had a beautiful singing voice, she was an artist and designer. Not only was she a loving wife and mother but she was also committed to her PWD family. When we had our last holiday potluck she was ill and could not attend but she still sent Mr. Theo along to bring food she had prepared to share with everyone. Even when she wasn’t feeling her best she was taking care of others.

Ms. Tresia Epps joined us during As You Like It. She continued working with us at Janie C Turner and came to every event she could. Determined to let nothing stop her, even hip surgery, she showed up all the time with a smile on her face. Ms. Tresia loved her family dearly, especially her grandson who she helped care for, he was everything to her. During our weekly phone calls I got to know Ms. Tresia even more, she would tell me about how she and her grandson were keeping busy and how she was looking forward to buying them a house when everything was back to normal. As she talked about her daughters and the things she looked forward to she was not going to let anything stop her. Her strength, her grace and how much she loved others was so much a part of who she was.

As our community mourns the loss of these powerful women we also celebrate their lives and are grateful for the time we got to spend with them. Both women were talented and loving and a joy to be around. May we always remember them and continue to honor that memory and may we all, wherever we are, continue to hold our humans close to our hearts.

 

Portraits by MORGANA WILBORN

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