March 29th, 2017

andrew potter

Cecil Arthur Lewis (March 29, 1898 - January 27, 1997)

Cecil Arthur Lewis MC was a British fighter pilot who flew in World War I. He went on to co-found the British Broadcasting Company and enjoy a long career as a writer, notably of the aviation classic Sagittarius Rising.
Born: March 29, 1898, Birkenhead, United Kingdom
Died: January 27, 1997, London, United Kingdom
Lived: Arolo, Italy
Find A Grave Memorial# 176217775
Books: Sagittarius Rising, Farewell to wings, Gemini to Joburg, Turn Right for Corfu, A way to be
Movies: Pygmalion, Carmen, The Indiscretions of Eve
Awards: Academy Award for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay
Battles and wars: World War I, World War II

National Park: Charles Ricketts died on 7 October 1931. He was cremated at Golders Green, and his ashes were to be scattered to the four winds in Richmond Park. His friends found out that the shoe box they were given contained a seemingly endless quantity of ashes, so they decided in the end that Cecil Lewis would take the remaining ashes to be scattered in Arolo near the Lago Maggiore. The Arolo land had been a present from Ricketts to Lewis. Lewis himself hollowed out a niche of the cliff, placed Ricketts's head in bronze by F.R. Wells facing the mountains, and a plaque was attached underneath it, “duly inscribed,” as Lewis wrote. The inscription is probably his, but the carving itself may have been a local job.

Address: 22010 Moltrasio CO, Italy (45.85111, 9.08944)

Life
Who: Cecil Arthur Lewis MC (March 29, 1898 – January 27, 1997)
Cecil Lewis was a British fighter pilot who flew in WWI. He went on to co-found the British Broadcasting Company and enjoy a long career as a writer, notably of the aviation classic “Sagittarius Rising” (some scenes from which were represented in the film “Aces High”). While at the BBC in the 1920s he was taken under the wing of the artist Charles Ricketts, who awakened his creative heart, giving him a love of art and language. When Lewis discovered a villa in Italy Ricketts gave him pounds 300 to buy it. Between the wars Cecil Lewis created a beautiful retreat out of a rocky wilderness overlooking Lake Maggiore in northern Italy, which he said was always "waiting to restore me to sanity and peace". He edited the letters and journals of Charles Ricketts, “Self-Portrait” (1939), which were, like his 1928 translation from the French of Paul Raynal's “The Unknown Factor,” later adapted for television. He wrote and produced plays for stage, television and screen, including the adaptation of two Shaw plays for the cinema - his “Pygmalion” (1938) won him an Academy Award. In 1991 he wrote and presented on Radio 3 “Between Ourselves,” a dramatised portrait of Ricketts, whom he had so greatly admired in younger days, with Sir John Gielgud in the principal part. A few months later, by now 1993, Lewis published “Sagittarius Surviving,” a further flying autobiography. In the same year he wrote an introduction to Antoine de St Exupery's “Wind, Sand and Stars,” and two years later his autobiographical “All My Yesterdays” appeared. He was the last surviving British flying ace of WWI. George Bernard Shaw wrote of Lewis: "This prince of pilots has had a charmed life in every sense of the word. He is a thinker, a master of words and a bit of a poet."

Queer Places, Vol. 3.1: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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andrew potter

David Paul McWhirter (March 29, 1932 - July 28, 2006)

Find A Grave Memorial# 92122944

By exploring a subject that had personal and societal implications, Andrew Mattison helped bring gay relationships into the media spotlight. Teaming with his life partner of 34 years, Dr. David McWhirter, Dr. Mattison wrote the groundbreaking book The Male Couple, an in-depth study evaluating the quality and stability of long-term homosexual relationships. Mattison died of stomach cancer at 57. McWhirter, who was 16 years older than Mattison, died of a stroke less than 7 months later. Published in 1984, before AIDS became a scourge in the gay community, the book gained international attention and landed Dr. Mattison and his partner on the TV and radio talk-show circuit. With McWhirter, Dr. Mattison wrote extensively on counseling gay couples and the effects of HIV on lesbians, gay men and their families. In his last years, Dr. Mattison researched the phenomenon of "circuit parties" among gays – large gatherings at which risky behaviors such as unsafe sex and drug use were suspected.

Together from 1971 to 2005: 34 years.
Andrew Michael “Drew” Mattison (August 5, 1948 - December 29, 2005)
David Paul McWhirter (March 29, 1932 - July 28, 2006)

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
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Dora Carrington (March 29, 1893 – March 11, 1932)

Dora de Houghton Carrington, known generally as Carrington, was a British painter and decorative artist, remembered in part for her association with members of the Bloomsbury Group, especially the writer Lytton Strachey.
Born: March 29, 1893, Hereford, United Kingdom
Died: March 11, 1932, Newbury, United Kingdom
Education: Slade School of Fine Art
Bedford High School, Bedfordshire
Lived: The Mill, Tidmarsh, Reading, West Berkshire RG8, UK (51.46833, -1.08754)
Ham Spray House, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 3QZ, UK (51.3681, -1.50219)
Buried: under the laurels in the garden of the Ham Spray House, Wiltshire, England (ashes)
Find A Grave Memorial# 2859
Artwork: Farm at Watendlath, Spanish Landscape with Mountains, more
Siblings: Noël Carrington

Giles Lytton Strachey was a British writer and critic. Dora Carrington was a British painter and decorative artist, remembered in part for her association with members
of the Bloomsbury Group, especially Lytton Strachey. Though Strachey spoke openly about his homosexuality with his Bloomsbury friends (he had a relationship with John Maynard Keynes, who also was part of the Bloomsbury group), it was not widely publicized until the late 1960s, in a biography by Michael Holroyd. In 1921, Carrington agreed to marry Ralph Partridge, not for love but to secure the 3-way relationship. Strachey himself had been much more sexually interested in Partridge, as well as in various other young men, including a secret sadomasochistic relationship with Roger Senhouse (later the head of publisher Secker & Warburg). Dora Carrington committed suicide out of grief in 1932, shortly after Lytton Strachey’s death. Ralph married Frances Marshall on March 2, 1933. They lived happily at Ham Spray until Ralph’s death in 1960.

Together from 1917 to 1932: 15 years.
Dora de Houghton Carrington (March 29, 1893 – March 11, 1932)
Giles Lytton Strachey (March 1, 1880 –January 21, 1932)
Ralph Partridge (1894 – November 30, 1960)

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
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School: Bedford High School for Girls (Bromham Rd, Bedford MK40 2BS) was an independent school for pupils aged 7 to 18 in Bedford. It was one of a number of schools run by the Harpur Trust. The school was opened on May 8, 1882. It was built on the site of former Harpur Trust cottage almshouses. There were 43 girls on that first day. The school was located on its original site in Harpur ward, near the centre of Bedford, until its closure in 2012. In September 2010 the junior department of the school merged with the junior department of Dame Alice Harpur School. From September 2011 to September 2012 the senior schools also merged, the new school is known as Bedford Girls' School. The daughter of a Liverpool merchant, Dora Carrington (1893–1932) was born in Hereford, and attended the all-girls' Bedford High School which emphasized art. Her parents also paid for her to receive extra lessons in drawing.

Queer Places, Vol. 2.1: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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School: The UCL Slade School of Fine Art (informally The Slade, University College London, Gower St, Kings Cross, London WC1E 6BT) is the art school of University College London (UCL) and is based in London. It is world-renowned and is consistently ranked as the UK's top art and design educational institution. The school is organised as a department of UCL's Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The school traces its roots back to 1868 when lawyer and philanthropist Felix Slade (1788–1868) bequeathed funds to establish three Chairs in Fine Art, to be based at Oxford University, Cambridge University and University College London, where six studentships were endowed. Notable queer alumni and faculty: Dora Carrington (1893-1932), Ralph Chubb (1892-1960), Dorothy Brett (1883-1977), Duncan Grant (1885-1978), Eileen Gray (1878–1976), Derek Jarman (1942-1994), Mary Josephine Bedford (1861–1955), Robert Medley (1905-1994), Oliver Messel (1904-1978), William Bruce Ellis Ranken (1881–1941); Roger Rees (born 1944), Alix Strachey (1892–1973), Henry Scott Tuke (1858–1929), William Dobell (1899-1970).

Queer Places, Vol. 2.1: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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House: Once home to the Bloomsbury group, The Mill at Tidmarsh in Berkshire is still an inspiring abode. The Mill was last on the market in 2010 for £1.995.000.

Address: Sulham Hill, Tidmarsh, West Berkshire RG8 8ER, UK (51.46833, -1.08754)
English Heritage Building ID: 400899 (Grade II, 1984)

Place
"Sounds too good to be alright!" wrote Dora Carrington to Lytton Strachey on the morning of October 19, 1917. She was poring over the particulars of The Mill at Tidmarsh in Berkshire. There was electric light and "bath H & C.” It was romantic and lovely, and the rent was £52 a year for a three-year lease. Carrington first set up house with Lytton Strachey in November 1917, when they moved together to Tidmarsh Mill House, near Pangbourne, Berkshire. Carrington met Ralph Partridge, an Oxford friend of her younger brother Noel, in 1918. Strachey fell in love with Partridge and eventually, in 1921, Carrington agreed to marry him, not for love but to hold the menage a trois together with Lytton Strachey. Strachey paid for the wedding, and also accompanied the couple on their honeymoon in Venice.

Life
Who: Dora de Houghton Carrington (March 29, 1893 – March 11, 1932)
Dora Carrington moved into the mill with Lytton Strachey (1880-1932) just as he was publishing “Eminent Victorians,” the book that made him famous. The pair were already prominent in the Bloomsbury circle, which included Clive and Vanessa Bell (1879-1961), whose highly decorated house, Charleston in Sussex, is open to the public. Lytton and Carrington were frequently seen at Lady Ottoline Morrell (1873-1938)’s parties at Garsington Manor. He was a spidery, bearded intellectual, widely known to be homosexual, she a Slade-trained artist with a pageboy haircut and no first name. Their decision to live together raised eyebrows inside and outside their group.

Queer Places, Vol. 2.1: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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House: Love and literary retreat, a Wiltshire farmhouse was a bliss for a Bloomsbury threesome. Ham Spray House was last on the market in 2008 for £2.750.000.

Address: Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 3QZ, UK (51.3681, -1.50219)

Place
In 1924, Lytton Strachey and Ralph Partridge, members of the Bloomsbury group, bought Ham Spray House, and several of that group and other writers and artists spent time there from then until Ralph died in 1960, including Dora Carrington and Frances Partridge. Ham Spray, which cost Partridge and Strachey £2,300, suited their communal living and working arrangements. Surrounded by fields, and with a local shop selling Wellington boots, it was "a perfect English country house.” "We believed there was no view more beautiful, more inexhaustible in England, and no house more lovable than Ham Spray," wrote Frances in her diary. The rooms are of Georgian proportions, with high ceilings and cornices and pretty fireplaces. Carrington’s paintings hung on every wall, alongside works by Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Augustus John. While Lytton Strachey wrote in his upstairs study, looking out across Ham Hill and Inkpen Beacon, Carrington painted in a studio above the former granary. In the evenings, they gathered in the music room, where there was a piano, gramophone and ping-pong table. In Strachey’s former study – now a bedroom - there are surviving works by Carrington, including a mural of an owl and a self-portrait of her riding across the Downs, painted on a tile. On a door in the corner of the room is a trompe d’oeil of a bookshelf, featuring titles such as “Deception” by Jane Austen and “The Empty Room” by Virginia Woolf.

Life
Who: Ralph Partridge (1894 – November 30, 1960)
Dora Carrington was in love with Lytton Strachey, who loved Ralph Partridge, an ex-army officer; Carrington loved Strachey, but married Partridge to stabilise their triangular relationship. In 1924, they set up home together at the XIX-century farmhouse outside the village of Ham, in Wiltshire, along with Ralph’s lover (and later wife) Frances Marshall (1900-2004.) Strachey died of stomach cancer at Ham Spray in January 1932. Carrington, who saw no purpose in a life without Strachey, committed suicide two months after his death by shooting herself with a gun borrowed from her friend, Hon. Bryan Guinness (later 2nd Baron Moyne.) Her body was cremated and the ashes buried under the laurels in the garden of Ham Spray House. Strachey's modest little brass plaque is in the family church at Chew Magna, Somerset. The Partridges had a son, Burgo, and continued to live at the house for almost 30 years, entertaining a roll-call of artists and writers, among them E.M. Forster and Patrick Leigh Fermor. Frances sold the house a year after Ralph’s death in 1961, insisting that it did not become a shrine to the Bloomsbury Group.

Queer Places, Vol. 2.2: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
ISBN-13: 978-1544067568 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
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Edward Burra (March 29, 1905 - October 22, 1976)

Edward John Burra was an English painter, draughtsman, and printmaker, best known for his depictions of the urban underworld, black culture and the Harlem scene of the 1930s.
Born: March 29, 1905, London, United Kingdom
Died: October 22, 1976, Hastings, United Kingdom
Education: Royal College of Art,
Chelsea College of Arts
Buried: Rye Cemetery, Rye, Rother District, East Sussex, England
Find A Grave Memorial# 15089223
Artwork: The Snack Bar, Dancing Skeletons, The Common Stair, more

School: Chelsea College of Arts (16 John Islip St, Westminster, London SW1P 4JU) is a constituent college of the University of the Arts London based in London, and is a leading British art and design institution with an international reputation. The School of Art merged with the Hammersmith School of Art, founded by Francis Hawke, to form the Chelsea School of Art in 1908. The newly formed school was taken over by the London County Council and a new building erected at Lime Grove, which opened with an extended curriculum. A trade school for girls was erected on the same site in 1914. The school acquired premises at Great Titchfield Street, and was jointly accommodated with Quintin Hogg's Polytechnic in Regent Street (a forerunner of the University of Westminster). The campus at Manresa Road introduced painting and graphic design in 1963, with both disciplines being particularly successful. Notable queer alumni and faculty: Barbara Ker-Seymer (1905-1993), Dirk Bogarde (1921-1999), Edward Burra (1905-1976), William Chappell (1907-1994).

Queer Places, Vol. 2.1: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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School: The Royal College of Art or RCA (Kensington Gore, Kensington, London SW7 2EU) is a public research university in London. It offers postgraduate degrees in art and design to students from over 60 countries; it is the only entirely postgraduate art and design university in the world. In the 2016 QS World University Rankings by Subject, the RCA was placed first in the Art and Design subject area. The RCA was founded in Somerset House in 1837 as the Government School of Design or Metropolitan School of Design. In 1853 it was expanded and moved to Marlborough House, and then, in 1853 or 1857, to South Kensington, on the same site as the South Kensington Museum. It was renamed the Normal Training School of Art in 1857 and the National Art Training School in 1863. During the later XIX century it was primarily a teacher training college. In 1896 or 1897 the school received the name Royal College of Art, and the emphasis of teaching there shifted to the practice of art and design. The Darwin Building in Kensington Gore dates from the 1960s (English Heritage Building ID: 487894 (Grade II, 2001)). It was designed by a team of RCA staff members, H. T. Cadbury-Brown, Hugh Casson and Robert Goodden. Notable queer alumni and faculty: Edward Burra (1905-1976), Ossie Clark (1942–1996), Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge (1887–1963).

Queer Places, Vol. 2.1: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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House: Early-Mid XIX century. Two storeys and attic. Three windows. Three pedimented dormers. Stuccoed, ground floor rusticated. Pilasters flank the front. Stringcourse. Wide eaves cornice. Hipped slate roof. Glazing bars intact. Venetian shutters to windows. Wide porch with coupled Doric columns.

Address: A268, Rye Foreign, East Sussex TN31 7UL, UK (50.97103, 0.72161)
English Heritage Building ID: 412891 (Grade II, 1961)

Place
Springfield Court is a substantial mansion house originally constructed in the XIX Century and has Italian architectural influences. The property has white painted rendered elevations with green shutters under a pitched Mansard lead and slate roof. Springfield Court is situated in the sought after Domesday village of Playden which lies exactly 1 mile to the north of Rye. Playden derives its name from the Saxon word of “Plaidena” which means “deer pasture” and to this day still retains its original charm. The property has a very private setting and is reputed to be the quintessential house of Playden. The historic Cinque Port town of Rye dates back to pre-Norman times. Originally the area was part of the Manor of Rameslie which in 1014 was promised to the Abbey of Fécamp in Normandy by Elthelred the Unready and during the reign of King Henry III the area was returned to the English Crown. Following this the area underwent a period of fortification with the construction of four gates and a town wall in 1380 under King Edward II. During the late XIII Century the Plantagenet Kings gave Rye the Charter of the Cinque Port which meant that it provided safe harbour for ships. Springfield Court is approached through electronic wrought iron gates via a sweeping gravel driveway which leads to a carriage turning area in front of the main house. Springfield Court has been fully restored to its original splendour with the highest degree of attention to detail and fixtures and fittings being used. Throughout the main reception rooms are impressive marble fireplaces, polished oak floors and internal window shutters. The property retains all of its period charm including ornate moulded cornicing, plasterwork ceilings and original paint colours being used wherever possible throughout the property. The interior combines Georgian grandeur and modern living. The library has the original wooden shelving from No 11 Downing Street and then The Treasury and there is air conditioning across all floors which can be controlled remotely by computer. The property has a commanding position over its gardens, grounds and as such many of the reception rooms and bedrooms have superb views. To the rear there is an impressive raised decking area which again has magnificent views over the formal western gardens and to the valley beyond. To the south of the main house there is a self contained cottage annexe which provides excellent additional accommodation and has two separate access points. From the gravel driveway, there is a fine central plastered and pillared portico with flagstone steps leading to the front door.
Life
Who: Edward John Burra (March 29, 1905 – October 22, 1976) and William Chappell (September 27, 1907 – January 1, 1994)
Edward Burra was an English painter, draughtsman, and printmaker, best known for his depictions of the urban underworld, black culture and the Harlem scene of the 1930s. Burra was born at his grandmother's house in Elvaston Place, London to Henry Curteis Burra, J.P. and Ermentrude Anne (née Robinson Luxford). His father was a barrister and later Chairman of East Sussex County Council. Edward attended preparatory school at Northaw Place in Potters Bar but in 1917 suffered from pneumonia and had to be withdrawn from school and home-educated. Burra took art classes with a Miss Bradley in Rye in 1921, then studied at Chelsea School of Art until 1923, and from 1923–5 at the Royal College of Art under drawing tutors Randolph Schwabe and Raymond Coxon. A fellow student at the Chelsea School of Art was William Chappell (ballet dancer, choreographer, theatre producer and director), who became a close and lifelong friend. Burra visited Paris with William Chappell in October 1925. In September–October 1927, Burra and Chappell travelled to the south of France. In May 1928 Burra visited Toulon with Chappell, Irene Hodgkins, Barbara Ker-Seymer, Brian Howard and Anthony Powell. From October to December 1928, he stayed in Paris with Chappell, Fedorovitch, Frederick Ashton, Cedric Morris, Arthur Lett-Haines, Arthur Mahoney and John Banting. In May 1929, he visited Paris with Chappell, Ashton, Fedorovitch, Mahoney and Birgit Batholin. Ashton's ballet A Day in a Southern Port (Rio Grande) opened at the Savoy, London in November 1931 with sets and costumes by Burra. In 1940, Burra suffered terribly from rheumatism and gout. He spent much of the War years at his home, Springfield, near Rye as travel is difficult. In 1953 the Burra family left Springfield for Chapel House in the middle of Rye which had been built for them. In 1969 Burra moved from Chapel House to 2 Springfield Cottages, a gardener’s cottage next to his former home, Springfield at Playden, near Rye. After breaking his hip in 1974, his health declined sharply and he died in Hastings in 1976. He is buried at Rye Cemetery (Rye Hill, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7NH). William Chappell was a British dancer, ballet designer and director. He is most noted for his designs for more than 40 ballets or revues, including many of the early works of Sir Frederick Ashton and Dame Ninette de Valois. Chappell was born in Wolverhampton, the son of theatrical manager Archie Chappell and his wife Edith Eva Clara Black (née Edith Blair-Staples). After his parents separated, Chapell and his mother moved to Balham, London, where she pursued a career as a fashion journalist. Edith's daughter by her first marriage, romantic novelist Hermina Black, Chappell's half-sister, was living nearby in Wandsworth. Chappell studied at the Chelsea School of Art where aged 14 he met fellow students Edward Burra and Barbara Ker-Seymer forging a lifelong friendship. He did not take up dancing seriously until he was 17 when he studied under Marie Rambert, whom he met through his friend Frederick Ashton. For two years Chappell and Ashton toured Europe with Ida Rubenstein's company under the direction of Massine and Nijinska. He retired to his home in Rye and died there after a long illness in 1994.

Queer Places, Vol. 2.1: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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Jan Holmgren (April 25, 1939 - March 29, 1993)

Buried: The Evergreens Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Buried Alongside: Yves François Lubin aka Assotto Saint
Find A Grave Memorial# 161933698

Assotto Saint (born Yves François Lubin) was a poet, dancer with the Martha Graham Company, and playwright. Jan Holmgren was a composer for theatrical works of Saint and his companion of 13 years. Saint was known for his acting up and acting out: at fellow black gay poet Donald W. Woods's funeral, Saint openly confronted the family for their hypocritical elision of Woods's gayness; outraged, especially since Woods had fought to end the repressive forms of silence that equal death for gay individuals and AIDS victims, Saint stood up and "testified" on his brother's behalf. In the preface to the anthology The Road before Us: 100 Gay Black Poets, Saint had requested that, in protest of the indifference of American society to those dying of AIDS, that the American flag be burned at his funeral and its ashes scattered on his grave. The Road before Us was a 1992 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. Here to Dare was nominee in 1993 for Gay Anthology, Wishing for Wings was a nominee in 1995 for Gay Poetry, Spells of a Voodoo Doll was a 1997 nominee for Gay Biography/Autobiography.

Together from 1980 to 1993: 13 years.
Assotto Saint (October 2, 1957 - June 29, 1994)
Jan Holmgren (April 25, 1939 - March 29, 1993)

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
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Cemetery: At Cemetery of the Evergreens (1629 Bushwick Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11207) is buried Ella Wesner (1841-1917), the most celebrated male impersonator of the Gilded Age Vaudeville circuit. At the time of her death she was living at 431 Claremont Pkwy, Bronx, NY 10457. In the same cemetery are buried together Jan Holmgren (1939-1993) and Assotto Saint (1957-1994). When Assotto Saint delivered to the Names Project his quilt panel, he also enclosed a copy of Holmgren's funeral program and a moving note he had penned by hand, an intimate death notice of his partner and himself. "I made this quilt for my 13-year life-partner, Jan Urban Holmgren. He was my Jan & my man. Born in Alno, Sweden, on April 25, 1939, he died in my arms on March 29, 1993. We both found out in late 1987 that we were HIV-positive. Jan came down with full-blown AIDS in early 199o. I came down with full-blown AIDS in late 1991. Yes, it is a strange phenomenon when both life-partners in a relationship are fatally ill. Because of my disbelief in God & a spiritual after-life, it gives me great pleasure to know that at least we will be physically reunited in the same grave at The Evergreen Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY."

Queer Places, Vol. 1.2: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World Authored by Elisa Rolle
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Jeanine Deckers aka "Sœur Sourire" (October 17, 1933 — March 29, 1985)

Jeanne Deckers, aka Jeannine Deckers, better known as Sœur Sourire, was a Belgian singer-songwriter and initially a member of the Dominican Order in Belgium as Sister Luc-Gabrielle.
Born: October 17, 1933, Laeken
Died: March 29, 1985, Wavre, Belgium
Education: Catholic University of Leuven
Buried: Cheremont Cemetery, Wavre, Arrondissement de Nivelles, Walloon Brabant, Belgium
Buried alongside: Annie Pécher
Find A Grave Memorial# 11350
Albums: Best of Sœur Sourire, Dominique, Chants d'enfants, more
Parents: Lucien Deckers, Gabrielle Deckers

Jeanine Deckers, better known as Sœur Sourire, was a Belgian singer-songwriter and initially a member of the Dominican Order in Belgium as Sister Luc Gabrielle. She acquired world fame in 1963 with the release of the French-language song Dominique. In 1963, she was sent by her order to take theology courses at the University
of Louvain. She reconnected with a friend from her youth, Annie Pécher, with whom she slowly developed a very close relationship. Pulled between two worlds and increasingly in disagreement with the Catholic Church, she left the convent in 1966. She still considered herself a nun, praying several times daily, and maintaining a simple and chaste lifestyle. In the late 1970s, the Belgian government claimed that she owed $63,000 in back taxes. As her former congregation refused to take any responsibility for the debt, Deckers ran into heavy financial problems. Citing their financial difficulties in a note, she and her companion, Annie Pécher, committed suicide by an overdose of barbiturates and alcohol in 1985. In their suicide note, Decker and Pécher stated they had not given up their faith and wished to be buried together after a church funeral.

Together from 1963 to 1985: 22 years.
Annie Pécher (1944 – 1985)
Jeanine Deckers aka Sœur Sourire (October 17, 1933 — March 29, 1985)

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
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ISBN-10: 1500563323
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Cemetery: Jeanine Deckers (1933-1985), better known as Sœur Sourire, was a Belgian singer-songwriter and initially a member of the Dominican Order in Belgium as Sister Luc Gabrielle. She acquired world fame in 1963 with the release of the French-language song “Dominique.” In 1963, she was sent by her order to take theology courses at the University of Louvain (Grand-Place 23, 1348 Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve) where she reconnected with a friend from her youth, Annie Pécher, with whom she slowly developed a very close relationship. Pulled between two worlds and increasingly in disagreement with the Catholic Church, she left the convent in 1966. Citing their financial difficulties in a note, she and her companion, Annie Pécher, committed suicide by an overdose of barbiturates and alcohol in 1985. In their suicide note, Decker and Pécher stated they had not given up their faith and wished to be buried together after a church funeral. They are interred together at Cheremont Cemetery (Avenue de Chèremont, 1300 Wavre).

Queer Places, Vol. 3.2: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
ISBN-13: 978-1544068435 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1544068433
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