Thomas Lee Heinrichs, 52, died Friday, Sept. 9, 2005, in Long Beach, Calif.
Memorial service: will be held in Thom's honor at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, in Greenwood Garden Chapel in Fort Worth. The service will be conducted by Thom's cousin, the Rev. Ann Collins Wasson of Sentinel, Okla., and several of his songs will be sung by a close friend, Doug Voet. Burial: Greenwood Memorial Park.
Thom was raised in Fort Worth and graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, where he studied music and drama. Thom moved to New York to join the theater and music scene and, while working in the city, met his partner, Ken Bryan. Ken and Thom moved to California where, tragically, Ken died of AIDS.
Thom, a composer/lyricist, was mentored by the American Musical Theatre icon Stephen Sondheim. One of Thom's greatest achievements was the national award-winning children's theater piece, co-written with his close friend, Kevin Cook, titled "A Dragon's Tale!" Other accomplishments were the musical "R. S.V.P.," his own liturgical mass, and a number of original compositions that have been recorded and performed on the world stage by individual artists and choral organizations.
Thom was regularly published in local and national news editorials regarding AIDS, theater and minority issues. In the 1980s Thom's song, "I Never Thought We'd Have To Say Goodbye," became an anthem for those who felt the sting of the AIDS pandemic.
Thom was preceded in death by his partner, Ken Bryan; his mother, Lee Collins Heinrichs; his father, Nick Heinrichs; his stepmother, Carla Heinrichs; and cousins, Timothy Evans and Patrick Collins.
Survivors: Siblings and family members, Chris and Jan Heinrichs of San Antonio, Jeff and Patti Heinrichs of Houston, Alan and Kay Heinrichs of Atlanta, Ga., Scott and Deann Liggett of Marble Falls, Crystal Rife and her fiance, Bill Ham, of Fort Worth, Dean Jordan of Fort Worth and Scott and Nikki Moneta of Frisco; and 20 nephews and nieces. Thom is further survived by many close friends and associates in California, Nevada, New York, Texas and other locations throughout this great country. Thom's loss will be strongly felt in the American theatrical community.
Published in the Star-Telegram from 10/20/2005 - 10/22/2005.