In Loving Memory
DeeAnn Blair, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, daughter, sister, cousin, and friend, passed away April 12, 2022, at the age of 69 after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer.
She is well loved and will be sorely missed.
DeeAnn was born to William Delbert Sorensen and Yvonne Leah Rasmussen January 29, 1953, at Camp Roberts, California.
Her fondness for independence, adventure and creativity began as a young girl growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the age of 4, she grabbed her best friend and set off in search of snow. After several miles, the police brought her back home to her father, a fireman.
Childhood also began her devotion to what would become her life’s ambition as she never tired of rounding up neighborhood kids and siblings to be in her musical productions. She loved music and learned to play many instruments such as the oboe, piccolo, piano and organ. As a senior in high school she marched with the Las Vegas, Nevada Western High School Band in a presidential inauguration playing the piccolo in Washington, D.C. She was fun to be around and interesting to talk to, making many lifelong friends.
She also endured tragedies no child should experience with the loss of her mother at a young age, leaving her father with two young daughters. This had a profound impact on her middle-school years and she married another young teenager setting out to make a family and life together under impossible conditions. The marriage failed seven years later leaving her a single mom, struggling to make ends meet with three young children.
In the spring of 1977, she attended a church service in Carson City, Nevada, where a young convert to Christ was speaking in church. She liked his personality and wanted to sponsor him in Amway. They became pen pals for several months as he traveled the country for his family business. They fell in love through letters and when his travels ended, went on the first date and married 3 weeks later.
Together, Rick and DeeAnn had five children and he adopted the first three. Their youngest child passed away shortly after birth.
In her own words, DeeAnn and Rick loved each other very much. She once wrote that he was her best friend and that they tried to never fight. Instead, if a misunderstanding arose the thought was to always peaceably solve the problem and move on. She said that their home seemed like a bit of Heaven. She was a master of making all things stretch and last on a young family budget.
Rick and DeeAnn were and are active and faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. DeeAnn loved her family.
In time she desired to pursue a career in modeling, acting, and singing and was involved in several community theaters. The family relocated to Texas in 1994 and her passion for theater led to the creation of Artisan Center Theater in 2003. With the unshakeable conviction that a healthy community needs a family-friendly location to enjoy entertainment, arts education, music and dance, she created a theater with longtime friend Dorothy Sanders that embraced these values and made them part of her mission and vision.
In the nearly 20 years since Artisan Center Theater opened, thousands of performers and over 4 million patrons have helped realize her mission and vision while creating an institution that has indeed provided a safe place for parents to bring their children to both “watch” and “learn” theater and impacting the DFW community in profound ways. Many young actors have grown to have professional careers in stage, opera, cinema and television after performing on Artisan stages. DeeAnn loved people. She encouraged others to grow and develop their skills and talents, making many dear forever-friends along the way.
DeeAnn also loved reading books from many different genres, keeping up on current news, and watching movies. She loved vintage houses, antiques, going to the theater, acting, singing and Homemade Blue Bell Vanilla ice cream! Above all she loved spending time with her family!
She was preceded in death by her daughter Rebekah, granddaughter, Hannah and Susan’s husband, son-in-law, David Otteson.
She is survived by her husband Rick, and her beloved children Susan, Justin (Beth), Brian, Orianna (Ben), Sarah (Craig), Jonathan, and Michael along with 18 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.