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Local Politicians Remember Desi Deschaine

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Dawn Slonneger (right) passes out buttons to Ruth Werner (left) at the memorial service for Desi Deschaine, who died at the age of 30 earlier this year. Both Slonneger and Werner are D.C. Council staffers.
David Schultz
Dawn Slonneger (right) passes out buttons to Ruth Werner (left) at the memorial service for Desi Deschaine, who died at the age of 30 earlier this year. Both Slonneger and Werner are D.C. Council staffers.

By David Schultz

A boy's choir sings in a downtown cathedral for an audience of Desi Deschaine's family and senior D.C. politicians. Deschaine died this summer in a boating accident on the Chesapeake bay.

Deschaine's friends say politics was his life. At the service, they handed out campaign-style buttons with his name on them. Deschaine was remembered as a fun-loving, exuberant person who had friends up and down the east coast.

But Mary Ann Floto, who worked with Deschaine under former Mayor Anthony Williams, says he took his career seriously. "Very, very seriously," she recalls. "And he loved his job. Every day Desi would say how much he loved his job."

Deschaine began his career as a Republican, but he switched parties in 2004 and became a strong advocate for gay rights in D.C.

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