Claude Gibney, principal at San Francisco’s St. Vincent De Paul Elementary School, died April 6 from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 47. An advocate of Catholic education, Gibney often turned down more lucrative public-school positions to remain at parochial schools. “He was a strict educator,” said his longtime companion, Joe Porcoro. “He expected a lot from the kids and never let them falter.” Gibney is remembered as an intellectual whose stern side was tempered by a wicked sense of humor. “Claude had a clever mind and the mentality of a vicious queen,” Porcoro said. “He was lots of fun.”
Jeffrey Lettow, entertainment editor of the Northern California newspaper Marin Independent Journal, died March 14 after a bout of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). The 43-year-old Chicago native moved to California in 1984, where he joined the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and volunteered at Food for Thought, and at the Kaiser Hospital in Santa Rosa, teaching Internet use for HIV research. Described by his brother Bill as a “gregarious guy who loved people,” Lettow traveled widely with his partner, Tom Elleray. He was an outspoken supporter of Proposition 215, the medical-marijuana initiative passed by California voters in 1996. “Jeff felt that people with terminal illnesses should have that option,” Elleray said.
Before he died of AIDS March 13 in New York City, Charles Milhaupt, 48, led a varied life as a corporate businessman, fine-arts supporter and Hollywood film producer. A board member of the Howard Gilman Foundation, he helped launch Mikhail Baryshnikov’s experimental White Oak Dance Project and encouraged the foundation to finance the arts as well as AIDS medical research. A collector of midcentury art and furniture, Milhaupt modeled his Greenwich Village apartment on the ’30s classic screwball comedy The Awful Truth.