Bill St. John
Bill St. John passed away on May 13 at the age of 94. He and his late partner, Stan Boyden, met and committed to each other in 1950 in San Francisco. They became friends with many of those who founded the first gay-rights movements (the Mattachine Society, One, Daughters of Bilitus).
They retired to Mexico, remaining for ten years before moving to Texas, where they started square dancing - a hobby that became a life-long passion for them. Learning that Sacramento had gay square dancing, they moved here in the early 1980s and joined Capital City Squares, its advanced-dancing counter-part Prime-8s, and the TNTs, a straight club that teaches challenge moves. They were eventually elected co-presidents of the TNTs and, in this capacity, were instrumental in integrating the gay and straight square dance worlds. They attended numerous straight conventions, as well as every annual gay convention from 1983 to 2004, shortly before Stan passed away.
Bill leaves behind scores of friends in Sacramento, San Francisco, Mexico, and throughout the nation's square dance community. Per his request, no services will be held. In his honor, however, feel free to toast Bill and Stan's 55 years of delightful memories and influential activism. It is thru the kindly spirits of pioneers such as these that our society moves forward.
- The Sacramento Bee, 29 May 2011