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Former President of AIDS Care Dies

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ventura AIDS activist Christopher Howard Dye, 37, died at home in his sleep this week at his parents’ home in Ventura after a long bout with the disease.

Dye, who was diagnosed with the disease more than three years ago, helped establish a county-operated clinic for AIDS patients and served for two years as president of AIDS Care, an organization that helps AIDS sufferers get care.

AIDS Care also offers a buddy system to those who find themselves abandoned after their diagnoses or unable to talk with friends or relatives.

“With AIDS Care, even if their families don’t support them, they don’t have to be alone,” Dye said during a March interview, about four months after his failing health had caused him to resign his position with AIDS Care.

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Dye said he encountered prejudice from hotel owners, the clergy and dentists when he tried to find services for clients in the AIDS CARE program.

But isolation was never the case for Dye, whose family supported him in his work and nursed him through his last six difficult months.

His mother, Betty Jean Dye, said Tuesday that the family was very proud of Christopher, who would not allow anyone to think of him as a victim.

“He was a strong man,” his mother said. “I know he is at peace now.”

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Born in Van Nuys, Dye graduated from high school there before he moved with his family to Ventura, where he attended Ventura College.

Besides his mother, he is survived by his father, Howard of Ventura, and his sister and brother-in-law, Trisha and Bill Davis of Santa Barbara.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at the Ted Mayr Funeral Home in Ventura, with the Rev. Catherine Houchins of the Metropolitan Community Church of Ventura officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to AIDS Care of Ventura County.

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