Larry Stansbury, the first executive director of Brother Help Thyself and a founding board member of the Capital Pride Alliance, died Saturday October 31, 2009 from complications following a kidney transplant, according to Brother Help Thyself.
Stansbury first came to the District from Richmond, Va., in the 1970s and began working at the D.C. Eagle, where he eventually became manager. He became involved in local LGBT activities largely through his memberships to the Centaur and Spartan gay motorcycle clubs, the latter of which he served in several roles, including president.
Stansbury helped create in 1978 and eventually directed Brother Help Thyself, which provides funding for LGBT health, cultural and social services, according to current executive director Tom Yates. After stepping down in 2006, he served on the organization's board of directors as the Spartan representative.
"He was the one who answered the phone, he got the mail, he was the point person," Yates said. When people needed to get a hold of Brother Help Thyself, they got a hold of Larry."
Stansbury also served on the Alexandria Task Force on AIDS, was vice president of the DC Center, and was involved with Capital Pride for more than 30 years.
"Larry was a fiery, passionate, dedicated individual who truly understood what it meant to be a servant leader," said Capital Pride Board of Directors President Michael Lutz in a statement.
Stansbury was elected as one of the Rainbow History Project's Community Pioneers in 2007. The Community Pioneers program honors people who have shaped the District's LGBT community.
"He was always busy. When you want to get something done, you don't go to somebody who has time to do it. You go to somebody who has no time but knows how to get it done. He was one of those kinds of people," said Mark Meinke, chair of the Rainbow History Project.
"I can't imagine what it's going to be like without him because he's been such a part of our history," Meinke said.
He is survived by two nieces, Paula Colgin and Paige Vasquez. Brother in-law, Bonnie Colgin. He is also survived by longtime friend Stephen Blum and family. Memorial Services will be held on Saturday December 12, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. at the Alexandria Knolls West Condominium 6101 Edsall Road Alexandria, VA 22304. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to: Brother Help Thyself www.brotherhelpthyself.org Inquiries may be directed to Rapp Funeral & Cremation Services at www.rappfuneral.com