Memorial Notice



December 10, 1967 – March 8, 2004


Saturday, March 20th, 4:00 P.M.
Palace of Fine Arts Rotunda
San Francisco, California


You are cordially invited to participate in celebrating the life of David Robert Pasquarelli. The event will be a simple gathering of friends and family joining together to remember David and to help usher him into his next incarnation. Formal attire not required. Bring something to read or share if desired.


Permanent interment at the San Francisco Columbarium
One Loraine Court, San Francisco

Cards and other memoriams may be sent to:
1388 Haight St. #218, San Francisco, CA 94117.

Contributions in David’s honor may be made to:
the AIDS Emergency Fund
965 Mission St., Suite 630, San Francisco, CA 94103.


Let it be known…
On March 8, 2004 artist and AIDS activist David Pasquarelli left this earth for his next incarnation. Declared HIV positive on April 1, 1995, he committed his life to solving the mystery behind a compromised immune system. Outspoken and often outrageous, David cast a skeptical eye on every facet of the AIDS industry.

David was born on December 10, 1967 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He played trumpet in elementary and junior high school, and graduated from Montour High School in 1985. David earned a B.A. in Art from Penn State in 1990, where he worked as a Resident Assistant and began his involvement in gay rights activism. After graduation, he accepted a Resident Counselor position at St. Leo College in Florida, where he continued his activism, eventually helping to create ACTUP Tampa Bay.

In 1993, David moved to San Francisco to further develop his activism. In 1995, he helped define ACTUP San Francisco, making a name for himself with his eye catching graphic arts, his biting criticism of the AIDS industry, and his sharply worded statements questioning all aspects of AIDS. In 1999, David founded and published the quarterly gay news publication, Magnus. During this time, he also launched and co-produced a monthly television program, ACTUP TV.

Symptom-free, medicine-free and vibrant for six years following his HIV diagnosis, David’s activism came to an abrupt end on November 28, 2001, when he was arrested and condemned to 72 days in the San Francisco County Jail for charges related to his political activities. While in jail, lack of sleep, malnutrition, and months of stress and dehydration led to a collapse of his immune system. Upon his release he suffered from anemia, PCP and thrush. Desperate to regain his health, David attempted to repair his immune system over the next two years with both alternative and traditional therapies, but was met with increasing health issues including meningitis, staph infections, kidney damage, mycobacterium and finally CMV.

The public side of David that most people knew was one characterized by anger and outrage. There was a private side to David that was loving, compassionate and gentle. The root of David’s public outrage was the deep love and care that he had for his gay brothers and sisters and the injustices they suffer. He often expressed a desire to "not care so much" so he could "walk away and settle down," but leaving a wrong not righted was not in his nature. He was a man deeply concerned about protecting all living beings; a man who would regularly buy extra food to give to the hungry on his walk home; a man who lit candles at St. Ignatius for sick or distressed friends. David shared a loving, committed seven-year relationship with his boyfriend Steve, and loved to snuggle up and watch Twin Peaks or X-Files, hold hands during long walks on Ocean Beach and listen to his favorite albums by Erasure, Culture Club, Pet Shops Boys and Marc Almond. David will be deeply missed by those who knew and loved him.

Passion and dedication, intelligence and curiosity, discontent and optimism; these are terms that often arise when discussing David. He truly was one of the bravest warriors the queer community has known. Many people admired David for his outspokenness and courage, others vilified him for it, but in the end he was profoundly successful at bringing attention to issues he cared about. We can only hope he will have as great an impact on his next world.

David died peacefully with family at his side, and is survived by his dedicated life partner Steve Huggins, his loving sister Andrea, his mother Joanne and father Sam, and his many friends and family at ACTUP San Francisco. A ceremony will be held to celebrate David’s life on March 20 at 4:00pm under the Rotunda at the Palace of Fine Arts. Interment at the San Francisco Columbarium will occur at a later date. Cards and other memoriams can be sent to 1388 Haight St. #218, San Francisco, CA 94117. Contributions in David’s honor can be made to the AIDS Emergency Fund, 965 Mission St., Suite 630, San Francisco, CA 94103. More information on David’s life and work can be found at

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