Metro Weekly

Dearly Departed

2005 Year in Review: In Memoriam

Wanda Alston
April 7, 1959 – March 16, 2005

GRIEF TRAVELED as fast as the news that Wanda Alston had been murdered in her Northeast home on March 16.

As the head of the recently created Mayor’s Office for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs, Alston knew many in the gay community — and many in the gay community mourned her passing.

That community gathered on March 19 for a special memorial to Alston’s life and work, overflowing the Luther Place Memorial Church at Thomas Circle. Her funeral at the All Souls Unitarian Church in Columbia Heights drew more than 1,000, including virtually all of the district’s political leadership.

An outsized presence in a rough and tumble political community, Alston made no bones about fighting for what she wanted and what she believed the community needed. She also had fought for her own happiness, overcoming personal and familial hardships. She had also found love with her partner, Stacey Long, who in May at the mayor’s summit fondly recounted Alston’s headstrong nature.

“I could not keep up with Miss Alston,” Long laughed, remembering her partner’s hectic schedule and pace. “There was a lot of life in that woman.”

Billy Collison
July 14, 1964 – Jan. 6, 2005

Sam Marsh
(Courtney Lovelace)

Sept. 27, 1954 – Feb. 10, 2005

Karl Matthews
Feb. 27, 1966 – Nov. 10, 2005