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East Death Records

Eva Glenelle Hamner Gordon

Obituary & Newspaper Article



Eva Glenelle Gordon
(Dinty), 79, of Richmond, has left this life to dance with the angels.  She is survived by three sons, Earl Huband, Lee Huband and Bobby Huband; one brother, Garvin Hamner; three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; and many, many friends through Dinty's School of Dance.  A memorial service will be held 7 p.m. Thursday at the Bliley Funeral Home's Chippenham Chapel, 6900 Hull St. Rd.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association in memory of Dinty's cousin and lifelong companion, Audrey Martin.

Newspaper Article

Dance Instructor, civic leader, dies

By Chris Dovi
Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

It started as therapy for a childhood illness, but Dinty Gordon's love of dance didn't end after her recovery from a bout with rheumatic fever at age 7.

When the 77-year-old dance instructor and owner of Dinty's School of Dance finally unlaced her dancing shoes in 1998, she'd spent 65 years twirling and almost 50 years doing good deeds in her Chesterfield County community.

"She taught the kids the love of dance and a respect for each other," said Bitsy Franklin, who first took lessons from Mrs. Gordon at age 6 and later became her assistant dance instructor.

Eva Glenelle Gordon, Of Midlothian, died Monday, just days shy of her 80th birthday.

Over the years, Mrs. Gordon taught her students the value of giving back to the community.

From the mid-1940s until the school's final recital in 1998, Mrs. Gordon had dedicated all proceeds from her students' yearly performance to the public school at which they performed.

The booster clubs of Monacan, Midlothian and Manchester high schools and various Chesterfield middle schools have received proceeds from these concerts, which sometimes netted as much as $2,500 a year.

"I never thought the money should go anywhere else," said Mrs. Gordon in a 1984 Times-Dispatch article.  "When you give to schools, you give to yourself."

Mrs. Gordon directed this same generosity toward every child, whether they were her dance students or just passing acquaintances, Franklin said.

"If she knew a child -- or didn't -- she would come up and give them a hug," she said.  "She believed in hugs and kisses."

Franklin recalled her friend and teacher's somewhat tongue-in-cheek vow to continue teaching despite her age.

"She told me one time when she got to teaching the great-great-grandchildren of her students, she was going to quit," said Franklin, but "she just loved the kids."

Mrs. Gordon was the widow of John Rankin Gordon.  She is survived by three sons, Earl Huband, Lee Huband and Bobby Huband, and one brother, Garvin Hamner.

A memorial service will be held 7 p.m. Thursday at the Bliley Funeral Home's Chippenham Chapel, 6900 Hull Street Road.

Source:  The Richmond Times-Dispatch [Richmond, VA], undated newspaper clippings [I believe they were published 3 & 4 Jan 2001].   Transcribed by Susan Shields Sasek.

[SSS Note:  'Dinty' Hamner is my 2nd cousin, once removed.  My two eldest daughters took dance lessons from her for several years & she was a wonderful person, just as the newspaper article above states.  She is the daughter of Patrick Henry Hamner & Aleen East.  Both of her brothers were professional baseball players:  Wesley Garvin Hamner (Garvin) was a member of the 1945 Philadelphia Phillies and Granville Wilbur Hamner (Granny) was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies from 1944 to 1959; and the Kansas City Athletics in 1962.  This line of Hamner's is supposedly related to Earl Hamner, creator of "The Walton's" television series (but I haven't done any research on that).]

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