November 6, 1949 – July 14, 1988
Longtime Lansing resident Joseph Martin “Joe” Courter graduated from John H. Gabriels High School and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1968 to 1981. Following his military service, Courter worked for General Telephone Company and, for the last two years of his life, resided in Alma. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 38.
Alma Morning Sun, July 21, 1988
May 30, 1899 – January 23, 1988
Thelma Gray James graduated with high distinction from the University of Michigan in 1920. She joined the faculty of the College of the City of Detroit, forerunner of Wayne State University, in 1923, retiring from Wayne in 1967 as a pioneering folklorist. James shared various Detroit homes with her close partner of 40 years Marguerite Hicks.
Detroit Free Press, January 24, 1988
November 18, 1914 – January 27, 1988
William Hawkins Ferry grew up in Detroit and attended Cranbrook before studying at Harvard University. The grandson of a founder of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Ferry became a noted collector, patron, and champion of 20th century art. An expert of architectural history, as well, his modernist 1964 home in Grosse Pointe Shores was featured in House Beautiful and Interiors magazines.
New York Times, January 28, 1988
Hawkins Ferry: The Original A-Gay
November 8, 1957 – July 9, 1988
A native of Orange County, California, Michael Raymond Shuty attended Michigan State University in the late 1970s and later moved to Houston. He died of complications from AIDS at age 30.
This Week in Texas, July 22, 1988
March 27, 1957 – December 16, 1988
Wade Leroy Keas grew up in the town of Ravenna and became active in the Gay/Lesbian Council while a student at Michigan State University. He later lived in Austin, Texas, where he worked in the state attorney general’s office. He died from a drug overdose and of complications from AIDS at age 33.
This Week in Texas, January 13, 1989
October 9, 1942 – May 12, 1988
Ernest Michael Crawford worked as a bartender at the Woodward Lounge in Detroit before becoming longtime co-owner in 1974 of Menjo’s. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.
Cruise, May 25, 1988
Metra, May 25, 1988
August 17, 1923 – June 20, 1988
Lenora “Sally” Connor, served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II and later worked as a postal worker in Grand Rapids. She was a founding officer in 1977 of the Michigan Organization for Human Rights.
MOHR newsletter, June 1989