We lost a wonderful member of our team here at the J, Desmond Obamogie, our parking lot attendant, officially an employee of UniPark, who was a great friend to so many of our stage managers, crew members, actors, and everyone on our staff, not to mention all the patrons Desmond interacted with in accommodating 32 cars inside a 20-slot lot. Desmond was with us at the J for the past three years, an employee of E-Park for 8 years, and a native of Nigeria. We knew him to be a religious man; a continuous reader of the bible, the most dapper of dressers, and the kindest soul to help a harried patron or artist running late to show or call-time. Desmond was with us at the J this past Sunday, presiding over another busy weekend. He had intermittently complained of chest pain or stomach pain, and security and receptionist staff urged him to see a doctor. But he demurred and insisted that he was fine; that it would pass. E-Park reported that Desmond didn’t make it to work on Monday or Tuesday and by Wednesday, a relative checked in at his apartment and found that Desmond had passed.
Alisha Ridley-Frost, Unipark’s Office Manager, told us that they are still not sure what happened and that they will let us know where we can send condolences as soon as they have that information. Alisha said:
“Desmond was one of our best employees and a dear friend. I know he thought highly of the DCJCC staff and enjoyed working there. He will truly be missed. We appreciate your kindness to him while he worked there.”
Last night’s performance of ANDY AND THE SHADOWS was dedicated to Desmond. He will stay in our hearts as long as we think of our good experiences at the theater.