There are some who bring a light so great to the world, that even after they have gone the light remains.
The Light Remains Memorial at Care Resource’s Midtown Health Center & Administrative Headquarters offers a remarkable opportunity to create a lasting tribute to your loved ones. Preserve cherished legacies and honor those who touched our lives profoundly. Each plaque on the The Light Remains Memorial can be accompanied by a biography or personal story, linked below for future generations to connect with their remarkable journeys.
CLICK HERE TO Honor your loved one
Beatriz M. de la Sierra
Betty was the youngest of three children in the family. Everyone loved to be around Betty because she always placed people and her relationships with them above all. It was typical for her to be late for meetings because she was inevitably enthralled in some deep conversation where someone was pouring their heart out to her. People sought her out for her opinion and opened up freely to her. She was an old soul, somehow seemingly knowing a deeper context to what was being discussed. She had a big adoring personality.
Betty learned to live in the present, to look forward to the future, and not dwell on the past. She had a positive attitude. Even though she suffered greatly in her later years, and could have submitted to her illness, she refused to. She held her head up high, was empathetic to other people’s circumstances, and always offered a helping hand.
She worked until she could, she loved until she could, she laughed until she could and she lived until she could.
We were all blessed to have had her be part of our lives. She will be missed forever.
Bishop S.F. Makalani-Mahee
Bishop S.F. Makalani-MaHee was born on July 5, 1972, to Barbara MaHee and Adisa Makalani. As a young child filled with talent, everyone knew that Bishop would touch lives, although no one knew to what extent. In his early life, Bishop had his first church solo at the age of 4. Many of his Sundays were spent in church serenading the congregation with wonderful gospel renditions such as one of his favorites, “Jesus Can Work It Out.” His school years found him obtaining an education at the Julia Richman High School, which touted such alumni as Gene Anthony Ray and Lauren Bacall. It was here, a love of Broadway was birthed. It was that love of Broadway that brought him to meet producer Cheryl Weisenfeld, who cast Bishop in a number of shows, such as “Grease.”
After moving to Atlanta with family, Bishop began teaching theater classes and courses, as well as lecturing. This afforded him opportunities at Georgia State University, Soapstone Center for the Performing Arts, and Spelman and Morehouse Colleges, respectively. He quickly became immersed and active in the LGBTQ community. Bishop also founded a youth theater troupe, Heart Theater, which performed its inaugural piece, “Journeys” an HIV/AIDS educational play conceived and directed by him.
After becoming the youngest commissioned Pastor in Unity Fellowship Church history, life called him away from Atlanta in 1997. He relocated to South Florida and it was here he found his tribe; his purpose, his congregation. It was here that Bishop became freest and happiest. He continued his work as an activist in the LGBTQ community, working at the PRIDE Center in Wilton Manors as well as head-spinning a number of other not-for-profits. He founded Black Gay Pride South Florida and co-founded BLACKOUT, South Florida’s first African-American LGBTQ Film Festival. Bishop was also an active member of the Dolphin Democrats, taking a job at the Broward Democratic Party office. He was also a former board member of the Broward Human Rights Board.
Employed at the Broward County Department of Health at the time of his untimely passing, Bishop SF Makalani-Mahee was the Coordinator of the Transgender Program, advocating for those like himself. A Trans man who would be facing similar struggles. Bishop SF was a man who spent his life loving so many others unconditionally. He will forever be remembered as a man loved by so many. We love you, we miss you. Continue walking in your light, redefining our faith, and living your life in the rhythm.
Bishop S.F. Makalani-Mahee is survived by: his mother, Barbara; brothers, Darcy, Jeffrey, and Justin; sister, Marsha; several nephews; Juan Carlos, and Desiree, and his extended NYC and Atlanta network of friends; his South Florida friends with whom he identified as his family: Mitch, Sybil, Lisa, Jules, Rachel, Grace, Donnell, Stephen, Lonzo, “The Pack”, Saul, Rajee, Sheen, Paige, Pam, as well as Western New York friends, Cleveland friends and everyone who was touched by that contagious smile of his; there are too many to name them all. Bishop was loved and cared for by so many including the countless families that took him in as their own. Bishop fought a great fight and will forever be remembered as a true leader and activist. Rest now our brother. Rest.
At the age of 45, Bishop S.F. Makalani-MaHee, of Oakland Park, Florida passed into glory surrounded by a small but close group of friends and family. A public service was held on December 3, 2017, at the Sunshine Cathedral, 1480 SW 9th Ave Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33315.
Good Will in a Time of Prejudice Carlo Leoni, a long-time friend of the Care Resource family, made his mark in the fashion world early on in his career as one of the most exciting and trendsetting shoe designers, creating the famous “Carlo Leoni Collection” by Volare. But outside of the fashion world, Carlo made his mark in our community as an enlightened and empathetic leader. In defying the prejudice of his time, Carlo’s courage and leadership enabled Care Resource to help vulnerable individuals when they needed it most.
According to Rick Siclari, Care Resource’s CEO, “In 1998, I drove up and down Biscayne Boulevard, searching for ‘For Rent’ signs that indicated an available office space. I was seeking a home for Care Resource—a new project formed from the merger of the Health Crisis Network (HCN) and the Community Research Initiative (CRI). Due to the stigma of HIV/AIDS within the community at the time, I was met with disdain and prejudice. When seeking to rent office space, I was told, ‘We don’t want your kind of people here—we don’t want to get AIDS. You won’t be able to use the elevator with the rest of us.’
I then met Carlo Leoni. He was the owner of the office on 225 Northeast 34th Street, a block off Biscayne Boulevard. He welcomed me and the mission of supporting the LGBTQ community in the fight against AIDS.” Throughout his life, Carlo remained unwavering in his support to Care Resource’s mission, clearing the way for hundreds of thousands of individuals to receive the quality comprehensive health and support services they deserve. And for that, we are forever grateful.
Chanel Brown “Chanel Devine Sherrington”
Chanel Devine Sherrington was the illusion of Isaiah Brown and was affectionately nicknamed Cheerleader Fish. He was an entertainer out of Miami, Florida. Isaiah sadly passed away in November of 2007. Our heart goes out to all the friends and family of Isaiah and salute the artistry that was Chanel Devine Sherrington.
Christopher H. Brandon
Christopher was born in Seaford Town Jamaica and adopted as a newborn by Horace and Kathleen Brandon who, 13 months later, adopted his newborn brother Peter. Christopher was the first legal adoption on the Island. Five years later, Kathleen gave birth to Mary Kay.
The three had a wonderful childhood together on the island. After graduating from Campion College in 1974, Christopher joined the Jamaica Defense Force and traveled to England where he attended the Officer Training Academy of the Royal Air Force. After a six-month illness, he received an Honorable Discharge in 1975.
After recuperating in Kingston, Christopher came to Miami to study at the University of Miami, graduating in 1980 with a degree in Business Administration. After working a year for Biscayne Federal in Miami, he went back to Kingston in 1981 and worked for Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. In 1984 he returned to Miami, and in 1986 he went to work for Miami Dade County as an administrator, working with a number of departments until he settled into a position at the Water and Sewer Department. After 35 years with the County, Christopher retired earlier this year.
In the 20 years he was a member at St Stephen’s, Christopher volunteered at the annual Arts & Crafts Show, served a term on the Board of Trustees for the Endowment Fund, and volunteered in the tax prep center since its first year. He also was serving as Treasurer on the board of CRC Community Support, a related entity to Care Resource.
In 1989, Christopher met Russell at church after a Good Friday service. They had their first date a week later and moved in together in 1990. They were married on June 14, 2014, at the home of friends in Brooksville, Maine and had their marriage blessed that fall at their parish in Miami.
For the thirty-two years they were together Christopher and Russell entertained every chance they got. Christopher complained constantly about the cost of having people to dinner but loved being, and was always, the most gracious and entertaining host.
Christopher loved to travel and took Russell, on some truly amazing vacations: San Fransisco CA, a driving trip through Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, cruises with groups of friends and family in the Caribbean, through French Polynesia, Norway, from Ft Lauderdale to Rome, from Venice to Rome, the Panama Canal, and numerous others as well as a river cruise up the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basil Switzerland where we spent time with cousins and toured Switzerland. There were trips to England with family and friends for birthday parties, one driving trip from London up into Scotland with friends, and a month in Barcelona with ‘the boys’. He told his sister that without Russell he would have never traveled so much but, without Christopher, Russell would never have gotten to travel so much.
In 2016 they began the search for the home where they would spend their retirement in Maine and, shortly after Christopher’s retirement, headed to Bucksport. There Christopher was able to spend his last months enjoying the cool summer, seeing the evening sun reflect off the Penobscot River, entertaining visiting friends and family, going to dinner, having people over, and watching the leaves change from green to gold.
Christopher’s pulmonary disease advanced much more quickly than expected, and he began to decline in the early fall. Although he never complained to anyone, breathing had become more difficult by the last week in October, and he was hospitalized. He continued to decline for a week, and on his last day, after having made final requests of Russell and his sister Mary Kay, said that he was ready and we needed to let him go. The end was peaceful with Russell, MaryKay, Camilla, and Joseph with him.
Christopher was predeceased by his parents Horace and Kathleen and his brother Peter. He is survived by his husband Russell, his sister Mary Kay and her husband Rob, by his nephew Ryan, and by his niece Tara, her husband Elliot, and their son Miles. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Jay and his wife Tina, niece Heather, her husband Scott, their children, Addie and Bella, nephew Stephen and his wife Keri, their children Braydon and Ellia, and nephew Dillon. Numerous cousins spanning three generations comprise a long list of survivors.
Altruistic, visionary, compassionate, innovative, intelligent–Frank Wager–co-founder and guiding light of the White Party.
Frank was born in El Salvador and educated in Boston. After graduation he headed for Paris in the mid 70s where he became an integral member of the mythic Club Sept crowd which included actors, artists and fashion designers…including St. Laurent. Frank’s first business venture was in the world of fashion where in partnership with the inimitable Guy Cuevas, their first collection caused a furor and inspired St. Laurent’s ethnic look.
With the growing political unrest back home in Central America, he was forced to abandon the City of Light and return home to the New World. Looking for a place to resettle his family, he chose Miami.
Once established in Miami he opened and operated a highly successful Club Clue Nonstop Boutique in Coconut Grove and South Miami where he and his staff created and popularized what became the dance club uniform of the 90s. Moving to South Beach his boutique, restaurant, salon, Tutti Plein was part of the first wave of trendsetting businesses which helped popularize South Beach as the Ultimate Destination.
In 1985, founders of the newly formed health crisis network asked Frank to head their fundraising efforts. Frank hadn’t yet been diagnosed with HIV. He and Jorge Suarez began planning the very first White Party as AIDS began decimating the gay population. It was an event they hoped would raise awareness – and a few dollars – to help fight HIV/AIDS in South Florida. The event netted $16,000 that first year. Over the years it became an internationally recognized event netting hundred times more than the original figure. For many the White Party was a time of reflection, of remembering, of compassion, of caring, of love and of hope, joy and courage.
Frank helped our community fight the ravages of HIV/AIDS when many were afraid to even say its name. Frank, Jorge and their friends dropped leaflets outside gay bars all over Miami and Ft Lauderdale, got businesses to donate food and liquor and told everyone about the big “White” party. Sixteen hundred guests, asked to wear white, showed up that Sunday night, Dec. 1, 1985. Each paid $10.
In Frank’s own words, “The White Party was started by a wonderful group of people for a good cause. It comes from the heart, from the soul, and I hope the Spirit of the White Party is never dulled in the future, that it keeps its magic until we give the last one to celebrate the end of this disease.”
The White Party™ gained prominence in Miami as one of the largest and most iconic HIV/AIDS fundraisers in the country and continued for more than 30 years. Its all-white dress code reflects a symbol of unity and solidarity in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Renowned DJs, performers, and celebrities contributed to the event’s energy and fundraising efforts supporting HIV/AIDS research, treatment, and prevention.
Frank Wagner died of AIDS in 1994, just 42 years old. “One thing Frank wanted to do was reach out to young people, to get out the message about safe sex, ” said Barbara Shack, his widow. “And it turned into this fabulous party.”
James Michael Pruitt
Kevin Sayre, RN
When we were lost, Kevin served as the light to give us hope. Because of him, others found their way. He was my best friend since I was 7 years old – and he remained my closest friend until his death. In fact, he was at my side for every important event in my life until his death – and I had a hard time handling it without him.
Kevin discovered he had HIV at 21 and died at 42 in a drowning accident. When we used to test people for HIV back in the day, we would encourage them to live their lives fully – “you never know – you could get hit by a bus tomorrow,” we would say. He was not hit by a bus – but a stupid, senseless drowning.
I started Mercy’s AIDS program to help Kevin and people like him. It was harder to get insurance in those days. Kevin was the first case manager – and he was hired to facilitate referrals from all of the agencies from Mercy’s AIDS Program as the “external” referrals. When patients would complain about their lives, Kevin would often tell them that they had more CD4 cells than he did – and he was still working. He was inspirational to many.
Lionel Abreu, PFC USA
Pedro Pablo Zamora (born Pedro Pablo Zamora y Díaz, February 29, 1972 – November 11, 1994) was a Cuban-American AIDS educator and television personality. As one of the first openly gay men with AIDS to be portrayed in popular media, Zamora brought international attention to HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ issues and prejudices through his appearance on MTV’s reality television series, The Real World: San Francisco. At 22, Miami’s Pedro Zamora became a national symbol for living with HIV,
Zamora’s romantic relationship with Sean Sasser was also documented on the show; their relationship was later nominated by MTV viewers for “Favorite Love Story” award, and the broadcast of their commitment ceremony in 1994, in which they exchanged vows, was the first such same-sex ceremony in television history, and is considered a landmark in the history of the medium.
U.S. President Bill Clinton credited Zamora with personalizing and humanizing those living with HIV—especially to Latino communities—with his activism, including his testimony before Congress. Zamora’s personal struggle with AIDS, and his conflict with housemate David “Puck” Rainey is credited with helping to make The Real World a hit show, for which Time ranked it #7 on its list of “32 Epic Moments in Reality-TV History”.
Pedro died on November 11, 1994, one day after the final episode of The Real World San Francisco aired. He was subsequently honored by President Bill Clinton for his HIV/AIDS awareness work and SW 59th Street in Miami bears the name “Pedro Zamora Way”.
Pilar Martin Vina
Sister Edith Gonzalez
For those who knew her, Sister Edith Gonzalez was much more than a spiritual leader. The people whose lives she touched describe her as a dear friend, a mother figure and a confidante. She devoted her life to working with the perpetually underrepresented — children, AIDS patients, refugees, the impoverished in need of health care and the developmentally disabled.
After nearly half a century of caring for the sick and the poor, on March 15th 2013, Gonzalez lost a lengthy battle with cancer surrounded by her religious Sisters and her brother, Edward and sister, Ethel. She was 69 years old. “I’m not trying to say she was a saint, because she would be the first person to say she wasn’t a saint,” said Shed Boren, a social worker who knew Gonzalez for more than 20 years. But she was one of the most compassionate and least judgmental people he’s ever known, Boren said. “She represented the beauty of God’s love.”
Edith was born September 20, 1943 in Key West, Florida and moved to Miami as a teen-ager. She graduated from Immaculata Academy, Miami. In 1965, Edith received her B.A. from the University of Miami and in 1968, her M.S. in Special Education from Barry College.
In 1968 Edith entered the Sisters of St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo, an Italian congregation of religious women who serve the developmentally challenged at Marian Center School in Miami professing vows in 1975. She served in education of developmentally challenged persons and as Administrator of the Refugee Program in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, until 1984.
In 1984 Sister Edith requested transfer to the Sisters of St. Joseph, a Florida religious congregation whom she had known from her youth.
As a Sister of St. Joseph, Sister Edith taught at St. Mary’s Cathedral School, Miami; served as administrator/director of the Cathedral Parish Early Education Center, St. Augustine and as principal of St. Stephen School in Miramar.
In 1993 Sister Edith began Clinical Pastoral Education studies at Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas. Upon return to Miami in 1995, she spent many years in Pastoral Care at Mercy Hospital, Miami, was promoted to Director of Pastoral Care and later, to Vice President of Mission Integration. Sister served as Vice President until her resignation in June, 2012, necessitated by her advanced cancer.
From 2002 to 2010, Sister Edith served the Sisters of St. Joseph as a member of General Governance (Councilor) while continuing her ministry as Vice-President of Mission Integration at Mercy Hospital. Sister served on the Boards of Mercy Hospital, SSJ Health Foundation, and as chair of Mercy Mission Services, which operates San Juan Bosco Clinic a free clinic for persons otherwise without access to health care.
Whether walking the halls of the school or the hospital or the dirt roads of Guatemala, it was Sister’s total reliance on Divine Providence and her love for Christ that impelled her to faithful service.
Terry Michael Scott
Charles was born in Kearny, NJ. The son of Mary and Charles Humphries Sr., and brother of Mary Humphries. Charles graduated Kearny High School, and entered the navy at the age of 17. Serving for four years aboard an aircraft carrier and in Asia, which he grew to love. Having had piano lessons as a child, he was tapped by the navy chaplain to play a portable organ. His work background took him to Wall Street to Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette, and then to Dean Witter. In the medical field working with opticals for surgeons, at times, fitting them in operating rooms. Then to a Swiss company also in the medical field.
Moving to Florida in August of 1987, Charles realized he had a religious calling. He was ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal Church on December 16, 2005. Over the years he served as Deacon at St Stephens, Coconut Grove, All Souls Miami Beach and The Ancient Spanish Monastery of St Bernard de Clairvaux.
He served as a Chaplain at Jackson Memorial Hospital dealing with Trauma and the Emergency Room, then Jackson North and recently at Hollywood Memorial.
Musically he loved the organ and was substitute organist at All Souls and The Spanish Monastery. He served as chaplain to The American Guild of Organists and was a board member of The Khmer Education Foundation, helping children get an education in Cambodia. Our trips to Cambodia meeting the children gave him great joy.
Together we spent 58 years together, and I will always miss him.
In loving memory of Humberto, who pursued the American dream with determination. A cherished brother and friend–earning deep respect from our community and clients. His unwavering commitment and sacrifices must be remembered. May his radiant spirit inspire. Forever in our hearts.
Humberto came to Care Resource Community Health Centers, Inc. to pursue his American dream. Most of our staff had a good relationship with Humberto. We considered him a brother, a friend, and an uncle to our children. He was the best employee that I had. He was well respected in our community and liked by our clients. I miss him and he sacrificed a lot to be at his job. It is important that his legacy continues, and others know about the positive light he carried.
By Valjean Brookins, Food Services Manager, Food For Life Network
Julio Gonzalez Abreu
Bernard Fils-Aimé was a Haitian entrepreneur and activist. He was part of community assistance organizations for Haitians in America, cofounding the Haitian Refugee Center and serving on the board of the Haitian Education & Leadership Program. He also served as the managing director of Comcel Haiti from its founding in 1998 until its sale to Digicel in 2012.
As an entrepreneur, he helped pioneer cellular service in Haiti as the chief executive officer of a mobile phone company where he made corporate giving and responsibility the rule rather than the exception, and gave working Haitians access to technology and the chance to get connected.
As a retiree, he used his skills as a former assistant dean of students at Miami Dade College to groom Haiti’s next generation by giving them a shot at a college education as chairman of the board of the Haitian Education & Leadership Program, HELP. But it is Bernard Fils-Aimé’s role as a militant activist and organizer, which eventually led him to become a founding member of one of the most powerful Haitian rights organizations in the United States, the Haitian Refugee Center in Miami, that he was most proud of and will be best remembered for.
“I was at the forefront of the battle to gain legal status for Haitian refugees,” Fils-Aimé told state Rep. Dotie Joseph in May as part of a spotlight on trailblazing Haitians during Haitian Heritage month. “We won many legal battles, which paved the way for the development of the vibrant Haitian-American community in South Florida today.”
Reference: The Miami Herald: August 11, 2020
Carmen M. Cuadra
I was never ready for you to leave. We miss you but heaven is so lucky to have you.
Love You Mommy. 1 Corinthians 13:4–8a)
George M. Ramos
James (Jim) K. Lowry
Christie was such a fun person to be around, she was the glue that connected family members, friends, coworkers, to create everyday miracles that made life so wonderful and worth living. Her love for others and example of compassion, forgiveness, and selflessness will live with us forever.