August 12, 1993 – December 26, 2014
Cody Petzold was valedictorian of his class at Holly High School in 2011 and went on to become a student leader and LGBT activist at Oakland University. In addition to studying human resources, he served as the vice president of the campus Gay Straight Alliance and interned with the Chrysler Corporation.
Daily Tribune, December 30, 2014
Oakland Post, January 8, 2015
December 12, 1968 – January 18, 2014
Theresa Fabus was born in Alma and graduated from Ashley High School in 1987. She went on to attend Alma College and Lansing Community College and later worked as a sports writer for the Meridian Weekly. Fabus and her partner Traci Gulick shared a home in Ovid.
Lansing State Journal, January 20, 2014
Smith Family Funeral Home
December 1, 1960 – December 4, 1994
Detroit native Roger Alan McKinney graduated from Fraser High School in 1979. McKinney bartended at the Back Pocket and the CCW in the early 1980s before moving to South Haven, where he worked as a nurse’s aide at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 34.
Cruise, December 14, 1994
August 3, 1926 – December 26, 2013
Detroit native Neva Weidig graduated from Denby High School in 1944 and earned her Bachelor’s from Heidelberg University in 1949. She was a Girl Scout troop leader and was employed with Kmart corporate headquarters. Weidig shared a home in Royal Oak with her partner of 45 years Dianne Chapman.
Daily Tribune, December 27, 2013
Gramer Funeral Home
January 16, 1927 – March 31, 2002
Born in Royston, Georgia, Sally Mae McCoy moved to Detroit following World War II and attended Fleming Beauty School in the 1950s. In addition to teaching cosmetology and operating a hair care business, she worked for 20 years as a custodian with the Detroit Public Schools. Rev. Renee McCoy was among her five children.
Between The Lines, April 11, 2002
April 4, 1965 – March 14, 2014
Danny W. (D.J.) Boos Jr. grew up in Beaverton and graduated from the Beaverton Rural Schools in 1982. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps until 1989, he moved to Chicago where he worked in the hospitality industry. Long active in the Windy City LGBT community, Boos was named Mr. Chicago Leather in 1997.
Windy City Times, March 19, 2014
April 7, 1984 – June 23, 2015
Birmingham native Jessie Makaila Shipps was a decorated veteran the U.S. Air Force, serving from 2003 to 2014. She was active in SPARTA, an organization for trans military members, and produced a number of YouTube videos documenting her gender transition. Shipps and her spouse Leeanna resided in Hampton, Virginia with their daughter Grace.
The Advocate, June 24, 2015
Detroit News, July 5, 2015