He could no longer walk and could barely speak and see, but in a story that appeared in Wednesday's Life & Style ("I Know I'm Never Going to Get Well"), Joseph Rothschild expressed a determination to make the most of his life.
A resident at the Carl Bean AIDS Care Center in the West Adams area of Los Angeles, Rothschild stressed the importance of being tested for HIV. Should the tests prove positive, as they were in Rothschild's case, it was important to live life with ardor and verve, he said, with hope and faith.
Rothschild was a gracious man, sometimes kissing the nurses' hands to thank them for their work. Even in dire illness, he exhibited a sharp, graceful wit. It had been a running joke between him and friends that he would outlast the O.J. Simpson trial.
When the jury arrived at a verdict last week, Rothschild, 61, suggested that a victory celebration was in order. On Monday he told a friend, Hughie Carroll, that such a celebration should include cocktails. Carroll suggested ice cream instead.
His appetite, like his body, had withered; but he finished off the strawberry sundae. On Tuesday, he took a turn for the worse and that night was anointed by Father Mark Ciconne, the hospice chaplain.
Rothschild died at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday.