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Bedford Elias "Skip" Aiken, III
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Birth: Mar. 16, 1945
Florida, USA
Death: Nov. 22, 1991
San Francisco
San Francisco County
California, USA

Computer programmer, equal rights activist. Skip was an remarkable man and cut a powerful figure. A devout Quaker with a love of things military yet with a soul that was gentle and generous. He often spoke to people in their native language and though he had perfect hearing, became fluent in American Sign Language.

He married young, had a son named "Scott" he adored, but soon divorced and in 1974 came to San Francisco after coming out as a gay man. He quickly adjusted and became an activist for human rights. He was unafraid to speak out when it came to equality and gay rights. Skip spoke out against homophobia wherever he found it and passionately did so on numerous occasions. Something very few dared in those less-tolerant decades of the 70s and 80s.

Highly intelligent with a genius I.Q., Skip fell in love with the early Apple home computers and was among the first to own one and create programs for it. He could answer questions about the most obscure trivia, yet was never brash or boastful. He sang in the Gay Men's Chorus and his resonant bass voice was heard for a couple of seasons with them.

During the early 80s he worked occasionally as a bouncer at "Chaps", a favorite tavern. His imposing frame, clear blue eyes, red mustache and erect posture, standing at the door, he commanded respect and admiration. He was strong and assertive, yet forever a man of contrasts, he was also quite modest, soft-spoken and a great listener in his everyday encounters with others. For the last 7 years of his life, he carried the message of sobriety in English and American Sign Language with him. His partner was Kenneth T., a wonderful man who he cared about greatly.

Unfortunately Skip had a sudden heart attack at age 46 and 2 weeks later had a triple bypass operation. He died during surgery.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, December 14th, 1991 at 4 p.m. at Ocean Beach. The following year, his partner Ken took Skip's ashes to Dunadd in Argyll and Bute. He buried his ashes on the rocky hill, which is the ancient home of the Scottish kings, of which Skip was a proud and direct descendant.

He was a great father, lover, brother and dearest of friends. Countless people miss this extraordinary and one-of-a-kind individual to this day. The work he did while on this earth is being felt to this day in the community. There will never again be one like him. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Bedford Elias Aiken (1916 - 1989)
  Anne Shepherd Wright Aiken (1921 - 1993)
 
Burial:
Cremated, Other.
Specifically: Ashes buried at Dunadd, a hillfort near Kilmartin in Argyll and Bute, Scotland
 
Created by: Christian
Record added: Apr 03, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67816155
Bedford Elias Skip Aiken, III
Added by: Christian
 
Bedford Elias Skip Aiken, III
Added by: Scott Aiken
 
Bedford Elias Skip Aiken, III
Added by: Christian
 
 
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Happy Birthday Skip. I'll never forget the enjoyable time we spent among the Redwood Trees.You made us laugh and we enjoyed the stories about your high adventures, Sure do miss seeing you. Happy St. Patrick's Day also. Sending you <3
- Lita
 Added: Mar. 16, 2014
Thinking of you tonight, my friend.
- Christian
 Added: Nov. 24, 2013
DEAR SKIP: HAPPY BIRTHDAY! AND HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!
- L. S. B.
 Added: Mar. 10, 2013
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