September 28, 1956 – February 22, 2021
Otisville resident Lauriejane Clare Smith was born in Flint, grew up in Davison, and graduated with the class of 1974 from Davison High School. After completing the criminal justice program at Mott Community College, she worked as a park ranger and later as a patrol deputy and paramedic for the Genesee County Sheriff. In 2015, Smith married her partner Patricia Lawrence-Smith, who died in 2019.
Hensen Funeral Home
October 2, 1956 – June 6, 1998
Timothy John Warady was born in Detroit and attended Lincoln Park High School. Diagnosed as HIV+ in the late 1980s, Warady became a tireless AIDS activist, volunteering and working with Friends Alliance, the NAMES Project, Wellness House, and other groups. He and his partner Robert Whitney shared a home in Lincoln Park. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.
Between The Lines, June 25, 1998
January 9, 1956 – March 1, 2003
Detroit native Veronica Perryman Mitchell attended Mumford High School. In a 1995 Detroit Free Press feature, she revealed how HIV helped her turn from a life of addiction. Among her achievements, Mitchell served as AIDS ombudsperson for the City of Detroit, began a women with AIDS support group in C-HAG, and sat on the board of Men of Color. She died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.
Detroit Free Press, March 6, 2003
Between The Lines, March 13, 2003
February 19, 1956 – March 14, 1999
George Edmund Potts, resident and booster of the Palmer Park neighborhood in Detroit was born in Highland Park and worked for many years in administration at Henry Ford Hospital. He later worked as a grant writer for the Detroit Department of Parks and Recreation. Potts was a familiar customer at Menjo’s.
Cruise, March 24, 1999
November 17, 1956 – February 21, 1995
Mitch Thomas, also known as Thomas Robert White, was born in Flint, graduated in the Carman High School class of 1974, and served in the U.S. Air Force. White was employed for many years by Abbott’s Meats but was better known as a painter, sculptor, and regular performer at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 38.
Flint Journal, February 23, 1995
January 6, 1956 – October 29, 2014
Saginaw native Thomas Lohr Jr. graduated from Eisenhower High School and earned a B.A. in marketing at Michigan State University in 1979. After a successful career in advertising in Chicago, he joined his life partner Roger Boike in operating Groundworkes, a landscaping business in Lakeside, Michigan. Lohr was also actively involved in Chicago’s LGBTQ community, participating in two AIDS Rides bicycle fundraisers.
Saginaw News, November 23, 2014
January 29, 1956 – January 20, 2011
West Bloomfield resident and University of Michigan football fan Heather Louise Higgins hosted popular Port of Call parties at her home on Middle Straits Lake, enjoying water skiing and riding on her pontoon. Since 2003, she was the owner of Tis Herself Entertainment. Higgins died from cancer at age 54.
Lesbian Connection, July/August 2011
February 11, 1956 – April 8, 2014
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Victor Line was longtime co-owner with his life partner Robert Wiley of Tradewinds nightclub and Triangle World bookstore in Kalamazoo. Both were also strong supporters of what was then known as the Kalamazoo Gay/Lesbian Resource Center.
Kalamazoo Gazette, April 10, 2014
June 19, 1956 – November 15, 2009
Susan Rae Crispin of Clancy, Montana was born in the village of Sparta and earned degrees in biology from Michigan State University. She spent her career with the Nature Conservancy, moving from botanist to director of its Great Lakes Program, dedicated to conserving biodiversity. Crispin was survived by her Randi Levin.
Lesbian Connection, March/April 2010
January 14, 1956 – May 13, 2016
Born in Coldwater, Kathy Ann Rosesiler served 23 years in the U.S. Army. Upon retirement from the military, Rodesiler took a job with South Carolina Youth ChalleNGe Academy program as a Master Sargent Cadre and logistician. Hilda Ross, her spouse of 34 years, survived her.
Daily Reporter, May 18, 2016