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Local passages in 2019
by Matt Simonette
2020-01-08

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A number of LGBT Chicagoans ( as well as persons who otherwise left their marks on the city's LGBT community ) passed away in 2019. Among the passages Windy City Times noted:

—A. J. Petras died in Boston Jan 1. Petras served two years as co-chair of the original organizing committee that brought Gay Games VII to Chicago in 2006.

—Margaret "Marge" Bellisario died Jan. 3. She was sole owner of Forest View Lounge Bar and Grill in Forest View.

—John Myron Hisel—a painter and fine artist in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood who was a native of Kankakee—passed away Jan. 26.

—Brian Patrick Donegan—a U.S. Air Force veteran and much-loved dog-walker and house sitter who was a native of Algonquin—passed away Feb. 2.

—Grab Magazine Co-Publisher and Co-Founder Mark Nagel passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 4.

—Health advocate Victoria "Vicky" DiProva died Feb. 12 due to multiple health complications.

—Chyna Sky Gonzalez died by suicide March 9. She was 32.

—Chicagoan Richard David Wold passed away unexpectedly but peacefully at home on April 17.

—Ralla Klepak, a legendary attorney in Chicago's LGBTQ and legal communities, passed away April 25.

—Chicagoan Rebecca J. Ernst passed away April 28.

—North Side resident James Krueger passed away peacefully on June 3 after a long illness.

—Ruffin Nelson Robinson, a retired registered nurse who resided in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood, died peacefully June 6.

—James Andrew Aull IV of Oak Park died June 8.

—Longtime Chicagoan Michael Francis O'Reilly—a queer artist, activist, Radical Faerie and some-time provocateur best known as Penny—died June 10.

—Steven Joseph Courtney died of natural causes on June 26 in Chicago.

—Rogers Park neighborhood resident Randy Boston died July 1.

—Robert F. "Bobby" Nicholson passed away Aug. 2, leaving a long local and national gay sports legacy that dates back about 40 years.

—Frank Rice Jr., a poet and resident of Chicago's Uptown neighborhood, passed away unexpectedly at home Aug. 15.

—Steven Ray Dobson, of North Aurora, passed away Aug. 16.

—Paul Baker, a longtime North Side resident, passed away Aug. 19.

—Activist Michael Bauer passed away Aug. 29 after a long bout with cancer.

—Chicagoan John Rent passed away Sept. 9.

—Chicagoan Marca Bristo, who was at the forefront of numerous causes relating to disability rights, passed away Sept. 8.

—HIV/AIDS activist Bill Rydwels passed away Oct. 3.

—Longtime Chicago Pride Parade organizer Rich Pfeiffer passed away Oct. 6.

—Jason Zdebski, who was a business partner in Shakers on Clark, 3160 N. Clark St., passed away in early November.


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