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Obituary: Tom Palmer

Tom Palmer, gay news, Washington Blade, obituary

Tom Palmer

Tom Palmer died April 20 of cancer, according to his friend, Michael Pipitone. He was gay and had been a long-time Washington resident. He was 50.

Palmer was born in Stoughton, Mass., on March 12, 1964 and moved to Washington in 1982 where he attended George Washington University, graduating in 1986. Fluent in German and Spanish, he later lived and worked in Germany and New York City, but ultimately returned to D.C. where he worked in international tradeshow promotion, Internet marketing, political lobbying and communications for the Association of American Railroads.

As a late career change, Palmer earned his master’s degree in teaching English as a second language from Trinity University (2012) and became an unpaid ninth grade student teacher at Columbia Heights Educational Campus, an inner city high school.

Palmer was active in the LGBT 12-step recovery community of Washington, where he volunteered at Whitman-Walker Clinic as an addictions peer facilitator and served as president and board member of the LGBT 12-step recovery house, the Triangle Club.

In 2013, he was awarded volunteer of the year from Triangle. Palmer leaves behind his partner, Bouchaib Hadine of Lorton, Va. And his loving family: parents William and Dorothy Palmer of Cape Cod; siblings William and Ana Palmer of Mansfield; Robert Palmer of Stoughton, Mass., and Linda Monaco and Andrew Zickell of Mansfield; nieces Stephanie and Victoria Monaco, and nephews Dylan and Mikki Palmer; many caring relatives and friends, and a beloved long-term former partner, Jose Luis Goicochea.

A “celebration of life” service will be held June 1 at noon at the Josephine Butler Parks Center overlooking Merdian Hill Park, which had been one of his favorite local spots.


Gay Men’s Chorus performer Mark Hennen dies at 58

Mark Steven Hennen, gay news, Washington Blade

Mark Steven Hennen

Mark Steven Hennen, a singer and dancer with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington for more than 10 years who has worked as a touring director for internationally known entertainers, died June 15 at a hospice in Arlington, Va., following a six-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 58.

According to information provided by his friend Rick Davis, Hennen was born and raised in West Branch, Mich., where he worked on his family’s dairy farm through his high school years. He graduated in 1980 from the University of Detroit Mercy, a Jesuit school, where he received a bachelor’s degree with a major in theater.

While pursuing a life-long career in the entertainment industry, Hennen lived and worked in Minnesota, Rhode Island and California, among many other places, Davis said in a biographical write-up.

Along the way he worked as an actor and model before becoming a tour director for many big-name acts, Davis said. Among them was his role in handling the logistics operations for a European tour of British singer-songwriter Phil Collins and Collins’ rock group Genesis.

Hennen also toured with U.S. country music singer, songwriter and actress Reba McEntire and with famed Beatles singer Ringo Star.

Most recently, Henning served for 11 years as a booking director for Feld Entertainment, which produces the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice, among other entertainment acts.

“To those in the entertainment industry, Mark was known as ‘Radar,’ a moniker he received from Phil Collins, who felt Mark’s work habits matched the dutifully efficient character from the television show M*A*S*H,” Davis said in his write-up.

Among other things, Hennen was a “very active” member of the Washington National Cathedral Episcopal parish, Davis said.

The Gay Men’s Chorus honored Hennen with its prestigious Harmony Award recognizing his leadership and devotion to The Care Corps, a chorus project that supports chorus members in times of illness and other personal hardships.

Hennen is survived by his two sisters and their spouses, Maurene and Larry Hennen Schumann of Whitehall, Mich.; Lois and John Hennen Wheeler of Poway, Calif.; a nephew, Paul, and his spouse Jenny Schuman of Spring, Tex.; and a grandnephew and a number of grandnieces.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Maurice and Marilyn Hennen of West Branch, Mich. Hennen is also survived by his life-long friend Drew Bell and a large loving family of friends.

A “Celebration of Life” service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, at the National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C. Davis said Hennen’s remains were cremated “for scattering on the old Hennen farm” near West Branch, Mich.

Hennen has requested that any memorial contributions be made to the Federal City Performing Arts Association, Inc., the organization that operates the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, at 2000 P St., N.W., Suite 730, Washington, D.C. 20036.


Obituary: Daniel Thomas Kobermann, 54

Daniel Thomas Kobermann, obituary, gay news, Washington Blade

Daniel Thomas Kobermann

Daniel Thomas Kobermann, 54, died Dec. 19, 2013 at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., of congestive heart failure, according to his partner.

Kobermann and his partner of 32 years, Steven Lee, lived in Washington, D.C., for 28 years before moving to Florida.

Born in St. Louis, Mo., Kobermann grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and was a 1982 graduate of the University of Dayton.

He joined his partner in Washington in 1987 and worked for numerous companies, specializing in marketing sales. Before moving to Florida, he had been employed by Agence France-Presse and United Press International.

Previously he worked at Congressional Quarterly, Cambridge Scientific Abstracts and Disclosure Inc. During his business career he was posted to and resided in Amsterdam, Holland and Singapore.

He was preceded in death by his mother and brother. He is survived by his father, three sisters, two brothers, several nieces and nephews and their pet, Tucker.

Messages of condolence may be shared with the family at


Bob Gray, lobbyist and PR executive, dies at 92

Bob Gray, gay news, Washington Blade

Bob Gray (Photo courtesy of Charles Francis)

Robert Keith “Bob” Gray, a nationally recognized Washington lobbyist and public relations executive who started his career as an aide to President Dwight Eisenhower, died April 18 in a Miami hospital of heart disease.  He was 92.

As founder and CEO of the highly influential lobbying and PR firm Gray & Company in the 1980s, Gray had close ties to the Reagan administration and Republican Party leaders. He worked on Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign and co-chaired Reagan’s inaugural committee.

At the same time, according to people who worked for him, Gray was widely known among political insiders and a wide circle of friends as a gay man with ties to Washington’s gay community.

“He has always been out in his private life and among his circle of friends,” said Charles Francis, a gay Republican activist and public relations executive who worked for Gray & Company in the early and middle 1980s. “He was not out politically,” said Francis.

Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck Communications, a D.C.-based communications and PR firm who also worked for Gray & Company in the 1980s, said Gray served as a mentor for many young and aspiring employees of his firm, both gay and straight and Republican and Democrat.

Witeck, a Democratic Party activist, said he, Francis, and gay Democratic activist and political consultant Jeff Trammell are just a few of the many gay communications professionals that worked for Gray in the 1980s and who later rose in the profession or started their own firms.

“He gave us a lot of inspiration for doing our own thing,” Witeck said.

Francis said Gray was born and raised in Nebraska. He served in the Navy during World War II and remained in the Navy Reserve, where he rose to the rank of commander. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Carleton College in Minnesota and master’s degree in business administration at Harvard University.

Francis, who interviewed Gray two years ago for an article published last week in the online newsletter of the Mattachine Society of Washington, said Gray began work at the White House in 1956 as Appointments Secretary and later as Secretary of the Cabinet to President Eisenhower.

Following the election of President John F. Kennedy, Gray left the White House to join the Hill & Knowlton public relations firm in 1961, where he rose to become director of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. He left Hill & Knowlton in 1980 to form Gray & Company, solidifying his stature as one of the most influential lobbyists with access to the reins of power in Washington.

Trammell, who worked for Gray during the Reagan years, said Gray hired many Democrats like Trammell and Witeck and maintained a work environment in which Democrats and Republicans respected one another even though they disagreed politically.

“It was the old days in Washington when people didn’t let their party and ideological differences get in the way of their respect for one another,” Trammell said.

Trammell and Francis noted that Gray, who remained closeted in his public role, was a generous financial contributor behind the scenes to D.C.’s Whitman-Walker Clinic in the 1980s, when Gray lost many friends to AIDS.

The two said Gray also was a longtime financial supporter of famed AIDS researcher and former National Institutes of Health official Dr. Robert Gallo after Gallo founded the Institute of Human Virology as an arm of the University of Maryland’s Baltimore campus. Trammell said Gray was a member of the Institute’s board of directors at the time of his death.

In his interview with Francis in May 2012, Gray provided a glimpse into his life as a gay man that he never before shared in a public way. Among other things, he told of how he felt about being named as White House Appointments Secretary three years after then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover “outed” a closeted gay man that Eisenhower had named for that job just prior to Eisenhower taking office in 1953.

Francis, who researched the incident years later, said Eisenhower ordered that no public disclosure would be made that the appointee, Arthur Vandenberg Jr., the son of then-Sen. Arthur Vandenberg (R-Mich.), was a homosexual. Instead, the then president-elect said Vandenberg had to give up the job for “health reasons.”

“It took six weeks to get a clearance,” Gray said in the interview in discussing his status as a gay man being named to fill the job for which Vandenberg was rejected because of his sexual orientation.

“I tried to act as nonchalant as I could, even though my heart was pounding,” Gray said. “I was still trying to make myself straight, dating women. If I had been in any way sexually active, I would have been outed,” he said.

“I was an open book, working 20-hour days. That was fulfilling enough for me,” he said.

Near the end of the interview, Francis asked Gray what he thought of the changes that have taken place in the country on LGBT rights in the more than 50 years since he became involved in politics and about the irony of his being hired by President Eisenhower as a closeted gay man.

“I don’t want to be known as the gay guy who worked at the White House!” Gray replied. “Being gay is a minuscule part of who I am, not my whole being; nor am I a standard-bearer. I was not hired because of it, nor was I hired because I was heterosexual.”

Gray’s survivors include his partner of 20 years, Efrain Machado of Miami Beach, Fla.


Ricardo Martinez dies at 71

Ricardo C. Martinez, gay news, Washington Blade

Ricardo C. Martinez (Photo courtesy of Richard Viola)

Ricardo C. Martinez, a senior economist with the D.C.-based Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for more than 20 years and a well-known figure in the gay communities of Washington and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., died August 15 at a hospice in Fort Lauderdale from complications associated with a stroke. He was 71.

 Friends and colleagues note that he worked for years traveling extensively to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean on behalf of the IDB to assess and make recommendations on those countries’ needs for economic development loans.

The friends from Washington and the Fort Lauderdale-Miami area, where Martinez moved after taking early retirement at the age of 55, say his retirement enabled him devote more time to his lifelong passion for the performing arts, especially opera.

“Sometimes he saw his own life in terms of the grand opera he so adored,” said George Jackson, one of his longtime Washington friends.

Martinez was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. He told friends he completed high school there just as the uncertainty and turmoil that followed the assumption of power by Fidel Castro prompted many Cubans to flee to the U.S.

As an only child, he told friends his parents arranged for him to abruptly depart his homeland by himself and arrive in Miami in 1960 as part of the Catholic Church operated “Peter Pan” program, through which thousands of unaccompanied Cuban children and teenagers were dispatched to the U.S. in the early 1960s.

According to his friend Richard Poms, Martinez said his parents arrived in the U.S. the following year and the family settled in Northern Virginia. A short time later, Martinez began his studies in economics at Catholic University in D.C. through an academic scholarship.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in economics at Catholic University he studied economics on the graduate level at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

He taught courses in intermediate level macroeconomic theory and principles of economics and economic systems at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., from 1968 to 1970. He next joined the staff of the Brookings Institution in Washington as a research assistant from 1970 to 1974, according to his curriculum vitae.

Martinez began his tenure at the Inter-American Development Bank in 1974 as an economist with the bank’s Country Economic Division. He assumed the position of senior economist at the bank’s General Studies Division in 1981 and assumed additional responsibilities in 1989 as senior economist with the Country Economics Division.

As someone fluent in English and Spanish, he wrote over 40 chapters during his tenure at the IDB for the annual publication Economic and Social Progress in Latin America. Among the countries he visited and for which he made loan related assessments and recommendations were Barbados, Suriname, Venezuela, El Salvador, Mexico and Costa Rica.

Upon his retirement in 1998 Martinez moved from is longtime residence in Arlington, Va., to Miami Beach before settling later in Fort Lauderdale.

According to friends, he shared his passion for the opera with a longstanding interest in European history and the European nobility.

“He loved European nobility,” said Poms. “He was an expert on the kings and the queens going back all the way. He knew who was married to whom – what family this, what family that.”

Before and after retirement his love for opera prompted him travel to opera houses in the U.S. and Europe, including regular trips to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he boasted of crossing paths and socializing with famed Metropolitan Opera conductor and music director James Levine at Manhattan nightspots after the performances.

“I remember his love for good cuisine and how he wouldn’t eat dinner until the sun had set,” said Tom Hardy, a friend from Washington. “He went to all the best restaurants, and he loved company and he loved to tell us about history and of course ancestry and the European monarchs.”

Martinez is predeceased by his parents, Ricardo, Sr., and Hilda Martinez, of Arlington, Va., and his longtime friend Jack Keegel of Washington.

He is survived by an uncle in Jacksonville, Fla., Orlando Acosta, a cousin in Los Angeles, and many friends in Washington and Fort Lauderdale, including Richard Poms, Richard Viola, Steven Frias Rodriquez, Tom Hardy, Carl Spier, Larry Smelser, George Jackson, David Cox, Emilio Cueto, and this reporter, among many others.

Poms said plans would be announced soon for memorial services in Fort Lauderdale and D.C. He said plans were being made for interment of Martinez’s ashes at Columbia Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, Va., near the gravesite of his parents.


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.


Maya Angelou has died

Dancer, singer, journalist, actor, writer, director, professor, activist, poet, mother, Grammy winner, American.


Gay activist Robert Coggin dies at 62

Robert Coggin, gay news, obituary, Washington Blade

Robertg Coggin (Submitted obituary photo)

Robert Mitchell Coggin, a longtime D.C.-area resident who played a key role in helping to pass a gay rights law in Montgomery County, Md., in 1984, died Jan. 19 from complications associated with Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy. He was 62.

His friends Tanner Wray and Karl Debus-Lopez said Coggin became active in gay rights activities in 1972 when he co-founded the first gay student group, the Gay Student Union, at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1976.

Wray and Debus-Lopez said Coggin became the founder of the Suburban Maryland Lesbian and Gay Alliance in Montgomery County in 1982 after becoming a resident of the county.

“He was a leader in the fight to have Montgomery County, Md., pass a non-discrimination law that includes gays and lesbians in 1984,” the two said. “Over the years, Robert continued to be active with numerous gay and lesbian rights groups in their efforts to move forward on civil rights legislation.”

Coggin, who lived in Silver Spring, Md., was born in Danville, Va. He worked for many years for the National Institutes of Health in Maryland as an administrative assistant, Wray and Debus-Lopez said.

“During his time at NIH, Robert received many awards for his outstanding performance,” the two said. “Despite the fact that he had a chronic and degenerative illness, Robert’s outlook on life was always positive,” they said. “He enjoyed movies, theater, dinners out with friends, and he was a pioneering crusader in the fight for gay rights in the mid-Atlantic region.”

Through his estate, Coggin made arrangements to establish a scholarship fund for LGBT students at the University of Virginia, according to Wray and Debus-Lopez.

He is predeceased by his parents, Belva Mitchell Coggin and Henry Ernest Coggin, and a brother, William Henry Coggin. He is survived by numerous cousins and friends, including Debus-Lopez and Wray and his former partner Don Crisostomo.

A memorial service is being planned for the near future. Donations can be made to the University of Virginia Fund of Charlottesville, Va., under the name Robert Coggin, and to the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Tucson, Ariz.


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.


Joseph F. Vivalo, Jr. dies at 53

Joe Vivalo, obituary, gay news, Washington Blade

Joseph F. “Joe” Vivalo, Jr. in 1987.

Joseph F. “Joe” Vivalo, Jr., 53, a former resident of Washington and Arlington who was active in political and AIDS charity fundraising and events management, died in Key West, Fla., on Feb. 5.

His death was from suicide, according to Terry Michael, with whom Vivalo shared an apartment on Capitol Hill in 1986-87 and again in 1992-93. Vivalo, who was gay, worked as a waiter at Mr. Henry’s restaurant, Michael said, after moving to the District from Portland, Ore., in July 1986. Living in New York from 1988-92, he returned to Washington in November 1992, where he resided again on Capitol Hill and later in the Logan Circle area, before settling in Arlington. At the time of his death, Vivalo had been living and working at a guesthouse in Key West.

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Vivalo was a director of the Pallotta TeamWorks AIDS Ride in Washington in the late 1990s and was director of the Whitman-Walker Health AIDS Walk in 2000, when he also produced a fundraising concert for Whitman-Walker at the Kennedy Center, featuring singer Patti LaBelle. He worked in several AIDS walks in Manhattan in the late 1980s.

Specializing in arts and entertainment fundraising, Vivalo was fundraising director for former U.S. Rep. and 1984 Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro, in her unsuccessful race for the U.S. Senate in New York in 1992. He had served in the Mondale-Ferraro presidential campaign in Portland, Ore., in 1984, as a young field worker. He worked on the Clinton-Gore Inaugural Committee in Washington in 1992. And he was on the facilities management staff of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. in 2012. For a time, he ran a bike restoration business in Arlington.

Born Dec. 30, 1960 in Youngstown, Vivalo was a son of the late Joseph Vivalo and Marie Ann “Dolly” Vivalo, who survives, along with siblings Debbie, Jeff, John, Katie, Jacqueline, Michael and Kimberly. He is also survived by friends in the Washington area, including Walter Quetsch of Capitol Hill, at whose Fire Island cottage Vivalo was a frequent guest during the past two decades, and Washington attorney Jim Prunty, whom Vivalo met during his years in Portland.

Vivalo attended Ohio University, where he earned a degree in political communication. He was an active swimmer in high school and college. He had a passion for dance music and was a friend of the late San Francisco disco icon Sylvester James, “who visited Joe at our apartment on Capitol Hill in late 1987,” Michael said, noting that “Sylvester’s ‘You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)’ and ‘You Are My Friend’ tracks became Joe’s signature songs.”

A memorial service for Vivalo was held in Youngstown Feb. 8.