Marc Hansen took pride in pride.
Hansen, who was HIV positive and had been in and out of the hospital for the past couple months, died Tuesday. According to his former partner, Mark Maybee, Hansen had a blood infection but the exact cause of death is still a mystery.
Originally from California, Hansen, 53, was an Air Force veteran who moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1989. He got his start in community involvement by emceeing at charity fundraisers.
“He tried to do everything he could for the community. He’d volunteer for anything and everything he could. He volunteered for a lot of things in the community,” Maybee said.
Hansen, the former president and co-chair of Pride Fort Lauderdale and Pride South Florida who resigned amidst controversy two years ago, was involved in multiple LGBT organizations and causes. He was a give his shirt off his back kind of guy, said Maybee. “He would do anything to help anybody out if he could. He would try to help one way or another. If he couldn’t help he would try and find somebody who could.”
Hours after Hansen’s death, condolences and remembrances poured in on his and other Facebook pages.
“I’m so sorry to hear that Marc has passed away. His energetic spirit made bowling and bingo that much more fun! His commitment to the LGBTQ community was priceless. He was a good, kind, fun loving man. He will be missed. Rest with the Angels Marc!” wrote Robert Leguizamon.
“My heart is aching. Thank you for your service to our country. Thank you for all the laughter and smiles you shared. Thank you for making ‘O Holy Night’ my favorite Christmas song, even though it makes me cry the first time I hear it each year. Thank you for being such a force for good in the world. You are loved. The world will be a little bit darker without you in it. Rest in Paradise, my friend,” wrote Valorie Daniels.
Rocky Bowell, who knew Hansen for many years and worked with him on LGBT events such as the Stonewall festival, remembers Hansen as “very passionate, very driven as far as trying to help the community or help people out. He was very fun loving and very serious when it comes to being involved in a job.”
“It’s tough because we just lost Ms. Vicky [a Pride South Florida board member who died] two months ago. We obviously will try and honor what he did,” said Bowell, who regrets not returning a phone call from Hansen the week before his death.
“That even hurts worse.”
As of publication time, no information was available yet on funeral services.