Skip to main content

Don Benschneider Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MS-424

Scope and Contents

The Don Benscheider Collection contains the diaries and writings of Don Benscheider starting

with his diary for the mission he served for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in

1966 and his subsequent diaries and writings up to his death in 2007. The diaries give an intimate

look into the life of a gay man and his struggles with his family and church, and later with HIV,

AIDS, and the agony of losing friends to the disease while being a long term survivor.

The collection is broken up into seven series: Address and Date Books, Diaries, Legal,

Newsletters and Correspondence, Resume, Writings, and Miscellaneous. Diaries are comprised

of all his diaries between 1966 and his death in 2007. The correspondence and miscellaneous

items referenced within the diaries are in the corresponding folders with the dates referenced on

the items. Writings contain the book he was working on listed by the chapter number and name,

as well as his annual Christmas newsletters and other writing listed alphabetically. Several items

within his diaries can be found in the chapters of his books as notes.

Miscellaneous contains 3 ½ inch floppy dics, most of which were unreadable. However, there

were a few items that were retrieved from them which comprise the Legal series and the Resume

series.

Dates

  • 1946 - 2007

Biographical / Historical

Don Benscneider was born on May 7, 1946, in Norwalk, California. He was raised in a very

religious home within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and attended a mission for

the church from October 1965 to January 1968 to the Berlin North German Mission. He later

attended Brigham Young University where he hoped to find a way live within the guide lines of

the church, for he had known since he was five that he was gay. When he realized that was not

possible he worked to have his name removed from the records of the church and was

excommunicated on November 23, 1982. He struggled with his family for the rest of his life.

After graduating from BYU he worked to become an interior designer within the Los Angeles

area, even starting his own business on a few occasions. In 1980 he was diagnosed with HIV

which helped steer his life. He went back to school and received a Master’s Degree in 1986 and

began teaching at Long Beach State, where he was eventually let go because of his HIV status.

In 1987 He moved to Florida. In 1988 he began his association with the “Names Project,” which

was the AIDS Quilt project that toured across the county, with many of the squares having

names of his friends who had died. In 1992 he began his association with the People With Aids

Coalition to bring awareness to the corruption in the Aids programs that were leaving the people

with aids without help. In 1994 he left Florida and eventually settled in Hawaii until his death in

2007.

Extent

13 Boxes

Arrangement

BOX 1





Addresses and Datebook



FD 1 Monday December 27, 1976- Sunday January 1, 1978



FD 2 Monday December 26, 1977- Sunday December 31, 1978



FD 3 Monday January 1, 1979- Sunday January 6, 1980



FD 4 Monday December 28, 1987- Sunday January 1, 1989





FD 5 No Date



Diaries



FD 6 Missionary Diary October 1965- January 1968, 1 of 5



FD 7 Missionary Diary October 1965- January 1968, 2 of 5



FD 8 Missionary Diary October 1968- January 1968, 3 of 5



BOX 2



Diaries



FD 1 Missionary Diary October 1965- January 1968, 4 of 5



FD 2 Missionary Diary October 1965- January 1968, 5 of 5



FD 3 Missionary Diary October 1965- January 1968, Miscellaneous



FD 4 Diary I, January 1978- October 1978



FD 5 Diary I, January 1978- October 1978, Correspondence



FD 6 Diary I, January 1978- October 1978, Miscellaneous



FD 7 Diary II, November 1978- March 17, 1979



FD 8 Diary II, November 1978- March 17, 1979, Correspondence



FD 9 Diary II, November 1978- March 17, 1979, Miscellaneous



FD 10 Diary III, March 19, 1979- August 9, 1979



BOX 3



Diaries



FD 1 Diary III, March 19, 1979- August 9, 1979, Correspondence



FD 2 Diary III, March 19, 1979- August 9, 1979, Miscellaneous



FD 3 Diary IV, August 11, 1979- December 25, 1979



FD 4 Diary IV, August 11, 1979- December 25, 1979, Correspondence



FD 5 Diary IV, August 11, 1979- December 25, 1979, Miscellaneous



FD 6 Diary V, December 21, 1979- April 19, 1980



FD 7 Diary V, December 21, 1979- April 19, 1980, Correspondence



FD 8 Diary V, December 21, 1979- April 19, 1980, Miscellaneous





FD 9 Diary VI, April 20, 1980- November 27, 1980



FD 10 Diary VI, April 20, 1980- November 27, 1980, Correspondence



FD 11 Diary VI, April 20, 1980- November 27, 1980, Miscellaneous



FD 12 Diary VII, November 30, 1980- March 1, 1981



FD 13 Diary VII, November 30, 1980- March 1, 1981, Correspondence



FD 14 Diary VII, November 30, 1980- March 1, 1981, Miscellaneous



BOX 4



Diaries



FD 1 Diary VIII, March 2, 1981- July 22, 1981,



FD 2 Diary VIII, March 2, 1981- July 22, 1981, Correspondence



FD 3 Diary VIII, March 2, 1981- July 22, 1981, Miscellaneous



FD 4 Diary IX, July 22, 1981- May 29, 1982



FD 5 Diary IX, July 22, 1981- May 29, 1982, Correspondence



FD 6 Diary IX, July 22, 1981- May 29, 1982, Miscellaneous



FD 7 Diary X, March 22, 1982- August 4, 1982



FD 8 Diary X, March 22, 1982- August 4, 1982, Correspondence



FD 9 Diary X, March 22, 1982- August 4, 1982, Miscellaneous



FD 10 Diary XI, August 5, 1982- October 21, 1982



FD 11 Diary XI, August 5, 1982- October 21, 1982, Correspondence



FD 12 Diary XI, August 5, 1982- October 21, 1982, Miscellaneous



BOX 5



Diaries



FD 1 Diary XII, October 22, 1982- December 31, 1982





FD 2 Diary XII, October 22, 1982- December 31, 1982, Correspondence





FD 3 Diary XII, October 22, 1982- December 31, 1982, Miscellaneous





FD 4 Diary XIII, January 1, 1983- March 18, 1983



FD 5 Diary XIII, January 1, 1983- March 18, 1983, Correspondence



FD 6 Diary XIII, January 1, 1983- March 18, 1983, Miscellaneous



FD 7 Diary XIV, March 19, 1983- November 18, 1983



FD 8 Diary XIV, March 19, 1983- November 18, 1983, Correspondence



FD 9 Diary XIV, March 19, 1983- November 18, 1983, Miscellaneous



BOX 6



Diaries



FD 1 Diary XV, July 1, 1983- July 18, 1984



FD 2 Diary XV, July 1, 1983- July 18, 1984, Correspondence



FD 3 Diary XV, July 1, 1983- July 18, 1984, Miscellaneous



FD 4 Diary XVI, August 26, 1984- December 28, 1986



FD 5 Diary XVI, August 26, 1984- December 28, 1986, Correspondence 1 of 2



FD 6 Diary XVI, August 26, 1984- December 28, 1986 2 of 2



FD 7 Diary XVI, August 26, 1984- December 28, 1986, Miscellaneous



BOX 7



Diaries



FD 1 Diary XVII, January 1, 1987- October 8, 1987



FD 2 Diary XVII, January 1, 1987- October 8, 1987, Correspondence



FD 3 Diary XVII, January 1, 1987- October 8, 1987, Miscellaneous



FD 4 Diary XVIII, November 7, 1987- June 16, 1988



FD 5 Diary XVIII, November 7, 1987- June 16, 1988, Correspondence



FD 6 Diary XVIII, November 7, 1987- June 16, 1988, Miscellaneous



FD 7 Diary XIX, June 24, 1988- September 11, 1989



FD 8 Diary XIX, June 24, 1988- September 11, 1989, Correspondence



FD 9 Diary XIX, June 24, 1988- September 11, 1989, Miscellaneous



BOX 8



Diaries



FD 1 Diary XX, January 14, 1990- August 23, 1991



FD 2 Diary XX, January 14, 1990- August 23, 1991, Correspondence



FD 3 Diary XX, January 14, 1990- August 23, 1991, Miscellaneous



FD 4 Diary XXI, August 30, 1991- July 25, 1992



FD 5 Diary XXI, August 30, 1991- July 25, 1992, Correspondence



FD 6 Diary XXI, August 30, 1991- July 25, 1992, Miscellaneous



FD 7 Diary XXII, August 12, 1992- July 12, 1994



FD 8 Diary XXII, August 12, 1992- July 12, 1994, Miscellaneous



FD 9 Diary XXIII, July 14, 1994- August 24, 1994



FD 10 Diary XXIII, July 14, 1994- August 24, 1994, Correspondence



FD 11 Diary XXIII, July 14, 1994- August 24, 1994, Miscellaneous



BOX 9



Diaries



FD 1 Diary XXIV, August 25, 1994- October 29, 1994



FD 2 Diary XXIV, August 25, 1994- October 29, 1994, Correspondence



FD 3 Diary XXIV, August 25, 1994- October 29, 1994, Miscellaneous



FD 4 Diary XXV, October 30, 1994- May 1, 1995



FD 5 Diary XXV, October 30, 1994- May 1, 1995, Correspondence



FD 6 Diary XXV, October 30, 1994- May 1, 1995, Miscellaneous



FD 7 Diary XXVI, March 17, 1995- November 19, 1995



FD 8 Diary XXVI, March 17, 1995- November 19, 1995, Correspondence



FD 9 Diary XXVI, March 17, 1995- November 19, 1995, Miscellaneous



BOX 10



Diaries



FD 1 Diary XXVII, November 20, 1995- November 14, 1996



FD 2 Diary XXVII, November 20, 1995- November 14, 1996, Correspondence



FD 3 Diary XXVII, November 20, 1995- November 14, 1996, Miscellaneous



FD 4 Diary XXVIII, November 15, 1996- September 8, 1997



FD 5 Diary XXVIII, November 15, 1996- September 8, 1997, Correspondence



FD 6 Diary XXVIII, November 15, 1996- September 8, 1997, Miscellaneous



FD 7 Diary XXIX, October 17, 1997- February 21, 2000



FD 8 Diary XXIX, October 17, 1997- February 21, 2000, Correspondence



FD 9 Diary XXIX, October 17, 1997- February 21, 2000, Miscellaneous



BOX 11



Diaries



FD 1 Diary XXX, February 21, 2000- December 26, 2001





FD 2 Diary XXX, February 21, 2000- December 26, 2001, Correspondence



FD 3 Diary XXX, February 21, 2000- December 26, 2001, Miscellaneous



FD 4 Diary XXXI, January 1, 2002- January 1, 2003



FD 5 Diary XXXI, January 1, 2002- January 1, 2003, Correspondence



FD 6 Diary XXXI, January 1, 2002- January 1, 2003, Miscellaneous



FD 7 Diary XXXII, January 1, 2003- December 27, 2004



FD 8 Diary XXXII, January 1, 2003- December 27, 2004, Correspondence



FD 9 Diary XXXII, January 1, 2003- December 27, 2004, Miscellaneous



FD 10 Diary XXXIII, January 24, 2005- July 1, 2007



FD 11 Diary XXXIII, January 24, 2005- July 1, 2007, Correspondence



FD 12 Diary XXXIII, January 24, 2005- July 1, 2007, Miscellaneous



BOX 12



Legal



FD 1 Donald’s Will, 1998



FD 2 Living Will, November 1999



Newsletters and Correspondence



FD 3 Correspondence, 1994- 2000



FD 4 Jack Family Newsletters, 1980, 1986



Resume



FD 5 Resume for Donald C. Benschneider



Writings



FD 6 “A Farewell to Arms,” Typed Manuscript, June 1994





FD 7 Christmas Newsletters, Typed, 1987- 2006



FD 8 “Dear Family and Friends” Typed Manuscript, June 1994



FD 9 “Edward Joseph Bettinger,” Handwritten and Typed manuscript, November 17,

1998, with notes



FD 10 “Letter to Friends and Family-Farewell,” Handwritten Manuscript, August 1995



FD 11 “My Accomplishments,” “Things I’m Proud of,” Handwritten Notes, 1992-1998



My Book, A Slice….The Life of a Mormon Faggot with Aids



FD 12 Chapter One-“Trip to Grandma’s,” Typed Manuscript with Changes, N.D.



FD 13 Chapter Two-“Christmas With Dad,” Typed Manuscript, 1988, with Notes



FD 14 Chapter Three-“Gone Fishing,” Handwritten and Typed Manuscript, N.D.



FD 15 Chapter Four-“A Dog Named Tag,” Typed Manuscript with Changes, 1990



FD 16 Chapter Five-“Christmas in Bremen,” Typed Manuscript with Changes, April 4, 2005



FD 17 Chapter Six-“Bye Partner,” Typed Manuscript, 1992



FD 18 Chapter Seven-“So, Now You Are A Marine?” Handwritten and Typed

Manuscript, 1995



FD 19 Chapter Eight-“The Best Roommate I Ever Had,” Handwritten and Typed

Manuscripts, 1993-1996



FD 20 Chapter Nine-“Me and the Mormons,” Notes



FD 21 Chapter Ten-“AIDS, The Real Story,” Typed Manuscript with Changes, February

26, 2005



FD 22 Chapter Eleven-“AIDS, Politics From the Trenches,” Notes



FD 23 Chapter Twelve-“John- John,” Handwritten and Typed Manuscript with Changes,

1995



FD 24 Chapter Thirteen-“My Travels With Blanche,” Handwritten and Typed

Manuscript with Corrections, 1995- with Notes



BOX 13



Writings



My Book, A Slice….The Life of a Mormon Faggot with Aids



FD 1 Chapter Fourteen-“Marbella- Marbella,” Handwritten and Typed Manuscript,

December 10, 1995, with Notes



FD 2 Chapter Fifteen-“The Storm,” Handwritten Manuscript, September 3, 1997



FD 3 Chapter Sixteen-“Lucile With One ‘L’,” Handwritten and typed Manuscript with

Changes, 1997 with Notes



FD 4 Chapter Seventeen (A)-“The Unexpected Gift,” Typed Manuscript with

Corrections, Multiple drafts, with Notes



FD 5 Chapter Seventeen (B)-“The Blessing of Family…People Can Change,”

Handwritten and Typed Manuscript with Changes, May 24, 1998- June 23, 2003- Multiple Drafts



FD 6 Chapter Eighteen-“My Journey Home, and the Blessings I Gleaned Along the

Way,” Handwritten Manuscript, March 14, 1999



FD 7 My Book…Notes



FD 8 My Books…Notes- Outline



FD 9 My Book…Notes- Publishers



FD 10 “Somewhere Near Heaven,” Handwritten Manuscript, September 15, 1989



FD 11 “They Never Taught Me How to be a Father,” Handwritten, Multiple Drafts,

1976-1989



FD 12 “Vacation I,” Handwritten Manuscript, October 1991



FD 13 “Vacation II,” handwritten Manuscript, February 1990



FD 14 “Wanted, One Grandma,” Handwritten and Typed Manuscript, February 2, 1988



FD 15 Miscellaneous



Miscellaneous



FD 16 AIDS Information



FD 17 Excelsior 1964-1984 Reunion “Yearbook”



FD 18 Miscellaneous



FD 19 Multimedia, 3 ½ inch Floppy Discs, 1 of 2



FD 20 Multimedia, 3 ½ inch Floppy Discs, 2 of 2



FD 21 Newspaper Articles
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the WSU Stewart Library Special Collections Repository

Contact:
3921 Central Campus Drive Dept 2901
Ogden UT 84408