Daniel Thomas Carr III was a real estate agent, a classically trained pianist, and a member of the Pride Center’s Founders Circle. He loved colorful costumes, dance parties, and film festivals. His friends knew him as Thom.
Now he’s another victim of COVID-19. Carr died Wednesday. He was 67.
Carr’s death becomes the third linked to the Winter Party Festival that took place in Miami Beach March 4-10.
Carr and his husband J. Michael Heider had been together for 35 years. Carr worked as a real estate agent for Atlantic Properties International.
“It is with overwhelming sadness that I share that our journey together has come to an end. For now, the parties, the cruises, the costume planning and trips together have come to an end,” Heider posted on Facebook. “Over the years and especially at this terrible time for the world, Thom brought us joy, music, his special creativity and talents. For that we can be grateful.”
According to the Sun Sentinel Carr and Heider, both tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the annual Winter Party Festival.
Carr was admitted to the hospital March 23 and rushed to the intensive-care unit. He’s a diabetic, one of the underlying conditions that have made older individuals more vulnerable to the coronavirus. Heider has made a full recovery.
Just two days before his death Carr got a transfusion of antibody-infused plasma. Heider had posted a hopeful message on Facebook where he told people he had just donated his blood for serum antibodies in a last ditch effort to save his husband.
Carr grew up in West Virginia and attended West Virginia University for college. He also lived in Louisville and Lexington Kentucky.
Carr and Heider met in 1984 at a meeting of the Business and Professional Group (BPG), an LGBT business networking organization in Fort Lauderdale. Carr shared the story of their first meeting with SFGN in 2012 for a story about BPG. Carr referred to himself as shy, but said he was immediately attracted to Heider, so he introduced himself while the business group mingled.
Carr and Heider have been active in the LGBT community including being members of the Founders Circle at the Pride Center at Equality Park. They have often hosted events at their house for LGBT organizations like the Aqua Foundation for Women and the Pride Center.
“Thom’s joy, kindness, humor, generosity, creativity, warmth, smile and zest for life impacted all around him. An accomplished pianist, Thom used his talents to entertain, uplift and inspire, donating his time and skills to a variety of communities,” reads a message from the Pride Center. “Words truly fail in the face of this loss and grief. Our heartfelt condolences to Thom's husband and life partner of 35 years, J. Michael Heider.”
Carr and Heider have also been long time supporters of Equality Florida, Florida’s statewide LGBT rights organization.
“Today, we mourn the loss of Thom Carr, one of our earliest and most stalwart supporters in Fort Lauderdale,” a message from Equality Florida reads. “Thom and J were always among the best dressed at the Gala! We will never forget Thom's generous spirit, kindness and support from the earliest days of Equality Florida.”
Carr was an accomplished pianist and released an album of his hits “Broadway & Beyond” in 2014, which was as a “dazzling collection of 23 piano solos,” by Mainly Piano.
“Carr obviously has some spectacular playing chops,” the reviewer wrote. “There is an amazing variety of music here, but the album plays as a seamless whole due to Carr’s expressive playing style and interpretation of these timeless classics.” Click here to listen to some of his tunes.
Besides Heider, Carr also leaves behind his sister Suzi Carr in Los Angeles.
“I couldn't have asked for a better brother and best friend. I will treasure our lifetime of memories. I am so very thankful for all the love and joy he brought into my life,” Suzi wrote on Facebook. “I can't imagine life without you dear Thom, may you soar with the angels. You are truly loved and truly missed. I love you forever.”
Heider wrote on Facebook he will plan a memorial and celebration of life as soon as it’s safe to do so again.
“My memories from 35 years together, however, will never end,” Heider wrote. “Thank you for being part of our lives.”