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The late Thomas Allen Heald, South Dakota gay rights activist, writer, humorist, and genuine lovable character.]]&nbsp Thomas Allen Heald was a gay rights activist with Free Americans Creating Equal Status of South Dakota,Inc. at the very beginning of the organization in 1995 when the South Dakota Legislature tried to ban same-sex marriage. Heald's computer skills were critical at a time when information was critical to defend the rights of gay and lesbian citizens in South Dakota. He remained active in the organization until it's demise in the year 2000. He lived in Rapid City, South Dakota all of his life. He passed away in 2009 due to heart problems. Tom Heald will be remembered for his humor and his ability to write. He wrote a tremendous number of letters to the editor of many South Dakota newspapers and was routinely taken to task by those opposed to the human and civil rights of gay and lesbian people. The photo was taken by his friend and fellow FACES organizer, Barry G. Wick.

Thomas A. Heald, 37, died at Rapid City Regional Hospital Monday, May 4, 2009.

Survivors include his parents, James and Shirley Heald, and a brother, Timothy Heald, all of Rapid City.

In doing a search of the Rapid City Journal website on Aug. 9,2011 for this wiki, there were over 90 mentions of Tom either in his obituary....but mostly for his letters to the editor...and mentioned in letters from others going back to 2004. But those are not the only letters Tom wrote to the Rapid City Journal. They go back many years and cover a wide range of topics, many on human and civil rights for gay and lesbian people.

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Corrections and additions to this page will be made as time goes by.