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Terry Lovern passed away December 30 at 1:30am, Michael Ashton was by his side.

 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL ARTICLE 1/05/2007

LV performer Lovern, 61, dies of cancer
Dancer, ice skater became production manager at Stardust

By MIKE WEATHERFORD
REVIEW-JOURNAL




Terry Lovern
Dancer, skater performed in several revues, led Las Vegas Civic Ballet

Terry Lovern, a dancer and ice-skating performer who became the longtime production manager at the Stardust, died of cancer Saturday. He was 61.

Lovern was the driving force behind the Las Vegas Civic Ballet, serving as its artistic director and coordinator from 1988 to 1999.

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A professional skater since he was a teen, Lovern performed in revues such as "Ice Capades" and "Holiday on Ice" before moving to Las Vegas in 1968 to be a dancer in the Tropicana's "Folies Bergere."

Lovern became "Lido" company manager at the Stardust in 1989 and helped guide the transition from the casino's long-running "Lido de Paris," which closed in 1991, to "Enter the Night," which ran through 1999. He was still employed by Boyd Gaming when he died.

Even as he battled kidney cancer, Lovern summoned the energy to help organize a cast and crew reunion at the Stardust in September, re-creating production numbers from "Lido de Paris" and "Enter the Night."

"He was my inspiration the whole way through," said Lou Anne Chessik, who produced the event. "He had such a positive attitude: 'I just need to get through this.'" he would say.

Terrance Lee Lovern was born in Spokane, Wash., on Oct. 8, 1945. With skating, he studied ballet as a youth and was touring with "Ice Capades" by the time he was 15. "They had plans for him," Las Vegas producer Bill Moore said. "But he got to Las Vegas, and there was longevity here."

Moore and late partner George Arnold used Lovern as a featured skater in several of their Strip productions, including "City Lites," "Playgirls on Ice" and "Razzle Dazzle."

Lovern became their production assistant, helping rehearse revues for export to out-of-town resorts. "He was a great dancer, too; it was a combination of both. You couldn't want someone who better knew the craft," Moore said.

In 1989, Lovern left the stage and moved into backstage management at the Stardust. "Enter the Night" was financed by out-of-state producer Ted Lorenz, but the longer it ran, the more hands-on Lovern became in the show's creative decisions.

He was instrumental in the publicity campaign surrounding "Aki -- Showgirl for the 21st Century," creating a featured role for Dutch dancer Akke Levin -- now a Las Vegas attorney -- and promoting her in a widespread ad campaign that included a decorated Western Pacific Airlines jet.

Lovern took over the Civic Ballet while he was a skater and dancer in the Flamingo's "City Lites." The 9-year-old group was struggling back from organizational troubles and a lack of funding.

"This is like a little jewel here, and nobody knows it," Lovern told the Review-Journal in 1989. He enlisted fellow professionals from the Strip to help polish his "diamond in the rough" and work with performers ages 10 through 23.

Lovern is survived by longtime partner Michael Ashton, of Las Vegas; his mother, Pressa Lovern, and his sister, Ollie Farr; both of Spokane. No services are planned. A celebration of life is tentatively set for Feb. 11 at the Orleans Hotel and Casino. Updates about the commemoration will be posted on the Web site www. castandcrewreunion.com.

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Published January 21, 2007. Las Vegas Review Journal Obituaries

LOVERN, TERRANCE

 
  TERRANCE LOVERN Terrance Lee Lovern, dancer, ice-skater and well known longtime production manager at the Stardust died of cancer Saturday, Dec. 30, 2006. He was 61. A professional skater since his early teens, Terry performed in revues such as "Ice Capades" and "Holiday on Ice" before moving to Las Vegas in 1968 to dance in the Tropicana's "Folies Bergere". Serving as its artistic director and coordinator from 1988 to 1999, he became the driving force behind the Las Vegas Civic Ballet. The nine-year-old group was struggling back from organizational troubles and lack of funding when Terry stepped in and enlisted fellow professionals from the Strip to work with performers ages 10 through 23. Many past participants in the program have found their way to the professional stage as a result of his mentoring, ingenuity and generous commitment of time, artistry, and personal resources. Still employed by the Boyd Gaming Group when he died, Terry became the "Lido" company manager at the Stardust in 1989 and helped guide the transition from the casino's long-running "Lido de Paris", which closed in 1991, to "Enter the Night", which ran through 1999. Even as he battled kidney cancer, Terry summoned the energy to help organize a cast and crew reunion at the Stardust in September, re-creating production numbers from "Lido de Paris" and "Enter the Night". Terry is survived by longtime partner, Michael Ashton; his mother, Pressa Lovern; his sister, Ollie Farr; and a multitude of loving friends. A celebration of his life is set for 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11 at the Tropicana. Please sign the online guest book at the R-J website.
 
Date: January 21, 2007
From: Maureen
City/State: Henderson

The sadness of your passing is still in my heart, but being a close part of your life daily for over 30 years is truley a reason of celebration that we had the time together, so I will always keep in my heart the time we did have together,and remember our sillyness on Ice in many shows, our great laughter at sooooo many stupid things but for some reason they bound us together...they say we come into each other`s lifes for a reason, and when that lesson or reason is over we leave...So it is with sorrow but most of all happiness that I say good bye my friend until we meet again.....I love you and miss you, but glad you were there would not change it for anything...

Date: January 21, 2007
From: kimbolee
City/State: las vegas

So many memories are flooding my mind, too numerous to mention, & there is not enough space! We had great times. You were there through the good & the bad & will always be a part of my life. You are loved & will be missed.

Date: January 21, 2007
From: Joel I. Mur
City/State: Las Vegas, NV

Terry will be missed by many. He could do anything--and everything he did, he did well. My term as President of the Civic Ballet Board was made so much more pleasant than it could have been because of his generous contribution of time and talent. Here was a man with a very big, very demanding position at the Stardust who gave many hours of his time each week to creating this wonderful learning environment for young dancers. They gained priceless experience as they danced on the same stage with seasoned professionals under fine choreographers. Terry was there all along guiding their progress and giving each one his special attention. The Civic Ballet Concerts he put together were of a quality that rivaled any dance company. I was proud to offer those concerts to the general public, they were not your typical dance recital kind of a thing. Many tourists found their way to those concerts and were astounded at their high quality. Terry was a joy to work with and later a good friend who, by the way, being the wonderful cook that he was, put together the best pot roast I ever had the pleasure of tasting. Michael, Ollie and Mrs. Lovern, we all share your loss. Joel I. Mur, Las Vegas, Nevada

Date: January 22, 2007
From: Johnny Wertz & Jack Campbell
City/State: Las Vegas

We will both always hold on to the precious memories of Terry. He will forever have a very special place in our hearts.

Date: January 23, 2007
From: Joanne Nivison
City/State: Las Vegas, NV

In Terry’s passing we have lost the physical presence of a loving, generous, wonderfully creative and beautiful human being. However, although I feel a profound sadness, I still feel his kindred spirit and believe that I always will. My 30-year career in the arts afforded me a long hard look at fine artists in every visual and performing arts discipline and among them, Terry stands out….not only for his talent but because he took his artistry beyond his own fine performance to manage productions in such a way that the artistic integrity of his cast members was never compromised and audiences left the showroom uplifted because they saw dancers who could REALLY dance and singers who could REALLY sing and because they heard fine musicians playing live. I never took a guest to see “Enter the Night” who was not absolutely thrilled with the experience. He was full of joy and gratitude for his own success and had such a strong desire “to give back” some of what he had received and so he devoted long hours to facilitate the development of those young dancers of the Civic Ballet, pulling in talent from among his professional friends and associates to share in this endeavor which he considered to be a privilege. He saw beyond the constraints of small production budgets, scheduling conflicts and petty squabbling to the real reason for it all, the incomparable lessons learned by those young company members that prepared them for professional careers…all of this to the sheer delight of their audiences. When I was invited to take a small part in the Golden Rainbow production “Las Vegas Legends” which Terry directed along with coordinating many other aspects of the production, I had a chance to see him work under less than perfect conditions and pretty severe time constraints. We “community personalities”, who had never been in a Las Vegas show, were worked right in along with working and retired professionals without a hitch. He was always right on, smooth as silk, charming, patient and pleasant while he held us to a high standard. What could have been a pretty frightening experience was pure pleasure because we were instructed and guided by a very able man with a terrific aesthetic sense who knew how to lead with authority, diplomacy and humor and who was a gentleman of the highest order. I will always remember Terry, eyes sparkling, a brilliant smile on his face, impeccably dressed and stunningly handsome standing in the lobby on an opening night. I won’t see him there again but more than a memory, the essence of him, his loving kindness, infectious good humor, generosity, strength and courage, taught me lessons that will inform all of my days. Thank you Terry, for everything. I’m sorry we never made it to stay with you in Mexico. I love you and I’ll be seeing you…Joanne

Date: January 24, 2007
From: Trenna Howard
City/State: Las Vegas

My heart is filled with sorrow as I read the obituary of this wonderful man. Somehow I refused to believe he had really passed untill I opened the paper this morning and there glaring out at me were the words I had been dreading. The entertainment community of Las Vegas has lost an incredible talent, a class act, a community leader, a charitable man and wonderful friend. I first had the pleasure of meeting and working with Terry in the mid 70s. He was my dance partner in the Folies Bergere Vienese Waltz. Night after night as the doors would open to reveal a Vienese Ballroom, I would spin across the stage into the trusted arms of Terry, as we swayed and twirled into the magic of a bygone era. I will always remember him as I saw him then; standing tall in a beautifuly taiolred tuxedo & tails, gloved hands reaching out to greet me as I made my way towards him. Of course there was always that beautiful smile and those warm sparkling eyes. Terry had an amazing career. He was an outstanding leader of "Lido de Paris" and "Enter the Night". He helped shape the lives of many young dancers through his efforts and leadership of Las Vegas Civic Ballet. He was always happy to lend a hand in community activities. He organized the entertainment portion each year for the Las Vegas Old Timers get together. All of us girls whom were lucky enough to be asked to perform were always delighted. Michael, I know how much you will miss your beloved Terry. I can only imagine your pain. I know you take solice knowing how much Terry was loved and admired by other in our artistic community. I as one, feel blessed that I met him. With all my love, Trenna

Date: January 25, 2007
From: Elwood (Woody) Purvis
City/State: Henderson

I have many memories while I worked for Terry for about 20 years as his propman.Terry was allway`s there when I needed help with a show problem. I will miss him.

Date: January 26, 2007
From: Donna
City/State: Las Vegas, NV

Terry gave me the fairy tale story that all little girls dream of going to ballet class. Dreaming one day they would be on stage. I had recently moved to Vegas in `89 after closing Hello Hollywood in Reno. I was now dancing in Jubilee when Terry first saw me onstage. Mary Nutt was leaving the Lido and Terry called me and offered me the job. It wasn`t just being in the chorus, I was going to be a Principle for the first time. He along with Lisa Clarson re-choreographed the finale for me and to the dismay of many he took the original headress off and allowed me to wear my signature hair color of the time, short short platinum blond. This opportunity he gave me opened so many doors for the remander of my career. But more than what he did for my career, we shared a great friendship. Even though we didn`t see each other often after I retired, when we did, we would laugh til we cried. Terry we will miss you and all you have done for dancers in this town, I look forward to dancing with you again some day on the other side. Donna

Date: January 26, 2007
From: Charma & Ron & Jackie Pinto
City/State: Las Vegas

We all remember the great shows of the seventies. They were too much fun. Michael, we remember when you came here, and you and Terry were there when Charma and I met. We all will never forget the wild times at Maureens`. From Jackie to Michael; Your Terry was the best roomate ever. So many many laughs,thank you Terry`s Mum for such great memories visiting you in Calif.

Date: January 29, 2007
From: Kim Oglethorpe
City/State: Henderson, NV

Your passing will be a blessing to those who you`ve gone to see, a sadness for those you`ve left behind. We love you and miss you. Much love and prayers for Micheal.

Date: February 01, 2007
From: Lou Anne Harrison Chessik
City/State: Las Vegas

Terry Lovern was my dance partner in the Stardust stage production of the "Lido De Paris", he was my manager in "Enter the Night," and my inspiration when I produced the Cast and Crew Reunion. Terry Lovern was my first call when I heard the Stardust was closing, it was our last chance for a Stardust reunion and Terry agreed. He was right there to help create a production show that would celebrate the five decades of our unique history. I watched as Terry directed the dancers and stagehands at rehearsals with ease, he was a leader and loved by many. It was like stepping back in time, working together again at the Stardust with Terry. He was glowing, and his smile was contagious. People gathered around him, waiting for a hug, and the chance to thank him for everything he had done. It was called the "The night of a thousand hugs" I will remember it not only as a good-bye to the Stardust, but more importantly, a goodbye to Terry Lovern. He will be missed, but not forgotten........ Lou Anne Harrison Chessik

Date: February 01, 2007
From: Marian Palmer
City/State: Las Vegas Nevada

Terry was most memorable when I walked into his office to inform him of a "situation" onstage or backstage. As I pleaded my case, he took a deep breath, rolled his eyes to the top of his head, as if looking to the Heavens for an answer. His eyes lingered there for a few seconds, still holding his breath, then simultaneously exhaling as he lowered his eyes to look and me and said, "Alright, I'll take care of it"again," emphasizing again. The heavens are blessed with him now and our eternity of love for this gracious man, son, brother, friend, and lover will help fill the empty hearts of Pressa, Ollie and his dear Michael. Oh, that Terry was here to inhale deeply and roll his eye's again. With loving memories, Marian Palmer "Lido De Paris" 1975-1991


Date: February 04, 2007
From: Len & Jill Rader
City/State: Las Vegas

Terry, You were always most courteous, compassionate, and there for us whenever necessary. We really do miss you, and thank you for the many wonderful memories, both on and off stage.

Date: February 05, 2007
From: Jan Drake
City/State: Las Vegas, Nevada

Terry Lovern was my boss and friend at the Stardust Hotel. I worked for him in the "Lido de Paris" show in 1990 and the "Enter the Night" show in 1992. He touched my life and many others through the years with his artistic expertise, kindness, and loyalty which I will never forget. I performed as a covered Bluebell dancer in the Lido show. Terry gave me excellent spots in the show for whuch I worked hard to maintain. He always encouraged me to continue taking ballet classes to strengthen my technique. He knew I wanted to keep up with the very well trained dancers. My backround had been in competitive gymnastics, modern, jazz, and some ballet dance. He had been a professional iceskater and dancer, therefore he could relate to having several disciplines to bring to the stage. I had come from Nassau, Bahamas from a previous dance contract, when I started working for Terry. I was devastated from a break up with a boyfriend. Terry was very supportive to me in my grief. He introduced me to his partner Michael, who was very kind and talented also. Terry not only hired me as an employee, but also treated me as a friend. I was committed to the show and his leadership. Terry encouraged me to continue working on my choreography that I had achieved in the Bahamas. He offered to help me with it. Terry asked me to dance in the next show (later to be "Enter the Night.") I was honored by this. He was very kind to my family when he met them. While at the Lido show, I became ill and Terry hired me back into "Enter the Night" as a lead Showgirl, in which all of the Showgirls were leads. Terry was a loyal person to me throughout all of my experiences with him. My Father was dying while I worked at "Enter the Night." It was another stressful time for me where Terry was compassionate and serious in his considerations. He gave me the option to leave, which I chose and reassured me that I could return at a better time. My career ended soon after leaving, because of a chronic back injury. I am grateful that I had the time dancing in both shows, as short as they were, with Terry and the great people that were in his casts. He was always good to me and was the same to all of his employees. He tried to be fair in many hard situations that occurred during the shows, especially the Lido Show. Terry had a great sense of humor and alot of charisma which we all enjoyed at work. He had an ingenious sense of knowing who would work well for him in his shows. He also knew how to make the employees look their best. He created a look for me that enhanced my performing quality. His casts of artists were all multi-talented people such as himself. I was lucky to be part of this group. Terry Lovern was a rainbow of strength and kindness for me and many people. God bless you, Terry and thankyou. I stand up for you with ovations many times and wish you joy, love, and peace everlasting. I love you. Jan Drake

Date: February 05, 2007
From: Angela Santangelo
City/State: Las Vegas

I was so saddened to learn of the passing of Terry. He provided me the opportunity of my first job as a Las Vegas dancer with "Enter the Night". After mulitple auditions and many phone calls which he always returned he hired me. Of course the day I was hired was the same day "Enter" was given their notice. He didn`t have to give me that opportunity, but he brought me aboard for the remaining months of the shows run. His generosity will never be forgotten.

Date: February 05, 2007
From: Madelyn Johnston
City/State: Las Vegas

I have many happy memories of my years working with Terry. He was the guy to get things done. Always sweet,polite and interested in our being happy. I still cannot believe he is gone But he will never be forgotten by those of us who knew and loved him. I`ll always remember the twinkel in the eye and that boyish grin. It is fitting that there will be no more Stardust it would not be the same without Terry backstage. Rest in Peace my friend.

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Michael Ashton has asked me to gather a collection of written memoirs from people that wanted to share their story of how Terry touched their lives. 

Terry Lovern Memories

Bill Moore

Terry worked with us for 25 years as a performer, personal assistant and choreographer. We could not have done what we did with out him. He was a sweet, lovely person, and will be in my heart forever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Jacky Ward

Terry and the Stardust will be missed by the creative community, and both should proudly take their place in the history books of Las Vegas.

 

Steve and Eddie

Terry was a great guy; it meant so much to us to be together at the Stardust. He will be missed terribly, we loved him.

 

Bill Boyd

Terry Lovern worked at Boyd Gaming for 18 years and he was not only a very hard and dedicated worker, but he always had a smile on his face and was more than willing to help in any are that he could. Everyone at Boyd Gaming misses Terry very much.

 

Lee Pepper

There is no replacing Terry. He will live on in my memories forever.

 

Lou Anne Harrison Chessik

I am so grateful to have known Terry. He touched so many of our lives in so many special ways. He will be missed, but not forgotten.....
 

Jan Drake

Terry touched my life and many others through the years with his artistic expertise, kindness, and loyalty which I will never forget.

 

Kamill Akhmetov

I think it is very symbolical that even Stardust Hotel did not manage to out live Terry Lovern.

 

Dick Franco

Terry was a pleasure to deal with and a delight to see on a daily basis. His level-headed, even treatment of everyone was a rarity in this business.  His professional demeanor is an example to all of us.

 

John Messana

It was Connie this and Connie that, that always brought a smile to my face,

 

Maureen
Goodbye my friend.



Kimbolee
You were there through the good and the bad and will always be a part of my life.



Joel I. Mur
The Civic Ballet concerts he put together were of a quality that rivaled any dance company.



Johnny Wertz & Jack Campbell

We will both always hold onto the precious memories of Terry.



Joanne Nivison
I will always remember Terry, eyes sparkling, a brilliant smile, impeccably dressed and stunningly handsome standing in the lobby on an opening night.



Trenna Howard

The entertainment community of Las Vegas has lost an incredible talent, a class act, a community leader, a charitable man and wonderful friend.



Elwood(Woody) Purvis
I have many memories while I worked for Terry for about twenty years as his Prop man.



Donna Browning
My Dearest Terry: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to live my dream.
 


Charma & Ron & Jackie Pinto

Michael, we remember when you came here, and you and Terry were there when Charma and I met.

 

Jennifer Hindle

Terry, thank you for sharing your passion for life that inspired me. Thank you for the opportunities you provided me,  your guidance, support, friendship and love. I miss and love you.


Kim Oglethorpe
Your passing will be a blessing to those you've gone to see, a sadness for those you've left behind.



Marian Palmer
The heavens are blessed with Terry and our eternity of love for this gracious man, son, brother, friend, and lover will help fill the empty hearts of Pressa, Ollie, and his dear Michael.



Len & Jill Rader
Terry, you were always most courteous, compassionate, and there for us whenever necessary.
 


Angela Santangelo

He provided me the opportunity of my first job as a Las Vegas dancer with "Enter the Night".



Madelyn Johnston
He was the guy to get things done, always sweet, polite and interested in our being happy.



Jan Drake

He touched my life and many others through the years with his artistic expertise, kindness and loyalty I will never forget.

 

Barbara Beverly Crockett

Terry was an outstanding leader with a great sense of humor. He will be missed by so many whose lives were touched by his over the years.

 

Paulette Olsen

I never told Terry how much I appreciated what he did for my sons Robert and Michael “the Scott Brothers” thanks.

 

Gillian Kabat

Terry was my daughters skating coach. He instilled in her a lifelong love for skating and personally groomed her.

 

Sandy Towns

My friendship with Terry taught me a very valuable lesson: - Past hurts are not worth holding onto, but good friends are!  I will be forever grateful that in the end I knew how much Terry loved me, and he knew how very much I loved him! 

 

Chris and Amy Nickolson

Thank you, thank-you, thank-you Terry Lovern. I thank you for all that I have!  You will be in our memories for all time.

 

Janette Boyd-Williams

I have pictures of Terry that I will always treasure. My heart goes out to his friends and family.

 

Michelle Silva

The best moments of my life are because of Terry Lovern. I am forever grateful and will miss him dearly.

 

Jennifer Hindle

Terry, thank you for sharing your passion for life that inspired me. Thank you for the opportunities you provided me,  your guidance, support, friendship and love. I miss and love you.

 

Jane Basset

Terry was a good man and with a warm and winning smile that he shared freely with all who knew him. 

 

 

 

 

 

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