Allan Rodway (1948 - 1994)
Allan Colwell Rodway was born June 2, 1948 in Portland,
Maine to George and Caroline Rodway, and died December 7, 1994, in Los Angeles, California.
From: Reflections, Vol. 19:2 [Feb. 1995], p. 10:
It is with sadness that we announce the passing of longtime Affirmation
member Allan Rodway. Allan passed away in mid-January after an extraordinarily
long and valiant battle with AIDS. Allan came to Affirmation in the very
beginning (1979) and has been a member and supporter ever since. He first
came to a meeting with his scriptures tucked under his arm as a returned
missionary and very dedicated Mormon. He progressed and expanded his life
to become, in the last several years, an AIDS activist and outspoken advocate
of gay rights.
He will be remembered, among his many qualities, for his
keen intelligence and for his amazing generosity. Even when he was in a
financial crisis because of AIDS, he continued to make generous donations
to Affirmation often earmarking them to help someone in the organization
with a particular need. He was always a friend to the down-and-out disfranchised.
He was one of those people that you always remember even after only one
brief meeting. We have lost a special individual.
Note by James Kent & Hugo Salinas: Apparently Allan was born in 1948--not
1950, as stated in the Quilt panel. And he died in December--not January,
as noted in Reflections.
Tribute by Constantin Marcou
I recently confirmed (by finding his name on an AIDS memorial site)
that Allan Rodway has been dead lo these past years that I had been
seeking him to reestablish our youthful connection.
Allan was an angel, plain and simple. I met him at an Affirmation meeting in 1979 or '80. As I recall, it was somewhere south of the Pacific Design Center or the Melrose/Crescent Heights area, in a salmon-colored, sparsely furnished building. I am not now, nor have I ever been LDS. Allan kept his attention fixed on the moderator throughout the meeting, betraying no hint of interes--then made a startling beeline for me the moment the meeting adjourned and I prepared to leave. We must have talked on the front porch for the better part of three hours. Inevitably, we exchanged telephone numbers to make a date. He declared that I fulfilled his fantasies of a missionary brother, and we were soon meeting several times a week, whenever time and our jobs and social obligations permitted. For my part, I was simply stunned that an angel like Allan had found something in me to hold his attention.
Allan was an angel in his appearance as well as his demeanor, and I was instantly captivated. He had sun-streaked blond hair midway down his neck, porcelain-doll blue eyes, skin like translucent alabaster, and the kind of broad smile now playing on Ryan Seacrest. Our builds were very similar, so we made a nicely matched set.
What was unusual about Allan at that time, though, was his decency. In those pre-AIDS casual days, sex partners were as expendable as tissue and urban gay centers were, by definition, meccas for those who sought anonymous self-indulgence, gratification and the opportunity to eschew any sense of obligation to society--or to any individual in it.
But not Allan. Allan was decent, considerate, giving and thoughtful.
I remember one time Allan called and I told him that I was suffering from a cold. Twenty minutes later, he was at my door with a bag of fresh lemons and honey, preparing to make a soothing palliative for my sore throat.
He always wore his Garment and--although I had dated plenty of Mormons--he was the first I had encountered that continued the practice despite the displacement of coming out and entering a gay lifestyle. I always teased him about it, and he invariably smiled sweetly and held his peace. I thought it was quaint and bizarre at the same time (does the Heavenly Father really not recognize his flock without some runes on a rag?) I thought he looked even cuter in it.
Allan was not common. He deserved better. Aside from his astonishing luminous appearance, he was caring, considerate, well bred, compassionate, kind and gentle. I regretted having stopped returning his calls almost instantly.
A year or two later I encountered him in Laguna Beach. He had been in Washington D.C. assisting with plans for some sort of presidential inaugural festivities, and was now living in his car. It was typical. He began to pout when he saw me. I wanted to hold him and tell him that it would all turn out for the best. I wanted to tell him that I loved him and wanted to ride into the sunset with him. I wanted to tell him that our love, together with his kindness, would overcome all obstacles.
I didn't. He wandered off.
I didn't have the courage to believe in such unrealistic and wildly romantic notions. I also realize, in retrospect, that it was not meant to be. Or maybe it was; perhaps if I had found the courage, Allan would never have made the fatal encounter. I torture myself with the thought.
At the turn of the century/millennium, I resolved to become a new man, lost the weight and rejoined the fray. I also began to search for Allan on the internet and in directories.
Of course I never found him until his name appeared in memorials and testaments. After five years of searching, I discovered that he had already been gone before I even started. It serves me right. When I appear before Allan in the hereafter, I'll beg his forgiveness and know that he can be no less angelic in his present form than he was here when I knew him.
Please add your own tribute by sending an email to James Kent.