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Obituary- John Szewczyk

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John Szewczyk

John Szewczyk, local HIV activist, community leader and driving force behind the long-established PWA Campouts, died on February 28, 2011.

A Memorial Mass for John will be held Thursday, March 17, at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Church located at 4918 Cochran Street, Houston, 77009. The church is just off 610 North between Hwy 45 and Hwy 59.

John had been active in the PWA community for the last 15 years. A graduate of Project L.E.A.P, John was known for his devotion to the concerns of those with HIV. His involvement in organizing the bi-annual Lady Victoria Lust PWA Campouts was crucial to their ongoing success. John worked tirelessly to assure that HIV-positive people had a place to go and just “be themselves” without fear of judgment from others. John was involved with numerous other organizations and groups through the years, each of which benefited from John’s passion and tenacity.

John is survived by a small but devoted family, many friends, and his beloved pets. Donations in John’s honor may be made to the Pet Patrol, 1809 14 1/2 Street, Houston, TX 77008.

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Rich Arenschieldt

Rich has written for OutSmart for more than 25 years, chronicling various events impacting Houston’s queer community. His areas of interest and influence include all aspects of HIV treatment and education as well as the milieu of creative endeavors Houston affords its citizenry, including the performing, visual and fine arts. Rich loves interviewing and discovering people, be they living, or, in his capacity as a member of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers, deceased.

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