On Richard’s panel, we included two pictures of him, and two pieces of his art work

The rest of the panel was made from his clothing; his flannel shirts made the border and the letters, his jeans some of the “fun” pieces, and his tee shirts, the rest.  I feel that the panel is “very Richard.”

Richard’s partner, Jack Neville, wrote these words to honor him forever, by making a Quilt panel and providing these memories. 

The letter, along with other materials, are part of the AIDS Memorial Quilt’s archival collections that now rest within the prestigious American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.  This archival collection currently totals more than 200,000 items. It includes biographical records, correspondence, photographs, tributes, epitaphs, news clippings and artifacts submitted by panel makers that add context about the lives memorialized on The Quilt panels. 

The American Folklife Center and National AIDS Memorial are working together to preserve the archival records and digitize them so the stories contained within can be forever shared with the public.

“Richard was a soft and gentle person who was loved by virtually everyone that met him. As his illness progressed he became thinner, weaker, and lost most of his sight. Throughout this, he never complained or asked “why me?” He was more concerned with how his family and friends were doing than how he was doing.”

— Jack Neville, Richard’s partner

40 years of stories

We share the important story of AIDS --

the fear, stigma and discrimination. We share the stories of hope, courage, compassion, and love.  And, we bring to light the harsh reality that four decades later, there is no cure and the rates of infection are on the rise, particularly in communities of color.

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Our work helps ensure that the lives of people who died from AIDS are not forgotten and the story of AIDS is known by future generations -
so that never again will a community be harmed because of fear, silence, discrimination, or stigma.