Brenda Blizzard

December 15, 1952 – December 19, 2000

Brenda Joyce Blizzard was born in Columbia, South Carolina.  She moved to Michigan in her 20s, worked for the Southland Corporation, and was a longtime member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, where she served as a deacon.  In 1992, Blizzard moved to Washington State and became assistant pastor of MCC Seattle.  She was survived by her partner Loran Timmons.

Tacoma News Tribune, December 21, 2000

David Balas

David Balas pic

January 16, 1952 – October 1, 2019

Arts supporter, benefactor, and retired attorney David Lyle Balas was born in Mt. Clemens, graduated from University Liggett High School, and attended universities in Ohio.  He worked with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and served on the East Lansing City Council as an openly gay member from 1983 to 1995.  Balas and his future husband Jim Sellman moved to Saugatuck in 2003 and wed in 2015.

Between The Lines, October 17, 2019

Gaye Leeny

Gaye Leeny pic 2

March 23, 1952 – March 5, 2009

Pleasant Ridge resident Gaye Ann Leeny grew up in Detroit.  She was employed as a designer of prototypes in the automotive industry and also operated Rainbow Graphics in Hazel Park.  In 1986, she joined with five others to establish Windover Resort, an all-women’s campground near the Thumb village of Owendale.  Leeny was survived by her loving partner Janie Plunkett Henderson.

Legacy.com

Peter Cooper

Peter Cooper pic

December 19, 1952 – April 27, 2017

Detroit native Peter Cooper, Cody High School class of 1971, worked for National City Bank for 20 years and for a decade was employed with AIDS Partnership Michigan.  While in college in the early 1970s, he became involved in the Wayne State Gay Liberation Front.  He was subsequently active in MCC Detroit, ASP, Simcha, and Affirmations.  Cooper was survived by his partner of 12 years Jonathan Quirk.

Between The Lines, May 4, 2017

Diane Boulais

Diane Boulais pic

August 1, 1952 – August 3, 2019

Originally from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Diane Boulais resided in Ludington with her wife Ann Schrader, who she met in 2001 while attending People’s Church.  Her worked variously as a surgical technician, an organic farmer, and a dune buggy tour guide.  Boulais also volunteered with West Michigan Community Mental Health, speaking against stigma and lobbying the Michigan legislature and the U.S. Congress.

Beacon Cremation & Funeral Service

Homer Young-Kennedy III

Homer Young-Kennedy III pic

August 7, 1952 – September 1, 2004

While pursuing his first undergraduate degree at Oakland University, Detroit native Homer Young-Kennedy III served as arts editor for the student newspaper.  He went on to earn a B.A. in audiology and speech from Michigan State University and taught special education.  Young-Kennedy moved to New York City in 1980.

In Tribute: Homer Young-Kennedy III: 1952-2004

Virgil Leone

Virgil Leone pic

May 30, 1952 – November 6, 1999

Virgil Julius “Tony” Leone was born in Detroit and graduated with the class of 1970 from Mt. Pleasant High School.  At Central Michigan University, he was an early member of Gay Liberation, serving as its president in the mid-1970s.  Leone later moved to San Francisco where he worked as a Registered Nurse and became involved in local HIV/AIDS activism.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.

Bay Area Reporter, November 18, 1999

William Townsend

William Townsend pic

July 18, 1952 – July 17, 1993

Eastpointe resident William Daryl Townsend was founding president of Friends Alliance for people with HIV, served on the board of Wellness Networks, and co-founded the Detroit chapter of ACT UP.  His appearance on WDIV’s Sonya Friedman Show was canceled in 1985 because the camera crew feared AIDS contagion.  He died of AIDS-related complications at age 40.

Cruise, July 28, 1993

Richard Shank

Richard Shank pic

January 28, 1952 – February 27, 1992

Detroit native Richard Steven Shank graduated from Northville High School in 1971 and worked as a waiter and bartender at Morey’s and the Escape.  Shank was also involved in local community theater and for a time performed female impersonation as Rickie Day.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 39.

Cruise, March 18, 1992

Dan-Michael Vigliarolo

Dan-Michael Vigliarolo pic

February 8, 1952 – February 15, 1993

Born in Dearborn, Dan-Michael Vigliarolo grew up in Livonia where he graduated from Franklin High School.  After studying at Michigan State University, he ran a beauty parlor on Detroit’s West Side before moving to Kew West.  Upon returning to Michigan, Vigliarolo became involved in Friends Alliance and worked as managing editor for Metra.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.

Metra, March 3, 1993