Tuesday, October 9, 2012

RIP Donald Suggs

[Photo by Stacie Joy]

Donald Suggs, a familiar face around the neighborhood, died this past weekend. He was 51. A friend said that he had suffered a heart attack. There's no word yet on a memorial or celebration of this life.

EVG contributor Stacie Joy shared the following:

Donald was my friend and an all-around great guy. An activist, a journalist, long-time EV resident, a queer role model, and a wonderful human being.

He also worked at Exit9 on Avenue A. The store had this message yesterday on its Facebook page:

We, at Exit9, would like to express our sincere condolences for the loss of our most caring friend and associate, Donald Suggs. You will be missed not only by us, but by the many customers who looked forward to your endless smile and contagious laughter.

His bio on Facebook reads like this:

I've been in the neighborhood nearly twenty-five years and miss the days when people actually made or did something interesting — rather than swiping their cards and waiting to be entertained. But I still prefer it to anywhere else on the planet!

15 comments:

marjorie said...

Oh, hell -- what a smart, interesting, passionate person he was. I only knew him as the lovely, funny, warm guy at Exit9; I had no idea he had this whole other activist career. It was always such a delight to see him behind the counter -- he was so much fun to talk to! (I don't think I've ever had a conversation that veered from anti-bullying education to Jeffrey Campbell wedges quite so seamlessly.) Condolences to all who loved him.

Anonymous said...

If anyone knows where and when his funeral will be, where to pay our respects or even where to donate money in his memory and honor, please post it here. I am certain I am not the only one who wants -- no, needs -- to know.

Thanks Grieve for posting this. Donald was a light in my life and now that the light's been extinguished the EV seems a bit darker and less filled with love and laughter.

Stacie Joy

Shawn Chittle said...

So sorry Stacie. Need anything please let me know... :-(

Matt said...

Fuck. RIP, Don, evilly snarky ray of sunshine and one of my family's favorite people in the neighborhood. Not sure how we'll break this to our six-year-old, who delighted in wandering into Exit 9 and playing with everything in the store while Don amiably talked comics with him and politics with me. What a bummer. Way too soon.

Anonymous said...

So incredibly sad!!! Another loss. Always a smile and something nice to say.


Lucie Gato.

Love Shine said...

We loved Donald and will miss him dearly. Our condolences go out to all that had the pleasure to know him. His continued encouragement and support for the east village community, LGBT community and the creative minds of those around him was unsurpassed.

Anonymous said...

Back in the 1980's, Donald was one of my editors at the Village Voice, where I wrote about and contributed photographs on street style. He had fabulous taste, and was always in the know on the latest street trends in the East Village. He was tremendous help in editing my photographs for publication. Later, in my queer activist days, i Encountered Donald as media spokesperson for GLADD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance for defamation... I ran into him at Sidewalk Cafe about 10 years ago, and we picked up right off where we left of. he was wonderful, witty, smart, socially conscious, and, and very funny. I lost touch with him, and I had no idea he worked at Exit 9, just a block from where I live... This such such sad news, he was far too young...

102415 said...

I'm so sorry. I loved meeting him in the store. He was a fun smart person.

Charles said...

Donald will surely be missed. We at Exit9 have taken on the responsibility of notifying everyone of whatever public event the family may plan. Stay tuned to this page or our FB page for more news as it develops. Thank you.
Charles (Exit9 owner)

Anonymous said...

Terrible news. My wife and I had just started to get to know Donald from Josie's, Betola, and a handful of other places around here. Sad news indeed.

RIP Donald.

Christa Douaihy said...

My heartfelt and deepest sympathies to Donald's friends, family, Exit 9 and the community at large. People like Donald are reasons why we leave our hometowns and cheaper cities, to come to New York City and call someone like him your neighbor and call this place home. His is a spirit so genuine and so real, I felt cooler just talking to him. An artistic and political sensibility he was a joy to talk to and touch base with. As a member of the extended Exit 9 family I got to know him through our interactions in the store and on Ave A. The East Village has lost one of it's truest friends and most noble ambassador.

Karen Gehres said...

Oh no,he was so nice to me every time I saw him. We had a great talk about the music we love the last time I saw him.He was one of the good people of the neighborhood. We need more people like him.

Anonymous said...

I only met him a couple of times and he was the friendliest, coolest person you would ever want to meet. Rest in Peace Donald, you made me and a whole lot of people smile.

Howard C said...

As a mentor-kind of figure, Donald made things seem less threatening without resorting to lying about their freakishness. He was able to locate and celebrate everyone's inner freak. My first visit to NY and to Jersey City was with Donald in 1986. He was very reassuring and savvy to the likes of me. It was in his Jersey City apartment that I met his roommates (Magda?) and other people who couldn't possibly remember me. They scolded him for corrupting an innocent, but in a way we both were innocent then. Now our man on the street is gone - it's still so hard to believe.

Actowery said...

It was one of my great pleasures and honors to count Donald as a neighbor - one of the people in my "neighborhood" who created connection and spread joy to those he encountered. His special spirit was visible as it radiated from him and he was generous enough to share it with so many. Even a simple "hello" from him made you feel cooler and more interesting. There are so many who will miss him - myself and my family among them. His work, interests, passions and his spirit are gifts for us all to remember and strive for!