Deetria (Dee) Shante' Horne, a former marketing manager at PPAI, passed away on May 28 following a long battle with cancer. She was 40.

Born in Waco, Texas, Horne attended Fort Worth’s Eastern Hills High School, and Prairie View A&M and the University of Houston. An experienced graphic designer and project manager, she joined PPAI’s marketing team in 2012 and worked with the Association’s departments and staff to develop and craft their messaging to membership and the industry. Horne left the Association in 2016 to focus on her well-being and health.

“She was a beautiful soul who fought her long, hard battle with cancer courageously,” says Keith Vincent, PPAI’s director of marketing. “She approached life with an extraordinarily positive attitude, regardless of her circumstances. She was an inspiration to all of us who knew her and had the pleasure to work with her. She was a true joy to be around and will be greatly missed.”

PPAI Creative Services Manager Gretchen Demke adds, “’Deedle’ Dee was spiritual and joyful, magnetic and mischievous, an inspiration and a friend. Her fight reminded us to take nothing for granted, to always have hope and to love those dear to us to the fullest. #HopeIsDope.”

Khris Harris, PPAI operations manager, says, “Dee was a beautiful lady inside and out, with a caring heart. She would always ask how you were doing if she knew you were facing a challenge personally, regardless of her own challenge, battling cancer herself. Dee was creative and talented, and we enjoyed working on projects from concept to completion. Watching her designs come to life as a finished product, she would glow with a sense of pride and accomplishment but never take full credit for the job, saying, ‘We did this together.’ That was Dee in life, willing to attack any project or challenge for the good of the team, together.”

Horne is survived by her wife, Shana Shaw, and children, Able Shaw, Ahshaye Shaw and Alyria Armstrong; her mother, Diann Smith; her father, Arthur Haywood; half-sister, Juanita Haywood; grandmother, Inez Daniels; grandfather, Peleton Horne, Jr.; aunts Sandra Horne and Judy Brookins; nephews Nyzaiah Haywood and Nasiyah Bates; niece, Zaniyah Bates; and godson, Tarmarick Williams.

Horne was named a 2015 Portrait of Hope Ambassador at the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the ACS are suggested. A celebration of Horne’s life will be held this evening at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens.