John McBride

John McBride
February 15, 1997

On February 15, John McBride’s soul left his body to begin what he believed would be his next journey. He was 34.

Since moving to San Francisco in 1983, John’s energies and talents were spent working for and with the deaf communities and the gay and lesbian communities. As a sign language interpreter, he quickly rose in the ranks of interpreters to become both nationally and internationally recognized.

John spent years as a tireless advocate in the struggle to bring AIDS awareness and education to the deaf community. His commitment to this work began in 1985; his efforts to make sure the deaf community was not overlooked stretched from the United States to Canada and as far as Brazil.

John’s passions, talents, humor and love are but some of the gifts he has left us with to help heal his loss.  he is survived by his mother, sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews, and his loving international family of friends.

Donations may be made in John’s name to:  NorCRID John McBride Memorial Fund, DGLC and The Deaf AIDS Project. A memorial will be held April 12. For information e-mail to Hopeberry @

Source: Bay Area Reporter | Photograph of Hope and John via Drago Renteria

Patrick “Bad Puppy” Saatzer

Patrick “Bad Puppy” Saatzer
March 17, 1961 – August 7, 1994

At four in the morning, his family watched him lovingly to his last breath at home in Beaumont, Texas. Patrick’s free spirit was now truly free from his body in time to join us at the Dore Alley Fair on August 7, 1994. Oh, how he loved leather events as much as he loved traveling, wild roller coasters and sports. His family even dressed him in a brand-new Astro jersey shirt for the funeral. Patrick’s heaven is filled with deaf and leather folks whom he loved very much.

Patrick was well-known for his work as a barback at the Edge. He also co-founded the Northern California Leather Association of the Deaf and helped raised several thousand dollars for AIDS service agencies, especially for the Deaf AIDS Center. It is now not the same without his wonderful spirit and enthusiasm. He will be missed by his family, relatives, and friends.

In order to enable his friends from all over the world to participate in Patrick’s memorial service, it will be held during Leather Pride week (September 18-25) in San Francisco. Please watch for an announcement. Please make donations out to the Deaf AIDS Center, c/o University of California Center on Deafness, 3333 California Street, Suite 10, San Francisco, CA 94143-1208.

We love you and will miss you very much! – Phillip C. Rubin (Mr. Deaf International Leather) and Sam Feliciano.

Source: Bay Area Reporter

Samuel Feliciano

Samuel Feliciano
April 17, 1957 – Feb. 14, 1995

Enough is enough! When will AIDS stop killing our deaf friends?

After being in a coma for one month, our loving friend Sam Feliciano, passed away from AIDS-related complications on Valentine’s Day in Boston. Throughout his life Sam loved to check out different cities. He eventually fell in love with San Francisco. He became a wonderful, invaluable asset to the deaf gay community here. He was active with the Rainbow Deaf Society (a club for deaf gays).

Sam also loved to cook dinners for his friends, plan many social get-togethers for them, and entertain them with his creative drag clothes and remarkable acts.

On the serious side, Sam worked with an interpreter agency (BACA) in San Francisco. He also was a social director for the Rainbow Deaf Society for three years. His spirit and love will always remain in our memories.

Sam was cremated in Boston. His ashes will be present at the memorial service that will be held at St. Benedict, 1801 Octavia Street, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 8. Call 550-9449 (Voice) or 255-7528 (TTY) for more information.

Source: Bay Area Reporter

Billy “B.J.” Petrie

Billy “B.J.” Petrie
Nov. 9 1946 – March 10, 1991

Known to his friends as B.J., Billy Petrie died quietly at UCSF on March 10 from complications due to AIDS. He was 44 years old.

Born in Saginaw, Mich., Billy later attended St. Rita’s School for the Deaf in Cincinnati, Ohio, graduating in 1966.

After moving to San Francisco 11 years ago, Billy found favor in the South of Market area. His leathermen friends, both old and new, will miss Billy, his sense of fun and adventure.

Billy is survived by his son, Jay; his parents, William and Jean; and seven deaf brothers and sisters. Thanks so much to Darol, James, Jay and John for their help during and after Billy’s illness. Their support was invaluable.

Contributions in Billy’s memory may be made to the Deaf Community AIDS Project, P.O. Box 1606, SF 94101.

A memorial service will be held at St. Benedict’s Church, 2869 Bush St., on April 4, at 7 p.m.

Source: Bay Area Reporter

Phillip Hildreth

Phillip Hildreth
May 1, 1958 – Aug. 2, 1991

Phillip was a beautiful deaf man who traveled a long road to share his last smiles with us.

Born in Jackson, Miss., and raised by foster mother Bessie Hildreth, Phillip attended the Arkansas School for the Deaf in Little Rock, Ark. He lived in Atlanta for 15 years before coming to San Francisco for a better life and for services for deaf people with AIDS (nonexistent in Georgia).

He was a fun-loving “girlfriend” and could give a “snap” that would make anyone smile. He loved sports (Go Giants!), gossip (The Enquirer) and, of course, shopping.

We will miss him but know he is at peace. Born again in the spirit, he’s finally going home.

Donations in his name may be made to the St. Benedict’s Deaf AIDS Information Center.

Source: Bay Area Reporter


Photograph Source: Darol Nance | Submitted by Meredith Peruzzi

Garet Stark

Garet Michael Stark
Nov. 25, 1953 – Sept. 9, 1992

On Wednesday, September 9, Garet died at home. He had been living with AIDS.

A tireless runner, activist and advocate, Garet worked as the assistant director of Bay Area Communication Access. He held sign language interpreter certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

Garet was extremely active in the deaf community and the Northern California Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. He was one of the founders of the Deaf AIDS Center. He received the Bridge award from Deaf Services Network – North in 1990. Garet was an outstanding athlete, participating and winning medals at the Gay Games. He assisted the Names Project with interpreting, and he participated in civil disobedience during the 1987 March on Washington with the Queer and Present Danger Affinity Group.

He is survived by his other, Mary Combs, of New Jersey; his father, James Stark, of Florida; his sisters and two brothers; several nieces and nephews; and many friends.

A celebration of Garet’s life will be held on October 10 at St Benedict Center, 2891 Bush St., SF at 2 p.m. Contributions may be made to Deaf Services Network – North, Bay Area Communications Access, or the Northern California Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

He will be sorely missed.

Source: Bay Area Reporter

* * * * * *

Founding Member of SFT&FC Dies
Garet Stark, 1954-1992

by Rick Thoman

One of the founding members of the San Francisco Track & Field Club, Garet Stark, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 9, due to AIDS complications. Slightly built and sporting trademark red hair, the soft-spoken but spunky Stark was also widely known and well-regarded as an interpreter in the gay community.  The loss of Stark, 38, along with another SFT&FC founding member, Alan French, earlier this year, has created a somber tone

for the impending 10th anniversary of the SF Track & Field Club.

Stark was one of the individuals instrumental in organizing and establishing the SF Track & Field Club following the first Gay Games.  He was always supportive of newcomers to the club, going out of his way to make them feel comfortable with their efforts and their progress.

Other interests and duties caused him to skip the 1986 Gay Games, but he came back in 1990 and help organize the middle distance runners into a viable force at the Vancouver Games.  He was a member of the gold medal-winning 4×400 open relay team at that event.

As a runner, Stark was determined and unrelenting in training and in competition.  In a show of his tenacity and competitive spirit, Stark went out hard and fast in the 1990 Gay Games 1500 meter run, although he was already battling the effects of the AIDS virus.  Leading the field in the first two laps, he wilted in the near 100-degree heat on the final lap, collapsing in a dehydrated clump as he crossed the finish line, fully feeling the effects of the sun, the disease and his hard-fought effort.

“He had that ‘never-give-up’ spirit when he was running,” said one of Stark’s teammates and admirers. “He was a winner no matter what place he finished because he always gave his best effort.  It was evident every time he ran.”

Stark was a great “giver” to the gay community, not only in his efforts with the track club but also with the gay deaf community.  He volunteered his time at innumerable functions and maintained a special sensitivity to helping the people he cherished as his “family.”

Friend and track teammate Nancy Frost described Stark as a “treasure” and “someone we’ll all miss, not just on the track team.”  Others saddened by his loss mentioned his smile, his support and his indefatigable spirit in describing the diminutive red-haired dynamo.

“The San Francisco Track & Field Club will celebrate its 10th anniversary, and we will continue on in the spirit of Garet and all the other members who have passed away – but it won’t be the same without them,” state team Co-Coach Frank Demby.

Source: Bay Area Reporter

Kent T. Mitchell

Kent T. Mitchell
December 21, 1987

Kent died at San Francisco General Hospital on Dec. 21.

Born in Oakland in 1943, Kent called San Francisco home for over 25 years. He was active in the deaf community and was a founding member of the Rainbow Deaf Society.

Kent, a gentle, loving man will be missed by his family and many good friends.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Jan. 17 at 2 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at the Hearing Society, 20 10th Street S.F. (between Market & Mission).

Contributions in Kent’s name may be made to the American Foundation for AIDS Research 9601 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

Source: Bay Area Reporter

Donald R. Silvers

Don SilversDonald R. Silvers
Oct. 24, 1942 – Nov. 10, 1990

Don died peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends, at Coming Home Hospice.

Don attended Mary E. Bennett School for the Deaf, Riverside School for the Deaf and Gallaudet College for the Deaf in Washington, D.C.

After his first bout with Pneumocystis in 1987, he was unable to continue his career as a typographer, but he continued to be an active volunteer in the deaf community, helping others to cope with AIDS.

He is survived by his loving family in Southern California: his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.E. Wilkey; and his sisters, Donna Hamil and Barbara Robinson.

All of us who knew Don will never forget his dedication to taking care of our friend Lou Jemas. We will all miss his sense of humor and his treasured friendship. We love you Don.

Source: Bay Area Reporter


Don with Angelo Rosado-Marquez (left), whom we also lost to AIDS.

If you have any additional information about Don, please submit it to Thank you!

Photograph by Rick Gerharter | Submitted by Meredith Peruzzi

Jay D. Wilson

Jay WilsonJay D. Wilson
Dec. 3, 1950 – May 26, 1996

The deaf community has lost its sign language interpreter, Jay Wilson, to AIDS complications. Born in Akron, Ohio, to deaf parents, Jay had been very active in this community, as well as a member of the Rainbow Society for the Deaf. He moved to San Francisco in 1978.

Jay was a founding member and on the board of the Deaf Community AIDS Project (DCAP). At every major event like the Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade or the annual AIDS Candlelight March, Jay stood onstage and signed to the deaf.

A funeral Mass was held at Mission Dolores Basilica, and he was buried in the Colma Cemetery. Surviving are his parents, Clyde and Nellie Wilson; sisters, Priscilla Metzler and Gloria Roberts; brothers, Jerry and Windsor Wilson; nephews, Travis, Derrick and Jeremy; nieces, Nicole and Jacqueline; two dearest friends, John and Helen; and the others Jay shared his friendship with.

The memorial service will be at San Francisco Club, 530 Valencia St., SF, on Saturday, June 22, 1-5 p.m. For information about the memorial service, please call the California Relay Service (800/735-2922) or James at 510/261-9876 TDD or John at 415/323-0402 TDD.

Source: Bay Area Reporter

Constante Devalle, Jr.

Constante Devalle, Jr. Constante was a very good person who got along with everyone. He loved to dance and was very talented. We all looked up to him and his love of dance, he was deaf and could out dance all of us.

Submitted by DJ Pete Magliano



Photograph of Constante’s AIDS Qulit submitted by Gene Bourquin

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