R. Michael Burnett
Michael Burnett, Gregory House Programs' founding director and a pioneer of HIV/AIDS services in Hawaii, died February 26 in Honolulu.
Born in Dalhart, TX on December 23, 1945, Michael earned a Master’s of Divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1975. He moved to Honolulu in the early 1980’s and later became active with a group of concerned citizens and professionals who formed the AIDS Community Care Team and developed the service infrastructure for PWAs.
Michael took the lead with housing and founded Ho`omana`olana – now Gregory House Programs – in 1988. He was instrumental in securing federal housing and direct services funds for PLWHA in Hawaii. A true trailblazer and advocate, Michael was committed to ensuring that those dealing with the devastation of HIV/AIDS would not have one major item to worry about—housing.
Retired in 2001, Michael continued to be active on nonprofit boards and with the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. In 2010, he began spending much time in Pattaya, Thailand where he explored Buddhism and the local culture, maintained a small home, and developed a large circle of friends. He considered himself blessed to have called Hawaii ‘home’ for over 30 years and wrote: “I think often of those wonderful boat rides over the clear Hawaii water. You have given me much to be grateful for.”
Michael was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Elmer and Bernice, and Ruth; he is survived by a sister, Jimmie Sue. Michael shall be remembered by his many friends for his interest in music, arts, and theatre; his flair for the dramatic; his humor; his sense of style; and his passionate and compassionate commitment to the equality of all people.
A celebration of Michael’s life will be held on April 24; for details, email email@example.com by April 18. Per Michael’s wishes, donations in his memory may be made to Gregory House Programs.
Please join Gregory House Programs and participate in the 25th Annual Honolulu AIDS Walk, where it is estimated that over 5000 people will walk together on Sunday, April 17th at Kapiolani Park in beautiful Waikiki. The funds raised help support Life Foundation which provides free services to our local community through its HIV Prevention Services: Education, Counseling, Condom Distribution, HIV and Hepatitis C Rapid Testing.
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Our AUW designation number is 71990
Gregory House Programs | 200 N. Vineyard Blvd. Suite A310 Honolulu, HI 96817
Hours: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday - Friday | Phone: (808) 592-9022