Friday, July 07, 2006
Moving on: Jesse Smith, 1968 - 2006
My nephew-in-law Jesse has gone away, after a long struggle with Hodgkin's disease. One of the nicest people I ever knew, and one of the giants of the ballroom dance world, Jesse was beloved by everyone who met him. He and his wife Lynda (my niece) were undefeated dance champions, competing and teaching all over the world. Jesse was also featured in an episode of HGTV's "TIPical Mary Ellen". Here's his obituary from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
Smith, Jesse E. age 37, of Minneapolis. Professional ballroom dancer and owner of Arthur Murray Dance Studio of Minneapolis/ Edina, MN. Survived by wife, Lynda; children, Dayton and Elyse; mother, Mary Louise Bodinski; father, Jesse Smith; siblings, Therese Larson, Stephen Clausen and Nejla Smith; grandmother, Alice Smith; many loving family members and friends. Jesse was born and raised in Sioux Falls, SD and moved to Minneapolis in 1988 where he began his professional dance career. He began dancing competitively with Lynda in 1990 and went on to achieve four U.S. American Style ballroom titles. After retiring from competition, Jesse continued to achieve excellence in the international dance world and was highly sought after as a teacher, choreographer, coach, judge and performer. He was a member of the Arthur Murray World Dance Board and an area Chairman for Arthur Murray International. Although Jesse's professional accomplishments were many, being a loving and devoted husband and father gave him the most joy. Memorials may be directed to the Jesse Smith Miracle Gift Fund. Interment service 9 AM Monday, July 10 at Lakewood Cemetery Chapel, 36th & Hennepin Ave S. Service will follow at 11 AM at Hope Presbyterian Church, 7132 Portland Ave S., Richfield. Washburn-McReavy Edina Chapel 952-920-3996
The obit doesn't mention his loving in-laws (my brother Gary Price and his wife Joyce, also of Minneapolis) who are also deeply greiving. My heartfelt condolences go out to the whole family, and to his worldwide family of friends, students and fans.