June 6, 1949 – January 9, 1990
Michael Phelan grew up in St. Clair Shores and graduated from Lakeview High School. During the 1970s, he performed female impersonation as Whitney Blake at various Detroit bars and won titles for Miss Todd’s, Miss Bookie’s, and Miss Michigan before moving to California. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 40.
Cruise, January 24, 1990
May 28, 1969 – June 23, 1990
Diane Kotila was born in Southfield and graduated with the class of 1987 from Kimball High School in Royal Oak. She was a student at Oakland University and was employed by William Beaumont Hospital. After losing her life in an automobile accident, friends held a benefit at the Railroad Crossing for a fund in her name at Affirmations to help provide lesbian and gay youth with counseling and support.
Royal Oak Daily Tribune, June 24, 1990
Affirmations newsletter, September 1990
April 28, 1949 – November 7, 1990
Michael Murray earned a Bachelor’s in theology at Loyola University of Chicago and oversaw religious education at two Catholic parishes and at the Michigan School for the Deaf in the mid-1970s. Murray was a founding member of Dignity/Flint and portrayed Jesus in productions of Godspell with the Flint Community Players in 1977 and 1984. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.
Indianapolis Star, November 12, 1990
Flint Journal, December 11, 1990
February 11, 1948 – May 7, 1990
Known to viewers as Tom Stephens, Detroit native Thomas Stephen Jarzynski worked as weather forecaster for WJRT-TV 12 in Flint from 1984 to 1988. Stephens disclosed his AIDS diagnosis with his former station colleagues in an interview that was broadcast after his death. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 42.
Flint Journal, May 8, 1990
November 19, 1947 – January 10, 1990
Utica resident Thomas Michael Bartley grew up in Port Huron, earned his B.S. in nursing in Houston and a Master’s in nursing from Mercy College in Detroit. He sang in the choir at Zion Lutheran Church in Ferndale and was involved in both Wellness Networks and AIDS Interfaith Network. Bartley was survived by two children and his lover Jim Proffitt. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 42.
Detroit Free Press, January 11, 1990
February 23, 1958 – August 11, 1990
Kraig Debus grew up in Warren and earned his B.A. in advertising in 1981 from Michigan State University, where he served on the staff of the State News. After graduation, Debus moved to Chicago. He died of complications from AIDS at age 32.
Chicago Tribune, August 14, 1990
April 29, 1931 – October 29, 1990
A onetime executive assistant with the Joffrey Ballet, Christopher Flynn operated a private dance studio in Rochester in the early 1970s and introduced his student and future superstar Madonna to gay nightlife at Menjo’s. In 1977, Flynn served as a founding officer of the Michigan Organization for Human Rights. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 58.
Cruise, November 7, 1990
Ten Percent, January 1-14, 1991