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Irl Sells Barefield

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Irl Sells Barefield Obituary
January 26, 1960 - December 7, 2015 Irl Barefield, 55, died of natural causes on Monday, December 7 at his home in San Francisco. After growing up in Nashville, Tenn., Irl completed his undergraduate studies at Kenyon College and pursued an M.A. and Ph. D. in Philosophy at the University of Chicago before graduating from the Boalt School of Law at UC Berkeley and passing the California Bar. After working with Morrison Foerster and Cooley Godward in San Francisco, he accepted a position as Director of the HIV Care program at St Francis Memorial Hospital. In 2000, he moved to Los Angeles to become the Executive Director of the Aids Research Alliance where he is remembered, together with Paul Alan Cox, Institute for Ethnomedicine, for having negotiated an agreement with the Samoan government for access to the bark of the Mamala tree, found only in the Independent State of Samoa, which showed promise as a possible cure for AIDS. This revolutionary agreement assured that if the product were commercially successful profits would be split between further medical research, the people of Samoa and the pharmaceutical company. The bark ingredient, Prostatin, has proven successful in rendering the HIV virus undetectable in primates and is now in the early stages of human clinical trials with the AIDS Research Alliance in Los Angeles. Irl returned to San Francisco Bay area in 2010. In addition to his professional work, Irl was an avid supporter and volunteer with the Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center in San Francisco, serving on their board in the past, including two terms as board president. Irl is predeceased by his loving parents, the Rev. Sam S. and Mary Nell Sells Barefield, and is survived by a sister, Beth (David) Bogart; a brother, Steven (Kyu Yamamoto); three nephews Ed (Jenn) Bogart, Ryan (Angie Sommer) Bogart and Dean Bogart; his grand-niece Ava Haven Bogart and 8 cousins whom he considered to be siblings: Ted (Janey) Zimmerman, Cathe (Jimmy) Hughes, Stephen (Judy) Zimmerman, Deb (Andrea Pawlisz) Zimmerman, Sharon Barefield, Allen Barefield, Julia (Larry) Johnson and Michael Barefield. Services will be held on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 1:00pm at the Civic Center Residence, 44 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 94012. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, 215 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, www.tndc.org/donate/whytndc/.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Dec. 12 to Dec. 13, 2015
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