December 24, 1959 – September 19, 2018
Lifelong Laingsburg resident Carrie Lynn Koonter played on the 1978 Michigan Class D High School Softball championship team and was co-founder of the Laingsburg Women’s Golf League. She worked for 25 years at Meijer in East Lansing. She and Mary McDougal were together more than 30 years and were married in 2015. Koonter died at age 58 following an extended battle with multiple sclerosis.
Lansing State Journal, September 23, 2018
July 30, 1959 – July 31, 1985
A native of Canada, Mark Joseph Osaer was a member of the Lincoln Park High School class of 1977. Following graduation, Osaer moved to Houston, Texas. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 26.
This Week in Texas, August 16, 1985
January 24, 1959 – July 16, 2011
Thaddeus Allen Rusztowicz of East Lansing and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida was born in Detroit and earned his Bachelor’s in marketing in 1982 from Michigan State University. He enjoyed a long career in design, retiring as president of the auto supplier LPC Manufacturing to a new career in real estate. Rusztowicz was survived by Mark Clouse, his life partner of 21 years.
Lansing State Journal, July 19, 2011
January 20, 1959 – July 13, 2017
Judith Ann “Judy” Fraidenburg was born in St. Johns and graduated in the class of 1977 from Laingsburg High School. She tended bar for more than 20 years at the Mayfair Bar in Haslett. Fraidenburg and her spouse Kim Hasbrook were married in October 2015.
Watkins Brothers Funeral Home
August 17, 1959 – May 1, 2018
Suzan Ruth Selewski of Taylor graduated from Riverside High School in Dearborn Heights. For 18 years she taught at Logan Elementary School in Detroit. She retired in 2013, preceding a long battle with ovarian cancer. Selewski was survived by her spouse and life partner of 23 years Julia Herod.
Detroit Free Press, May 5, 2018
April 9, 1959 – October 10, 2018
Known as “Auntie” to tribal youth in Michigan, Cindy Pigeon of Wayland led workshops on native culture and was active with the Grand Rapids Inter-Tribal Council and the Indian Workers Conference of the United Methodist Church. She was an avid sports enthusiast, kept score for Hopkins Public Schools, and pitched softball with the Salem Indian Mission team. She was survived by her wife Faith Pigeon.
Grand Rapids Press, October 14, 2018
July 2, 1959 – May 23, 1987
Abraham “Ty” Bady grew up in Saginaw, graduated from Buena Vista High School, and attended Ferris State University before moving to San Francisco in 1982. Bady was active in the organization Black and White Men Together. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 27.
Saginaw News, May 28, 1987
Bay Area Reporter, June 4, 1987
July 17, 1959 – December 11, 2016
Brian “Scott” Warren of Ironwood graduated from Wakefield High School and attended Northern Michigan University. He was active in local theater and music as a performer, director, and board member. Warren and his life partner of 35 years George Henkel were the first same-sex couple to be legally married in Gogebic County.
Ironwood Daily Globe, December 13, 2016
April 12, 1959 – June 20, 1993
Detroiter Pete Malek graduated from Cody High School and worked as a waiter in Phoenix, Arizona before returning to his hometown, where he was a familiar face at Tiffany’s. He died of complications from AIDS at age 34.
Cruise, July 7, 1993
March 22, 1959 – August 31, 2015
Ordained into the priesthood in 2007, Rev. Karen Johanns moved to Michigan in 2008 to become rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Pontiac, a position she held until cancer forced her into “grouchy” retirement. Johanns was survived by her wife Claire Dodds.
Oakland Press, September 2, 2015