Donna “Donnabelle” Manna, passed away on May 31, 2018 soon after being diagnosed with cancer.
Donnabelle belonged to every clown organization around and we were proud to have her as a member of our Jolly Joeys Clown Alley in San Antonio, Texas. She served as our President as well as various other officer positions during the last several years. She was a giving and compassionate individual which made her a wonderful Clown. Although she was happy to clown at birthday parties and corporate events, she enjoyed clowning the most for the special needs population both young and old. Her other passion in clowning was introducing the Art of Clowning to new clowns and mentoring them along the way. This was great because she was a perfect example of a positive, caring and professional clown. For over 15 years Donnabelle volunteered her services as a clown at numerous community events. She clowned at nursing homes, hospitals and for fundraisers to benefit; Autism, Spina-Bifida, Alzheimer, Down Syndrome, ALS and many others. She was a professional clown who made significant contributions to the service of clowning as an excellent performer and mentor. She was someone who was always willing to share her time and knowledge by assisting clowns who were new to clowning.
Donnabelle’s clowning adventures were so supported by her family that many of them were a big part of our Alley as Associate Members. Her husband, Paul, son Phillip, daughters Cindy, Sharon, Barbara and Michelle and all of their families were great contributing participants at Alley events.
Donnabelle will be greatly missed by our Alley members as well as the special needs community who counted on her to bring their special needs population smiles, balloons, music and comedy antics.
We know that heaven now has a blue-haired Angel named “Donnabelle”.
“Morgan” Wilhite was a member of the Jolly Joey’s Clown Alley (JJCA) in San
Antonio, Texas. We were proud to have
him as a member of our Alley. He was an outstanding magician and clown. Always willing to share with Alley members
and officers all his talents and his knowledge in administrative duties. Morgan was a giving individual. These last
few years he was known to bring and give away books and props for both magic
and clowning routines. He was always ready to provide Alley members, especially
the young ones, with instructions on how a particular prop was used in a
Duane was a retired Air Force officer and a member of many military affiliated organizations. Since 1980 and during his travels Duane performed as “Morgan” in the states from Coast to Coast and also in Korea, Philippines and Japan, including at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium. He was a member of the Internat’l Brotherhood of Magicians, Fellowship of Christian Magicians, Texas Assoc. of Magicians and a Board member of the Texas Clown Assoc. He was also on the Board of Directors for the So. Central Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Assoc. and the San Antonio USO.
In 1983 Morgan met Joel Barez, World Clown Assoc. (WCA) Past-President, who introduced him to WCA, he has been a member ever since. He was currently serving as WCA’s South-West Regional Dir. and often attended WCA conventions. Most recently he traveled to some of the states in his region and attended some of the regional events and Alleys in those regions. A poem written by Duane, “Why Me”? was published on page 39 in the Sept. 2015 issue of ‘Clowning Around’. Although Morgan had disabilities these were never an issue for him, he and his service dog “Hero” didn’t slow down much, always giving 100% wherever they went.
Duane was a widower he had four children and sixteen grandchildren. He had a heart attack on his way to a granddaughter’s wedding when he died on Dec. 20, 2015. All who knew Morgan will remember him as an educator and a mentor but most of all we’ll all remember him as our friend.
Edward “WERO” Arispe devoted his earlier life to serving in the US Army. He was a combat soldier in Vietnam and received numerous metals for his tour of duty there as well as other assignments. He was proud of his service in the military and was proud to be an American. Edward had his roots in Texas and retiring after 22 years in the military, he returned home to San Antonio where he had been born
and had spent his childhood. One of the joys of his life was when he met “Tootsie”, whom he has been married to for 17 years. The other great joy of his life was discovering the world of clowning. He earned there was a Clowning 101 class in San Antonio and knew that was the direction he wanted to take the next phase of his life. After graduating clown school he joined the Jolly Joeys Clown Alley of San Antonio and has been clowning for over 13 years. His wife “Tootsie” has been a strong supporter of WERO’s clowning and is an associate member of the alley. He has been one of the most active clowns, participating at the Children’s Shelter, Nursing Homes, Special Needs Events, Parades, Missionary Work, anywhere he could spread Joy and Laughter. His family, friends, and fellow clowns have many fond memories of him. Here are a few that his clown friends have shared.“I think the clown was in there
long before he became a clown. Whether he was in clown or not, the clown was who he was. He always had a joke and he liked to play. (Diana “Buttons” McCurtain). “Among his favorite roles was laying the “good fairy” in the “Little Bunny Foo Foo” skit. The kids and adults loved seeing him in a pink tutu, fairy wings, a wand, and dancing across the room. The minute he walked into a room, he would yell “Is Everyone Happy???” He was an inspiration and gave from the heart.” (Inez "Pandorfus” Esquivel). “He was not only a clown with a big heart, but a person with a big heart. We use to call him the tamale clown, because he always wanted to bring tamales for our alley social events.” (Reina “Queeny” Eaton). “I loved seeing “WERO” ride his cool scooter. He found a card board car that fit right over the scooter, so it looked like he was driving a miniature car. He attached calliope pipes on the back and would play clown music.The kids would have huge smiles when he would drive past them!” (Donna “Donnabelle” Manna). We are sure he is in heaven Spreading Joy and Laughter, Handing Out Red Noses, and Twisting Balloon Animals. He will be missed.