From: (John Lauritsen)
Newsgroups: soc.motss
Subject: Obit: Walter J. Phillips
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 97 16:39:50 GMT

[Walter J. Phillips, a long-time gay activist, died last month. 
The following obituary was written by Craig Schoonmaker, President
and founder of Homosexuals Intransigent -- an organization that
predates Stonewall by about a year.]


by L. Craig Schoonmaker

The founder and operator of Paths Untrodden Book Service, a
mail-order business that specialized in out-of-print, small-press,
and hard-to-find books of interest to gay men, has died,
apparently of a severe asthmatic attack, around December 1, 1996,
in Mercer Island, Washington.  (He did not have AIDS or any
AIDS-related condition.)  

Phillips, who founded Paths Untrodden in New York City's Greenwich
Village in 1980, moved to the Seattle area in January of 1996,
partly in the hope that cleaner air than New York's might let him
breathe better.  He was 53 years old. 

Phillips had been a member of _Homosexuals Intransigent!_ (_HI!_)
and Gay Activists Alliance in the 1970s, and was at his death Vice
President of _HI!_, a publishing organization that in recent years
has issued only occasional flyers directed to gay men and letters
directed to media.  Walter participated in many sit-ins and
demonstrations in the early 70s, and was frequently photographed
for the provocative signs, such as "Second Class Citizen", that he
carried in annual Gay Pride Marches.  He regularly travelled to
the annual march in Philadelphia, Washington, and Boston, as well
as New York.  He also participated in all the gay marches on
Washington, starting with that of October 14, 1979. 

Born and raised in Oklahoma, Walter remained throughout life
keenly concerned with the problems of isolated homosexuals, those
living alone in areas far removed from the "gay ghettos" of the
great cities.  He established Paths Untrodden in large part to
reach men who had no gay bookstore nearby, and he often engaged in
personal correspondence with men who needed a kindly "ear" for
their concerns. 

Walter left no survivors but friends, his small immediate family
having predeceased him.   Alas, Paths Untrodden ceased operations
upon his death. 
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