March 29: David Everett Pickford (1989)

At his memorial service at Epiphany, David Pickford was eulogized as one who knew that “life was short and fragile, and every moment mattered.” As a young man, Pickford watched his younger sister, Sarah, as she died of leukemia. And now David, at age 45, had died of complications from AIDS. A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Pickford graduated from Dartmouth College and then proudly served in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam during the 1960’s. He went on to receive a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He served two years with the Peace Crops in Kenya. Upon his return to the U.S., his career included work in a private investment banking firm and the U.S. Treasury Department as assistant secretary for administration.

Pickford was diagnosed with AIDS in July 1987. Within several months, he spoke at Dartmouth on “Living with AIDS: Blame and Compassion” and later was a panelist at Harvard on “AIDS as a Political Issue in Campaign ’88.” The eulogy for David Pickford included this tribute: “David gave life everything it asked of him, every moment of every day, in every context, for better or for worse. He did it with enormous strength of will; he did it with elegance and grace; he did it with faith, hope and love.”

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