Known as county’s longest living AIDS survivor
Bob (Pub) Publicover passed peacefully at home surrounded by the love of family and friends on December, 31, 2012. Bob, a lifelong resident of Somerville was the former owner/editor of The Somerville News and worked hard to make Somerville “The greatest place to live!” He was a co-founder of the Somerville High Scholarship Fund, was instrumental in remaking Davis Square into what it is today, a member of the Somerville Home Board of Trustees, and was both prominent and respected in local politics. He was a proud member of the Masons (King Solomon’s Lodge) and a much adored Dad Advisor with the Boston Chapter of DeMolay.
Bob may have worn many hats in his lifetime but was proudest of his AIDS work. Having written two books on living with, and educating about AIDS, he was also known as the country’s longest living AIDS survivor (over 30 years positive). His aptly named column, “Bluntly Speaking,” garnered him many accolades and awards. In 1984 he founded The Committee For A Response To AIDS, a non-profit charity that still helps those both living with, and those affected by, the illness. It was through his charity work that he was able to form the Somerville Dinner Program and the AIDS Push Cart which brought food and care to those too ill to care for themselves. He never stopped working to educate people about the disease and was often found quietly giving guidance to those who were newly diagnosed or looking for a gentle word and an open ear.
Bob is survived by his husband David Le Bahn; sister Marilyn Publicover; her children Al Jr., Bill and Mike Schleappe and daughter Darlane Crow; brother Ken Publicover; wife Mary, and their sons Kenny and Tony; sister-in-law Margo Grace; husband Charles and their sons CJ, James and Elliott; sister-in-law Ruth Howell; husband Brian and their daughter Abagail; and father-in law David LeBahn Sr. He is also survived by his very special and dear “2nd family” John and Grace Carabineras and their daughter Nancy Lewis; husband Steve and their children Sharyn and Shawn; and great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by Partner John H. Carabineras and Nephew Steve Schleappe.
Bob was truly an inspiration to all those around him and will be greatly missed by many.
Visitors will be seen on Friday, January 4 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m,. with Masonic service, to be performed by members of King Solomon’s Lodge, at 7 p.m., at Doherty Funeral Home, 855 Broadway, Somerville.
Internment: Saturday, January 5, Puritan Lawn Memorial Park, Peabody.