Michael Klaus Dieter Werner, founder of the Archive, passed away

Michael Werner

With deep sadness we have to announce that on 20 November 2019, founder and curator of the Barry Kay Archive Michael Werner has passed away. He has been fighting a brave struggle against prostate cancer for some years. An unexpected pneumonia killed him in 3 days.

Michael has been the driving force behind the Archive ever since he founded it in 1985. As a close personal friend of Barry Kay, his knowledge and involvement were unparalleled and essential for this Archive.
His unstoppable passion has yielded the incredibly comprehensive and detailed piece of heritage it is today.

Michael lived for the Arts, as a graphic designer and photographer. As the number one assistant and secretary to Barry Kay, he used his creative skills to their fullest. He was literally never too old to learn new things.

After his mate Barry died, far too young, Michael had to find new challenges. He started a very successfull antique silver business that lasted until the internet and fashion killed the antique trade in Notting Hill, London.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all people who helped Michael fight his battle:
First of all our friend and former GP Dr. Dorothea Ridder and Dr. Ronald Krüger, both doctors in Berlin, who stood beside us with counsel and support, as well as our GP’s in Amsterdam, Renate Zwiers and her partner Arnoud Robbers, who saved Michaels life three years ago; lung specialist Dr. Bob Groot; urologist Dr T.Q.T. Tong; internists Dr. Jan Willem Mulder and Dr. Saskia Vrouenraets and in particular specialist nurse Hanneke Paap at the former Slotervaart Hospital in Amsterdam. Without all their support and early and fast diagnostics Michael would not have survived so long.

Also many thanks to surgeon-oncologist Dr. Houke Klomp, lung specialist Dr. Sjaak Burgers, urologist Dr. Pim van Leeuwen and oncologist Dr. Sofie Wilgenhof at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital in Amsterdam and finally the emergency doctors and nurses at the OLVG Hospital in Amsterdam, who took great care of Michael the last 3 days of his exciting life.

GPs Dr. Hitesh Mistry and Dr. Angela Sharma, Pembridge Villas Surgery, in Notting Hill, London and internist Paul Lumba at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, we thank you.

Also very special thanks to the ambulance and emergency staff in Pisa and in Amsterdam, as well as to the fire brigade of Amsterdam, who lifted Michael out of the 4th floor window.

Last but not least: many thanks to the kindest and best dentist in the world, Dr. med. dent. Elmar Dammann and to all his staff in Harsewinkel, Germany.

Many, many thanks to all for your valuable time and empathy.

In the face of his illness Michael has been working hard on completing this website and upgrading it to up-to-date web standards. Sadly, he will not witness its completion, but his spirit and creativity will live on in these pages.

Michael will be sorely missed.


Our dear friend Michael was cremated at Zorgvlied cemetary in Amsterdam on 27 November 2019.

4 responses to “Michael Klaus Dieter Werner, founder of the Archive, passed away”

  1. Angela Petrie, chair to The Peter Darrell Trust says:

    We were very saddened with the news of Michael’s passing. Douglas Pringle, Trustee, and myself remember warmly when we met Michael in Glasgow some years ago to discuss the designs of Barry Kay relating to Peter Darrell’s production The Prisoners.

    On behalf of all the Trustees please accept our sincere condolences.

  2. Raj Zwiers says:

    We met Michael 3 yrs ago,while walking through Amsterdam with his husband Bert Janssen ,a beautiful evening and summertime.. Unfortunedly short after became clear he suffered from a serious malignancy.He put all his power in fighting against it with support of Bert and all mentioned caretakers and made optimal use of the advises.Thus he won 3 years, in wich he diveded his time between the matters he really cared for, London,Amsterdam and his greengarden with Bert.
    We will miss his charme and senstivity and we wish Bert a lot of strength. Renate en Arnoud

  3. Bruno Gerdemann says:

    Decades ago my former partner Klaus and me were introduced to Michael by our dear friend Rainer. Since then we met him in our home in Cologne or Berlin. As an artistic character and with his attitude to life in general and gay live especially meeting him was always a pleasure and an enrichment .
    When Bert became his partner the joy meeting them was doubled.
    As a Christian I trust that his personality is saved in God

  4. Frances Baskerville says:

    My heartfelt condolences to Michael’s friends but of course, in particular to his love Bert, who has been strength and utmost support for years. What a team they were and so full of adventures, travelling back and forth from London to Amsterdam regularly. A colourful life, I’ll not forget the intricately planned meals, exacting detail, tastes and smells in the jam packed kitchen at Moorhouse Road. A fourth floor exit is just ‘so Michael’. His hat, that moustache, his black jeans .., great memories. Bert – you are a treasure. Rest in peace Michael. X

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