September 8, 1950 – April 5, 2019
Ecorse resident and beloved Chippewa and Pottawatomi artisan James Aquash was born into the Walpole Island First Nation in Ontario, Canada. In the early 1970s, he became involved with the gay liberation movement on the Wayne State University campus. As a longtime member of the local Native community, Aquash was noted for presenting his beadwork and basket weaving at area pow wows.
Wallaceburg Courier Press, April 18, 2019
March 27, 1950 – March 17, 2006
James Stewart James was born in Detroit and graduated with the class of 1969 from Mumford High School. He later earned his Associates degree from Oakland Community College and was employed at General Motors for 25 years. James was active in Men of Color, Project Survival, and Detroit Black Gay Pride, for many years helping to plan the annual Hotter Than July! picnic in Palmer Park.
Between The Lines, March 30, 2006
August 19, 1950 – February 9, 2021
Patricia Ann Boudrie was born in Monroe, graduated with the Monroe High School class of 1968, and earned a certificate of early childhood development at Monroe County Community College. She worked as a secretary at Jefferson High School and at MCCC and also spent a total of 11 years as a teacher’s aide. Boudrie and her partner Tracey Moran shared homes in Monroe and Newport.
Monroe News, February 12, 2021
June 1, 1950 – May 11, 2007
A founding member of the Detroit Gay Liberation Front, Vaughn Perry Grubbs was born in Detroit, attended Redford High School, and completed two years at Wayne State University. Grubbs was later employed as regional manager for a rental car agency. His life partner Marque Sime preceded him in death by two weeks.
Detroit Free Press, May 11, 2007
March 24, 1950 – February 3, 1986
Roger Thomas LeClaire attended Detroit’s De La Salle Collegiate High School, where he lettered in football. By the 1970s, he had made his way to California and did modeling under the name Geoffrey Kane for Playgirl and International Male. LeClaire also worked as a photographer and as a bartender in West Hollywood. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 35.
Detroit Free Press, February 7, 1986
The AIDS Memorial
April 25, 1950 – January 21, 1991
Randy Hutton McGinn of Key West, Florida graduated with the Owosso High School class of 1968 and went on to attend Michigan State University and the Virginia Ferrell School of Cosmetology in St. Clair Shores. McGinn owned Randy’s Coiffer’s in Owosso and previously operated The Ultimate Image in Lansing. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 40.
Key West Citizen, January 22, 1991
April 16, 1950 – April 22, 2019
Battle Creek native Sue Ann Fitzgerald, known as “Drum Mama,” was a graduate of Lakeview High School and Central Michigan University, earning her M.S. in biology. At Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, she worked as a medical technologist for 34 years. Fitzgerald sang with the Sistrum chorus, was long active with the Girl Scouts, and regularly joined in MichFest and other womyn’s music gatherings.
Lesbian Connection September/October 2019
July 6, 1950 – May 1, 1995
John Barry Ferman attended Davison High School and worked as a go-go dancer in Detroit gay bars during the 1970s. While pursuing a degree in psychology, he founded the first gay student organization at the University of Michigan-Flint. A longtime Flint resident, Ferman spent his last years in Key West, Florida. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 44.
Flint Journal, May 4, 1995
October 2, 1950 – October 15, 2017
A native of Traverse City and graduate of the Traverse City Schools, Bonnie Jean Purvis attended Central Michigan University and worked for more than three decades as a lab technician at Traverse City Osteopathic Hospital, later Munson Medical Center, retiring in 2013. An avid golfer, biker, and kayaker, Purvis was survived by Tammy Krentz, her spouse and loving partner of 36 years.
Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home
September 16, 1950 – November 14, 2010
Longtime Bloomfield Hills resident and advertising executive Lois Anne Yeagley graduated from Marian High School in 1968 and earned her Bachelors and Masters in advertising from Michigan State University in 1972 and 1973. Yeagley was co-founder in 1999 of the Godmothers, a Metro Detroit social and charitable group.
Between The Lines, December 2, 2010