Olin Clyde “Tex” Eddleman was born to Grady Clyde Eddleman and Mabel Eddleman in Weatherford, Texas on April 16, 1922. Mr. Eddleman had two siblings, a sister, Elizabeth, and a brother, Robert. As a child, his brother and sister took him to the South Side Recreation Center in Fort Worth, Texas. After watching tap classes, Tex decided to go into the entertainment business and never looked back. He later joined the Fort Worth Community Circus. He performed first as Ruffles the Clown, and at 15, he became a tight-wire walker performer.
Mr. Eddleman enlisted in the Air Force during WWII. He used his skills and knowledge to help organize shows to entertain the troops. At the end of the war, he moved to New York City to study fine arts. He studied tap, classical Spanish, flamenco, modern and choreography before he joined the touring company of the Theatre Guild’s production of “Oklahoma!” Upon his return to Fort Worth, Mr. Eddleman worked with the Fort Worth Opera Chorus as a singer and dancer. While with the Opera Chorus, he performed in “Carmen” with Margo Dean. Mr. Eddleman performed in a variety of shows over the years including the DeWayne Brothers Circus and Disney on Parade. He also did a tour with Disney on Ice as the costume master. In 1985, he formed the Tex’s Tip Top Tappers, a professional tap company co-directed by Gracey Tune, world-renowned sister of Tommy Tune.
Olin Clyde “Tex” Eddleman was the last surviving member of the Eddleman family. He recalls sliding down the banister at “Uncle Bill’s house” when he was three years old. That house is located at 1110 Penn Street—also known as the Ball-McFarland-Eddleman House. In his later years, Tex enjoyed going to the house, taking pictures and telling interesting stories from days gone by.
In addition to performing, Mr. Eddleman taught tap for ten years at Professional Youth Conservatory. In his seventies, he taught advanced tap classes in Florida, and in his eighties, he taught flamenco, ukulele and banjo classes at Arts Fifth Avenue in Fort Worth.
Tex was always a renegade. He was the self-proclaimed “black sheep” of the Eddleman family, he believes because he was in show business. At that time, not exactly a well-respected career choice. Tex always loved the theater, loved music and was passionate about dancing. He often spoke of his travels and memories and enjoyed sharing the stories with anyone who would listen. At age 99, he passed away peacefully while listening to music from an Oklahoma! soundtrack that he’d received as a gift.
Mr. Eddelman never married nor had any children. He is preceded in death by all of his family members. Special thanks to Deborah Maddux, who became Tex’s “adopted daughter” and who took great care of him after his long-time caregiver, Steve Schoolar, succumbed to Parkinson’s disease almost two years ago.
Special thanks to Suzanne and to caregiver Sanchez of the DFW Veranda Assisted Living Home who allowed him a beautiful home to enjoy for the last several months of his life. Extra special thanks to Tex’s CarePlus Hospice team, especially Tonda Galttana, Stormi Rameriz and Lesha Jones who made his last months lively, comfortable and fun. He will be sorely missed. He was a true song and dance man—a totally unique character. Adiosito Tex.