HUNTINGTON BEACH — Memorial services are scheduled Sunday for a city employee who had worked to educate city residents and his co-workers about AIDS.
Jeff Abramowitz, an assistant city planner, died from complications of AIDS on Oct. 22. He was 30.
Upon taking a leave of absence in January after nearly six years at his job, Abramowitz announced to his co-workers that he had acquired immune deficiency syndrome. He also wrote an article in the city's newsletter about it.
Abramowitz wrote that he felt compelled to discuss his experience with the disease "because I may be the first person with AIDS many of you have known. I want others to realize that AIDS is a disease that affects real people who live and work just as you do, because this is definitely not the last time AIDS will touch your lives."
He said he tried to demonstrate that most people with AIDS are active, working people, and, because of improved treatment, often living longer. But, he wrote, "people who are working are silent and hidden because they are fearful of discrimination. If this continues, attitudes and perceptions will never change."
Susan Pierce, his supervisor in the city's community development department, said she visited Abramowitz in the hospital earlier this year and had kept in touch with him through telephone conversations.
Since Abramowitz was diagnosed as having AIDS in January, 1989, he had sold his condominium, bought a new car, visited Europe and "did all the things he wanted to do, and still enjoyed them at the time," she said.
Pierce described him as "an honest, smart, intelligent, caring person," and said "he just wanted to share all those things with those that he knew."
In accordance with Abramowitz's wishes, a memorial ceremony will be conducted at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Huntington Central Library amphitheater.