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Robert Colborn Jr. dies at 77

Robert J. Colborn, Bob Colborn, obituary, National Park Service, gay news, Washington Blade

Robert J. Colborn died after a battle with lymphoma.

Robert “Bob” J. Colborn, Jr., 77, died Jan. 23 after a battle with lymphoma according to his family. He was gay and had been a Cheverly, Md., resident.

Born March 12, 1936 in Salisbury, Md., to the late Robert J. and Marion (Tyler) Colborn, Colborn was a graduate of Washington College University, of Rhode Island and University of Virginia. As a member of the Maryland State Bar Association, he joined the Maryland Office of the Secretary of State and founded the Maryland Division of State Documents, where he served as administrator from 1974-2001.

He also founded the Administrative Code & Registers of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) where he served as executive secretary and became the namesake for the annual Administrative Codes & Registers/NASS Innovation Award. As historian for the National Park Service from 1963-’64, he published the two reports key to the 1976 bicentennial restoration of Congress Hall in Philadelphia, and the Old Senate Chamber and Old Supreme Court Chamber of U.S. Capitol Building in Washington.

Colborn was a gardener, a history/culture enthusiast and enjoyed traveling. Surviving are his former wife, Marilyn B. Colborn; daughter, Amanda G. Colborn; stepson, Geoffrey W. Schoming and his wife, Katherine; brother, George Colborn and his wife, Stacia; sister Meg Bond and her husband, Richard; two grandchildren, Molly and Julian; and friends Curtis Burris, James Hughs and Jason Amster.

A service celebrating his life will be held Feb. 7 at All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church (2300 Cathedral Ave., N.W.) in Washington. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the church. Another memorial event is being planned for sometime in the spring.

29
Jan
2014

Businessman, philanthropist Bob Alfandre dies at 86

Robert "Bob" Alfondre, Dionne Warwick, AIDS, Whitman-Walker Clinic, gay news, Washington Blade

Robert “Bob” Alfondre, pictured here with Dionne Warwick at a Whitman-Walker event in 1988, was a prominent D.C.-area homebuilder and donor to AIDS-related causes. (Washington Blade archive photo by Doug Hinckle)

Robert “Bob” Alfandre, a prominent D.C.-area homebuilder and philanthropist who contributed to LGBT rights and AIDS-related causes, died June 12 in his home in Washington following a long battle with cancer. He was 87.

Alfandre is credited with working in collaboration with his brother to transform a modest construction company they inherited from their father into a major homebuilding enterprise.

During the post-World War II economic boom, his Aldre Construction Company built thousands of single-family homes and apartments in the Washington suburbs, according to biographical information from his family and from the Rainbow History Project, a D.C. LGBT group that interviewed Alfandre in 2012.

“Bob used his wealth to become a major philanthropist for the LGBT community,” the Rainbow History Project says in its 2012 write-up of Alfandre’s contribution to LGBT and AIDS-related causes.

Biographical information from his family released through the Joseph Gawler funeral home in Northwest Washington, where a visitation will be held Friday, June 20, says Alfandre’s philanthropic endeavors included generous support for D.C.’s Whitman-Walker Clinic during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and early 1990s.

He also supported the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was an active member of the French Heritage Society, the Cosmos Club, and the Washington Club, and was a Knight of the American Order of St. John, information released from the family says.

D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), who served as executive director of Whitman-Walker Clinic in the 1980s and early 1990s, said Alfandre became an active supporter of the clinic following the death of his partner, Carroll Sledz, to AIDS in the early 1980s.

“He was a very substantial contributor and a great source of support for me and others in the early years,” Graham said. “You couldn’t overstate the significance of what he did.”

The Rainbow History Project’s biography of Alfandre says he was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and moved to Washington, D.C. with his family in 1935 at the age of 8. He attended Anacostia High School, served in World War II, and graduated from Swarthmore College with financial help from the G.I. Bill, the Rainbow History Project bio says.

It says Alfandre worked briefly for the CIA after finishing college.

“He left the spy agency during the early days of the McCarthyite witch hunts, convinced that his life as a gay man would make career advancement impossible,” the Rainbow History Project bio says. “Instead he focused on the modest construction company he inherited from his father, Joe Alfandre. With his brother, he became a major participant in D.C.’s postwar economic boom.”

The Rainbow History Project bio, which is based on interviews with Alfandre, says Alfandre – like many gay men of his generation – married a woman and had a family, raising two daughters, one of whom runs the family business. When he met Carroll Sledz and the two fell in love, he and his wife divorced but remained friends, the bio says. It says that in recent years he and his former wife, Priscilla Alfandre, remarried.

Rev. Jerry Anderson, an Episcopal priest, said he met Alfandre in the 1980s through All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church in D.C., where Alfandre was a parishioner and Anderson served as director of the D.C. group Episcopal Caring Response to AIDS. He said he and Alfandre became friends and kept in touch after Anderson moved to Miami and later to Los Angeles.

“He was a wonderful human being,” said Anderson. “He was one of those gay men who responded immediately and wholeheartedly to the AIDS epidemic. He was a very generous, passionate advocate for the AIDS cause.”

Anderson and Rev. Beddington, current pastor of All Souls Episcopal Church, said Alfandre had a wry sense of humor and became admired for lifting up the spirits of his friends and associates, including people with AIDS.

Anderson said Alfandre often hosted fundraisers and social gatherings at his home in D.C.’s Kalarama section and often invited AIDS patients. He said he has especially fond memories of a party Alfandre hosted for residents of the Carroll Sledz House, a Whitman-Walker facility that Alfandre initiated and funded in honor of his late partner.

“In spite of the fact that it was an AIDS party, everyone was having a great time,” said Anderson. “And Bob was at the center of the party. He always made life fun.”

Added Anderson: “I have two memories or two associations for Bob. One is he took the epidemic very seriously and got seriously engaged and was very generous as a contributor to the cause. But he also wanted us to have fun in spite of it all. Those are the two images of Bob Alfandre that I have.”

Alfandre is survived by his wife, Priscilla; daughters Dominique Palmer and Nicole Alfandre Halbreiner; four grandchildren; his brother Jack Alfandre; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews and many friends.

A visitation was scheduled for Friday, June 20, from 6-8 p.m. at Joseph Gawler’s, 5130 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.

A funeral service was scheduled for Saturday, June 21, at 11 a.m., at All Souls Episcopal Church, 2300 Cathedral Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C.

18
Jun
2014

Safe spaces for worship

Foundry United Methodist Church, gay news, Washington Blade

Foundry United Methodist Church (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Good Friday, March 29

The National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) provides the Liturgy of Good Friday, providing opportunity for deep contemplation of the crucifixion starting at noon. Later, the church will be providing a meditation for Good Friday beginning at 6:30 p.m. For details, visit nationalcathedral.org.

Sixth and I Historic Synagogue (600 I St., N.W.) hosts a Passover Shabbat Dinner this evening at 7 p.m. The synagogue will provide a full kosher meal. For more information, visit sixthandi.org.

Metropolitan Community Church of Washington (474 Ridge St., N.W.) provides a Good Friday observance this evening at 7:30 p.m. For details, visit mccdc.com.

National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle, N.W.) provides a Good Friday service this evening at 7:30 p.m. Visit nationalcitycc.org for more information.

St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church (1820 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) has a Good Friday worship service beginning at noon. For more information, visit stmargaretsdc.org.

Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ (3845 South Capitol St.) has a Good Friday service starting at noon. For details, visit covenantbaptistucc.org.

All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church (2300 Cathedral Ave., N.W.) hosts a Solemn Mass for Good Friday at noon. For more information, visit allsoulsdc.org.

Bethesda United Church of Christ (10010 Fernwood Rd.) provides a Good Friday Service at St. Mark’s Presbyterian (1021 Palm Springs Dr.). Visit bethesdaaucc.org for more details.

Temple Sinai (3100 Military Rd., N.W.) hosts a Shabbat Service this evening at 6:30 p.m. For details, visit templesinaidc.org.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (3rd and A streets, S.E.) holds a Good Friday Service at noon. For more information, visit stmarks.net.

Bet Mishpachah provides a Erev Shabbat Service (Chol Hamoed Pesach) with service leader Allan Armus tonight at 8 p.m. at the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center (16th and Q St., N.W.). For details, visit betmish.org.

Western Presbyterian Church (2401 Virginia Ave., N.W.) hosts a Good Friday service at noon. Visit westernpresbyterian.org for more details.

Saturday, March 30

National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle, N.W.)  provides an Easter Egg Roll and Tea Set-Up today at 11 a.m. Visit nationalcitycc.org for more information.

Foundry United Methodist Church (1500 16th St., N.W.) hosts an Easter egg hunt from 10:15 a.m. to noon. For more information, visit foundryumc.org.

All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church (2300 Cathedral Ave., N.W.) provides an Easter Vigil tonight at 8 p.m. For details, visit allsoulsdc.org.

St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church (1820 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) has an Easter Vigil this evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. For details, visit stmargaretsdc.org.

Sunday, March 31

National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle, N.W.)  hosts an Easter Sunrise Service at 7:30 a.m. For more details, visit nationalcitycc.org.

The National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) gives a Festival of the Holy Eucharist today at 8 a.m. and again at 11 a.m. For more information, visit nationalcathedral.org.

St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church (1820 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) provides Holy Eucharist this morning at 9 a.m. For more information, visit stmargaretsdc.org.

Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ (3845 South Capitol St.) holds a sunrise service at 6 a.m. with a breakfast immediately following. They also have regular service at 10 a.m. For details, visit covenantbaptistucc.org.

Foundry United Methodist Church (1500 16th St., N.W.) has a worship service at 9:30 a.m. For more information, visit foundryumc.org.

All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church (2300 Cathedral Ave., N.W.) holds Low Mass with Easter Hymns at 8:30 a.m., Easter Egg Hunt at 10 a.m., and High Mass with Festival Music at 11 a.m. Visit allsoulsdc.org for more details.

Bethesda United Church of Christ (10010 Fernwood Rd.) hosts an Easter Sunday Celebration Service at 10:30 a.m.

Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church (3401 Nebraska Ave., N.W.) provides a Easter Brunch at 7 a.m. and traditional worship service at 11:15 a.m. For more details, visit nationalchurch.org.

Asbury United Methodist Church (926 11th St.) holds worship services at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Visit asburyumcdc.org for more information.

Western Presbyterian Church (2401 Virginia Ave., N.W.) provides an Easter Sunday worship service at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and an Easter Egg Hunt at 10:30 a.m. For more information, visit westernpresbyterian.org.

Monday, April 1

The White House Easter Egg Roll takes place today from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event is open to the public. Details are at whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll.

The National Zoo (3001 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) celebrates the African-American Family Tradition every Easter Monday. The day includes family activities, Easter egg hunt, animal demonstrations, live entertainment throughout the day, field and relay-style games and visits from the Easter Panda. Festivities begin at 11 a.m. For more information, visit nationalzoo.si.edu.

22
Mar
2013

Holidays and holy days

Foundry United Methodist Church, gay news, Washington Blade

Foundry United Methodist Church (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Not all houses of worship spew the same old tiresome fire-and-brimstone theology. Several churches in the Washington region are openly LGBT welcoming and affirming and have services planned over Christmas Eve and Christmas. Here are a few:

Christmas Eve

Foundry United Methodist Church (16th and P streets, N.W.) holds a children and family Christmas Eve service this evening at from 6:30-7:30 p.m. At 8 the church will also host a Christmas Eve lessons, carols and candlelight service filled with music and scripture readings. Rev. Dean Snyder will share a homily. For more information visit foundryumc.org.

All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church (2300 Cathedral Ave., N.W.) has a children’s Mass and blessing of the Creche today at 4 p.m. This includes carols, scripture and the story from the rector. Later at 7, staff will hold Christmas lessons and carols, which will include songs sung by the choir. The High Mass will be held at 11pm with a prelude of music at 10:30 pm. For more information, visit allsoulsdc.org.

Metropolitan Community Church of Washington (474 Ridge St., N.W.) holds a Christmas Eve worship service tonight at 8 with Rev. Dwayne Johnson. Visit mccdc.com for details. Johnson is openly gay and MCC is the city’s largest mostly LGBT church.

Washington National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) has carols by candlelight with Revs. Mariann Budd and Gary Hall this evening at 6. At 10 p.m., there’s Festival Holy Eucharist. For more information, visit nationalcathedral.org.

Covenant Baptist Church (3845 S. Capitol St.) holds its Christmas Eve service tonight at 7. For details, visit covenantbaptistucc.org.

Dumbarton United Methodist Church (3133 Dumbarton St., N.W.) offers two Christmas Eve services today at 5 and10 p.m. The first service is geared toward children while the later service is more formal and will connect with the Advent worship themes. Visit dumbartonumc.org for details.

National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle, N.W.) has a service tonight at 7:30 with a musical prelude starting at 7 that includes a vocal soloist, organ, harp and other instrumentalists. National City has one of the region’s largest and best-sounding pipe organs. For more information visit nationalcitycc.org.

The Christ Church on Capitol Hill (620 G St., S.E.) holds a Christmas Eve service this evening at 5:30 p.m. and a Choir Festive service at 10:30 p.m. with a choral prelude starting at 10. For details visit washingtonparish.org.

Saint John’s Episcopal Church (3240 O St., N.W.) presents its Christmas Pageant today at 4 p.m. Later in the evening there’s a Festival Holy Eucharist service with choral prelude beginning at 8:30 p.m. Visit stjohnsgeorgetown.org for more information.

Seekers Church (276 Carroll St., N.W.) holds a Christmas Eve dinner and service from 6-9 p.m. For more information, visit seekerschurch.org.

First Trinity Lutheran Church (309 E St., N.W.) has a Christmas Eve service tonight at 7:30 p.m. For details, visit firsttrinitydc.org.

Church of the Pilgrims (2201 P St., N.W.) offers a Christmas Eve candlelight service with Christmas music, celebration of the Lord’s supper and candlelighting. Visit churchofthepilgrims.org for details.

Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle (1725 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) has a Christmas Eve Mass with a musical prelude today at 4, a Misa De Vigilia de Navidad at 6:30 p.m. and a Solemn Mass of Christmas with a musical prelude beginning at 9:15 p.m. The Roman Catholic Church’s official stance is anti-gay, but some parishes are quietly LGBT welcoming. For more information, visit stmatthewscathedral.org or dignitywashintgon.org.

Christmas

All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church (2300 Cathedral Ave., N.W.) holds low Mass this morning at 10 a.m. Visit allsoulsdc.org for more information.

Washington National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.) holds Festival Holy Eucharist this morning at 11 a.m. There is a Christmas Day Service of Lessons and Carols today at 4 p.m. followed by an organ recital featuring Jeremy Filsell this evening at 5:15 p.m.

The Christ Church on Capitol Hill (620 G St., S.E.) has its Christmas Day service this morning at 10 a.m. For more information visit washingtonparish.org.

Saint John’s Episcopal Church (3240 O St., N.W.) has a Christmas Day Holy Eucharist service beginning at 10 a.m. For details, visit stjohnsgeorgetown.org.

Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle (1725 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) offers four different Christmas services: one at 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and a service in Spanish at 1 p.m. Visit stmatthewscathedral.org for more information.

Dignity Washington (1820 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) has its Christmas Mass this evening at 6 p.m. at St. Margaret’s Church. Dignity is a special group for LGBT Roman Catholics. For more information, visit dignitywashington.org.

20
Dec
2012