In Memorium

Heaven welcomed a KC legend on Tuesday, August 1, 2023. Dolores Katherine Myers Brown, known to all as DODIE, left this world as she entered it – with a bigger than life presence, delighting audiences…from the little girl dancing in front of her adoring grandmother, to the vast number of theater audiences who cheered her hundreds of stage performances.
Dodie was a vital part of the Kansas City theatre community for over 50 years, a figurehead at the New Theatre Restaurant and before it, Waldo Astoria, Tiffany’s Attic as well as notable appearances at the American Heartland Theatre and (then) Missouri Repertory Theatre.
She founded the New Theatre Scholarship Guild, a not-for-profit organization which provides scholarships at several universities.
But as much as Dodie adored her life upon the stage, it was her dear husband ‘Buddy,’ who preceded her in death, and daughters Jennifer and Melissa that stole the biggest part of her heart. One of Dodie’s greatest joys was welcoming, each summer, all her grandchildren, Katherine, Robert, Reese, Maggie & Dean for Cousin Camp.
This dear friend to so many of us, had a life and a personality so huge that her official obituary will probably need to be released in daily segments, but for now, it is with the deepest of regret, that we are sharing the news of her passing.
A Celebration of Dodie’s Spectacular Life will be forthcoming, when Melissa and Jennifer and her New Theatre Family have plans in place. But today – we ask that you take a look skyward, for we’re sure there will be one cloud prettier, bigger and vying for center-stage position in the vastness beyond – and blow a kiss to the heavens and our Dodie.
The final bow is yours, Ms. Brown.
Ding-Ding. You were the best!

Karl was an active member of the Guild serving as Guild Treasurer and on a number of committees including Advisory and Culinary in his and his wife Kay’s dedication to the Guild Mission of providing scholarships to area performing arts students.

While growing up, John often attended local theater productions which led to a love of theater and his desire to work with the New Theater Restaurant and serve on the board of the New Theater Scholarship Guild. John served two terms as President on the Guild and remained a member in good standing ever since. John created the Guild’s 1st website heading the organization in the right direction for the future.

Cora “Cokie” Strafer, mother of Judy Horn, the Guild’s fourth president, passed away on October 9, 2020. Cokie and her husband, Dick Strafer, were members from the Guild’s beginning. Cokie was a regular attendee at Show Briefings and Meet & Greets and had season tickets to the New Theatre & Restaurant from its opening year. She was a people person, fun-loving, talented, and generous. In 1999, she loaned her lovely home and backyard for a sum-
mer-time Guild benefit. Cokie was 102 years old.

Paula Simkins May 29, 2022

Paula Simpkins passed peacefully on March 29th, 2022; she was 88 years old. Paula was President of The New Theatre Scholarship Guild
from 2002-2004. President Fireside Committee of the Kansas City Art Institute from 2009-2010.Box Office Manager of the Unicorn Theatre and Box Office Manager of the Symphony League.
Paula was an avid supporter of the many theatre groups including the Jewish Community Center and the Missouri Repertory.
She was a true friend to all and will be greatly missed.
Paula was always willing to help to lend a helping hand as well as her time and energy to everyone who knew her.

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of the sister of Lora Smith, Guild President, Ms. Geraldine Gray. Geraldine will always be remembered with great love and compassion. 

Walter “Chip” Dickey passed away on October 18, 2020. Chip was very active in the Kansas City community and served on the boards of several civic organizations. He and his wife, Gay Dickey, have been members of the Guild for several years.

With great sadness, we announce the loss of our beloved Betty Bushman. A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. Betty and Jordan were long time members and generous supporters of the Guild’s Scholarship Program with their established Michelle Bushman Scholarship for their daughter at UMKC. The Guild will miss one of their cherished founding members.

We are saddened to announce the passing of Bud Brown, Dodie Brown’s husband. Bud has been a supporter of the Guild since it’s inception. In the words of Melissa Cooper, Bud Brown’s youngest daughter, “He is flying with angels now. Love you Dad”.

The Memorial Celebration originally scheduled for Dec 5, 11am has been postponed due to the current situation with Covid19. This action has been taken as a result of a discussion with St. Peters and All Saints Episcopal Church. We will keep you posted as to any changes or updates regarding the future “Memorial Celebration”.

Donations may be made to the church St. Peter’s and All Saint’s Episcopal Church, 100 E Red Bridge Rd, KC MO 64114 or  a check made out to the Kansas City Community Foundation, acknowledging Bud and Dodie Brown Theatre Scholarship can be sent to The New Theatre Scholarship Guild (Attention Treasurer) c/o 9229 Foster, OP KS 66212 or online at Bud will be greatly missed.

With great sadness, we announce the loss of our beloved Betty Bushman. A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. Betty and Jordan were long time members and generous supporters of the Guild’s Scholarship Program with their established Michelle Bushman Scholarship for their daughter at UMKC. The Guild will miss one of their cherished founding members.

We are sad to announce the death of the Guild’s first President, Shirley Brown Lammers. She and Henry Lammers were active in attending the Guild’s events until his death in 2018 and her moving to Sacramento to live with her stepdaughter, Stephanie. Shirley Brown Lammers, the Guild’s first president, passed away September 13, 2020, in Sacramento, CA. Shirley was actively involved in all aspects of starting the new Guild. A beautiful and talented lady, she designed the star TNT logo used today. Shirley penned the mission statement, chose the first committee chairmen, and presided over the first Board of Directors. A memorial ceremony is planned for Summer 2021 in Kansas City, MO.

Buddy Myres, August 11, 2020

Buddy Myers, little red headed brother of Dolores  Myers (aka, Dodie Brown) passed away, August 11, 2020. “He was the BEST little brother ever” said Dodie, “He never told anyone my age”. Buddy will be missed by many, but most of all by his loving family.

JoAnn has been a Guild member for over 10 years. JoAnn was born on Monday, February 11, 1929. In her 91 years, She has been a member of many organizations, a big band singer in her high school years, SugarPlum the clown, a renowned storyteller, married to Gerry C. Shook who passed on July 26, 2016, but to us, most importantly, our Mom. JoAnn will join her husband at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Higginsville, MO.

Robert L. Meeker passed away July 25, 2020.  Bob and his wife, Pam, have been in the Guild for many years. Pam served as a board member and was a Benefits chairman in 2010.

Arlene Krings was dedicated to the Guild mission and served in several positions on the Guild Board, including, Recording and Corresponding Secretary, Benefit Chair,  in support of that mission. She and her husband Gary established a scholarship in their name at UCM.

Arlene’s family meant everything to her! Gary has been her soulmate for 29 years; she always placed his needs above her own and helped him in every way. Some of the most memorable times in their marriage were traveling all over the world.

Death of Our Friend- Arlene
She may be gone from life today, But in our hearts, she’s here to stay. Her death is tragic that we know, Though her memory shall live through sun, rain, and snow. She wouldn’t want us to cry for long. She would want us to remember her through a happy song. She impacted many throughout her life, Helping them with their toils and strife. Never has someone given so much love. Our memory of her is as beautiful as a shining white dove. S.M.

Jordan Bushman passed away peacefully at home on March 28. Jordan and his wife, Betty, have been devoted members and generous patrons of the Guild since the beginning. They attended benefits and were actively involved in Guild meetings and events. In 2006, Betty and Jordan established the Michelle Bushman Scholarship at UMKC in honor of their daughter. Jordan was very congenial and made many friends in the Guild. He will be missed.

Evangeline “Babe” Thompson passed away May 17, 2020. Babe and her husband, Frank, were long-time members and supporters of the Guild.  In 1997, they generously donated an automobile to the Guild for a successful fundraising raffle.

Betty Scherzinger, one of the original members of the “Friends
of Dodie”, passed away January 24, 2020. Betty was a loyal member of the Guild and could be spotted at all Guild sponsored events.

Well known and beloved Kansas City actress Deb Bluford (Debra Susan Johnson) passed away following a brief illness.

Soon after arriving in Kansas City, as she recalled from a New Theatre Facebook post, “I pulled out the yellow pages, looked up ‘live theater’ and called the dinner theater to set up an audition with Dennis Hennessy.” 

Deb made her Kansas City debut playing Aunt Ethel in “Harvey” at the former Waldo Astoria Dinner Playhouse.

John Pearce, a long-time member of the Guild, passed away December 5, 2019. He was one of the original FOD’s (Friends of Dodie) and served on the board of directors from 2005 To 2008 holding the position of Fundraiser. He enjoyed his experience on stage at the New Theatre with other members of the Guild as an extra in Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, and Arsenic and Old Lace. John was known for his love of travel and theatre and would try to see a stage production if he was in a city for more than one day.

If you wish to add someone to the In Memorium page, please include in the comment section:

Their full name, Date of passing and a short paragraph describing their connection to The New Theatre Scholarship Guild.
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Thank you.

Please note: Many of the individuals listed above have links to more information. Click on their name to be taken to the link.