Sewn In Memory

Sewn in Memory: Donald “Devin” Carrington


Donald “Devin” Carrington was born in in Gardena, CA. At the age of three, his family moved to Mansfield, Illinois where he attended the Mansfield/Farmer City Schools. At the age of 17, he relocated to California where he attended Gino Rivero's School of Cosmetology in Riverside. He received his GED through the Corona (Riverside County) Public School District. In the Summer of 1985 Don moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a bar-back and bartender. In February of 1989 Don returned to Illinois due to medical problems. He was subsequently diagnosed with AIDS on February 14 and died in 1990.  Said a friend, “Don knew his truth. During the last months of his life, and up to the day of his death, he spent time caring for others, worrying about their wellbeing, and loving all who knew him. He always made sure that his loved ones were taken care of before thinking of himself.”  Devin was very active in the Buddies Project with his mother Geneva Carrington. The Buddies Project was a support group that met twice a month to discuss collective issues, as well as provide transportation, companionship, housekeeping, food preparation, respite care, and other services for persons with AIDS and their support networks. The Buddies Project had volunteers from within and beyond the LGBTQ+ community.

In this video, Don’s mother, Geneva Carrington, talks about her son on a panel about AIDS produced by Gary Schumaker.

These videos commemorate men who died from AIDS in central Illinois in the 1980s and 1990s as told through stories from their friends and family.  They are produced by the University of Illinois Department of Journalism and Illinois Public Media as part of Sewn in Memory: AIDS Quilt Panels from Central Illinois, a community-curated exhibit created for the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures in 2021 in collaboration with the Greater Community AIDS Project of East Central Illinois (GCAP) and the Department of History at the University of Illinois.

Sewn in Memory: Devin Carrington Video