March 24, 2011 | by Joey DiGuglielmo
Obituary: David Michael Womack, 45

David Michael Womack (Photo courtesy of Ian Gibson-Smith)

David Michael Womack died March 18 at age 45 at his home in Shepherdstown, W.Va., surrounded by those he loved. The family is not sure about his cause of death. He had blood and liver complications and was HIV-positive.

Born in 1965 and raised in Huntsville, Ala., as an adult, Womack traveled widely, living in many places including Mobile Ala., Silver Spring Md., and most recently, D.C., Palm Springs, Calif., and Shepherdstown.

Womack, who was gay, was an LGBT activist and formerly worked as an accountant for the Human Rights Campaign. He retired in 2008 to focus on his health. His husband of six years, Ian Gibson-Smith, remembered Womack’s “brilliant mind and quirky sense of humor” and said Womack was, “always armed with a joke or well-placed zinger.”

“He referred to himself as a misanthropic curmudgeon and never met a stranger he did not want to get to know better,” Gibson-Smith said. “David was a passionate, life-long learner with varied talents and interests including pottery, fiber-arts, sculpting, writing and cooking. An eclectic reader, David could usually be found curled up with yet another obscure book on art, philosophy, history, or social theory. Even at the end of his life David was organizing the myriad of books he still hoped to read.”

Womack is survived by his husband; his mother, Martha Delaney of Huntsville, Ala.; sisters Lisa East and Holly Snow also of Huntsville; his niece Samantha East of Salt Lake City, Utah; his husband’s parents, Clifford and Valerie Smith; and his sister-in-law, Julia Lam, and two nephews, Collin and Duncan Lam of Shepherdstown. Womack was preceded in death by his stepfather, Frank Delaney.

A wake is set for Saturday in Martinsburg, W.Va. A memorial service is planned for next month in Alabama. In lieu of flowers, Womack requested friends give blood in his memory. Or memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of the Panhandle, 122 Waverly Court, Martinsburg, WV, 25403 or the IanThom Foundation, 39 Stagshead Court, Martinsburg, WV 25404.

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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