SAN DIEGO – It's been 10 years since the death of John McCusker, a beloved local business owner and leader in the San Diego LGBT community, but his spirit lives on. McCusker died on March 13, 2005 – 10 years ago today.
McCusker, who owned Club Montage and ReBar, was well-connected and always lent his support to numerous organizations and causes.
Dying at age 31, he had achieved things in his short life that many could only dream of, even after their own decades-long careers. McCusker opened Club Montage in the building that formerly housed the popular West Coast Production Company (WCPC) when he was 21. Despite his young age and lack of experience, he grew the venue into one of the top nightspots in the nation.
His business successes allowed him to give much back to the community through various organizations, like the Harvey Milk/Tom Homman Student Scholarship, the Polinsky Center, GLBT Vote 2000, Ordinary Miracles, The Center and numerous HIV/AIDS service providers.
McClusker's passing was a shock to the community in March 2005, and many posted sentiments online in his memory.
The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation still maintains a fund in McCusker’s honor, which provides scholarships to students pursuing higher education opportunities. PFLAG San Diego grants this award each year through its student scholarship program.
Since his death, friends of McCusker continue to celebrate his life each year on this day.
Michael B. Mack remembered McCusker today in a short Facebook post, which is a sentiment shared by many of closed friends, family, and loved ones: “I love and miss you so much Johnboy!!!!”