Obituaries and history

Last week, on World AIDS Day, the GLBT Historical Society and the Bay Area Reporter, the local glbt newspaper, released a database of obituaries of persons who died of AIDS. Looking through it is like looking at a time capsule.

I moved to San Francisco in 1983 and like so many gay men of my generation, I remember throughout the 80’s and 90’s reading the BAR’s obituaries each week, sometimes seeing someone I knew, sometimes just reading about all of these lives intertwined here in San Francisco.

I’m sure many people here at USF will look up people they knew. Two people connected to the USF library I thought of were Brooks Liston, who worked in the Law Library, and Steve Corey, who was the Rare Books Librarian here at Gleeson.

Looking through these obituaries, the database really captures a moment in time and helps us remember so many people whose lives touched ours.

5 thoughts on “Obituaries and history”

  1. I echo Penny. Thanks so much for posting this and bringing back memories of my fabulous co-worker, Sam Cox, and even more fabulous neighbor, Gino Scavetti.

  2. My understanding is that it also includes BAR obits of those members of the LGBT community who have passed whether they died of AIDS/AIDS related diseases or not.

  3. Thank you for posting this, Joe. It does capture the moment in time, though it brings back the almost unbearable sadness of that march of obituaries week after week. For some reason I didn’t find the friends I looked for in the database, but I appreciated being able to read about Steve Corey, whom I never knew.

  4. Joe–this database is amazing. I looked up another wonderful former library employee, Harold Newey, and found his obit. He died at age 53 of a heart attack in 1991. I’ve always felt that the devastation he felt by the loss to AIDS of so many friends in the SF music and theater communities contributed to his early death. He was a sweet, smart, funny, and interesting man, and I still miss him 19 years after his death.

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