David Robert Serko was born on October 23, 1960, to Bob and Nancy Serko. David was the third of four children: Peter, Shirley, and Jeff. David was a curious and active child. Shortly after his first birthday, he managed to climb and stand on a kitchen chair tipping it over breaking his leg. Not one to be slowed down or held back by a bulky leg cast he quickly learned to get around the house with style. His strong will and determination, so evident at an early age, would serve him well in his later years.
An average student in school David was well-liked by a broad circle of friends. In his teenage years, he became active in Boy Scouts and came within two merit badges of becoming an Eagle Scout.
In high school, he gravitated to music and theater, something that would be a driving force for the remainder of his life. With sister Shirley, they formed a successful dance duo winning first place in state competition. David performed in a number of high school drama productions and sang in the school chorale.
David also became involved in community theater, winning acclaim for his performances in Equus, Pippin, Da, Pajama Game among others. David studied theater in college and is reputed to never have been officially accepted into the State University of New York at Binghamton even though he eventually received a diploma from the institution.
After graduation, David moved to New York City to follow his dream of performing in the theater. Like most actors, David struggled to break into the business and worked a number of unrewarding jobs over the years. Due to his talent as a dancer and actor, he landed roles in a number of regional productions and joined the cast of international touring productions of A Chorus Line (1987) and Dirty Dancing (1988). His Broadway debut in A Change In the Heir in 1990 ended abruptly when the show closed after two weeks due to poor reviews.
David was diagnosed with HIV infection in March 1988. Shortly thereafter he became involved in AIDS activism as an early member of the organization ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power). He participated in a number of key protest rallies during his years of involvement with the group and continued his activism once he became ill.
His final illness landed him in the familiar surroundings of the 8th floor AIDS ward at Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC. In the final weeks, a constant stream of friends and family came to the hospital sharing much laughter and tears. David’s concern always was comforting others even though he was blind and desperately ill. David died, at age 32, November 23, 1992, at 8:06 am with his parents, brother Peter, partner Eddie, and best friend Tim at his side.