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1942 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
KIKEL, Rudy Age 75, of Jamaica Plain, May 23, 2017, died quietly of a heart attack while reading after a day which included a Parkinsons activity at Urbanity Dance in the South End. Beloved husband of Sterling Giles and brother of Joan Danylak of Forest Hills, Queens, NY. Survived also by brother-in-law, Peter Danylak, aunts, Eleanore Tscherne and Henrietta Tschinkel, several cousins and their children, and many friends in Boston and beyond.

Born in 1942 in Brooklyn to Pauline (Staudacher) and Rudolf Kikel, immigrants from Gottschee, a small province in Slovenia, he grew up in a tight knit ethnic community. He attended Catholic schools and St. John's University in Queens, New York, and earned a master's degree from Penn State and a Ph.D. in English from Harvard University in 1975. He taught at Suffolk University for a time, but left academe to work as a building superintendent, which afforded him time to write poetry, which has been published in reviews such as The Kenyon and Massachusetts Reviews, and in books such as Lasting Relations, Long Division, and Talks in the Blue, as well as in numerous anthologies. He later edited several anthologies of gay male poetry. He was awarded a Cultural Achievement Award from the Greater Boston Lesbian/Gay Political Alliance in 1992, and the Grolier Award for poetry in 1997.

When the newspaper Bay Windows was founded in Boston, Kikel joined the team as poetry, arts and entertainment editor. Over more than 20 years he built the second section of that paper into a respected organ for interviews and reviews. Some years after retiring from Bay Windows he published a selection of the popular One of Us newspaper interviews in book form.

Diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease in 2002, and subsequently confronting cancer and other ailments, he maintained a can-do attitude through many stages of adjustment and constantly found new ways to be active both mentally and physically. After 25 years in a relationship with Sterling Giles, they married in 2012. He loved movies and the theater, was an art, stamp, and ephemera collector, and was a parishioner of St. Cecilia Parish. He was a proud friend of Bill W for 35 years. Kikel was known for his deep interest in others, winning smile, and naughty sense of humor.

Cremation has been handled privately. A memorial service will be announced later in the summer. Memorial donations in lieu of flowers may be directed to GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, 30 Winter Street, STE 800, Boston, MA 02108, or to BIDMC (note in memo line: Movement Disorder Center), 330 Brookline Avenue, SCC809D, Boston, MA 02215.
Published in The Boston Globe from May 27 to May 28, 2017
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