September 17, 1952 – November 2, 1996
Detroit resident Craig Economy grew up in Dearborn, attended Dearborn High School, and pursued studies in Vermont and Arizona. On returning to Michigan, he worked as a popular hairdresser at Jacobsen’s and other salons. A longtime survivor of HIV, Economy was active in Friends Alliance, the AIDS Interfaith Network, and other organizations. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.
Cruise, November 20, 1996
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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