Peter Burgos passed away on Feb. 4 after a battle with AIDS-related pneumonia; he was one day shy of his 40th birthday. Burgos was laid to rest Feb. 8 at Mount Olive Cemetery.
Burgos held several jobs over the years in various areas, including the restaurant, medical, and hospitality fields. However, it was what the native Chicagoan did outside the workplace that meant the most to those closest to him and to total strangers as well: entertaining. Using the stage name Alexander, Burgos was part of the Miss Foozie Show at Circuit on Sundays for several years. However, his love of entertaining was not confined to the club. Any place that had space was fair game, as Burgos awed viewers while indulging himself in his love of dance.
Dee Rivera, who befriended Burgos over a span of 25 years, remembered his love of dancing. 'I was 15 years old when I met him,' she told Windy City Times, 'and I saw this guy in a robe who was just dancing. I would ask my friend if I could go over to his house just to see Peter dance.' Rivera went on to say that, while their friendship had ups and downs like any other, 'he never judged me. He was a great friend and a great dancer.' When asked what she will miss most about him, she said that it would be sharing secrets with him. 'It takes a lot of time to trust someone that much.'
Another close friend, Jeff Kaemerer, described Burgos as 'in-your-face, no-holds-barred, and honest. He could come across as harsh but you always respected him. He had a heart of gold; he was a true friend. If I was ever depressed or in a bad mood, his smile lit up the room. ... He never wanted to separate his family from his friends. I'll truly miss his quirks and his smile. Even when he knew the end was near, he never showed it. He kept his positive, sarcastic attitude.'
Burgos is survived by his mother, Agnes O'Hara; his 'second mother,' Iris Negron; a stepmother, Lourdes Alger; a brother, Anthony Burgos; a sister, Lisa Pereira; other relatives; and many friends who truly loved him.
There will be a celebration of his life taking place in the near future; for more information, please e-mail Kaemerer at email@example.com .