October 15, 1918 – April 28, 1994
Ruth Evelyn Sanders moved from Texas to Michigan in the early 1940s to pursue her doctorate at Michigan State University. After earning her Ph.D. in 1947, she taught microbiology at MSU as a lecturer, assistant professor, and associate professor, retiring in 1982. Sanders shared a home in Okemos for many decades with her longtime companion Lucile Portwood.
Lansing State Journal, May 1, 1994
March 11, 1910 – February 8, 1994
World War II vet Ralph Thompson Stallings began working as a bellhop while attending Saginaw High School and rose in the ranks of hotels in Flint and Detroit. He met his life partner Ralph O’Reilly at a bridge party when neither played bridge. They soon shared an apartment in Detroit and later a home in Davisburg, where they raised Japanese bonsai before moving to Escondido, California in the early 1980s.
Times-Advocate, February 11, 1994
March 27, 1938 – September 21, 1994
Native Detroiter William John Thompson served in the Army, earned a Master’s from Wayne State, taught public school, and worked in advertising. He was active in multiple organizations, including ASP, MOHR, Dignity, BWMT, and MAPP. Thompson was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Detroit area Pride Banquet in 1993. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 56.
Between The Lines, November 1994
Cruise, November 9, 1994
November 21, 1967 – October 10, 1994
Born in Lincoln Park, Darin Travis Huff graduated with the class of 1986 from John F. Kennedy High School in Taylor and performed with the Taylor Ballet Company. Huff came out at age 16 and for many years worked as a go-go dancer at the Gold Coast, was active in the Performer’s Awards of Detroit, and was also a Mr. Gas Station titleholder. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 26.
No known obituary
September 21, 1963 – March 22, 1994
Born in Pontiac, Scott Russell Sweeney of Bloomfield Hills earned his bachelor’s in communications from Michigan State University in 1985 and later pursued studies at the University of London in the UK. Sweeney enjoyed a rich career as a public affairs manager within the auto industry, overseeing the rollout of the Ford Mustang and the F150 Lightning. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 30.
Detroit Free Press, March 24, 1994
August 18, 1972 – December 19, 1994
Adrian Travelle Davis of Detroit performed at the Peach Bowl with his middle school band and later directed the Murray Wright High School band and the a cappella quartet Gifted. Davis graduated from Cody High School in 1994 with plans to attend Ferris State University. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 22.
Detroit Free Press, December 22, 1994
November 5, 1961 – October 22, 1994
Lifelong Lansing resident Paul Darwin Morgan, better known as Darwin, graduated from Hill High School in 1979, then attended Lansing Community College and Michigan State University. Morgan later worked as a mental health counselor and performed as an actor with the Riverwalk Theatre, the Lansing Civic Players, and Spotlight Theatre. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 32.
Lansing State Journal, October 25, 1994
November 2, 1951 – January 16, 1994
Stephen Mark Kritsick grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts and attended Michigan State University, earning his B.S. there in 1973 and his degree in veterinary medicine there in 1974. After working in the ER of a Manhattan animal hospital. For many years before his death, he was a regular pet care expert on Good Morning America on ABC. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 42.
Lansing State Journal, January 17, 1994
New York Times, January 18, 1994
May 4, 1958 – September 5, 1994
Daniel Robert “Dannie” Lucas spent most of his life in Battle Creek before moving to Chicago in 1991. Lucas worked as a hairstylist, was long active with the Alano Club, and performed in community theater, realizing a long-held dream with his final role in “A Streetcar Named Desire” playing Stanley Kowalski. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 36.
Gay Chicago, September 22, 1994
October 14, 1949 – August 6, 1994
Taylor resident Larry Thomas Gaynier taught high school English and communications in Brownstown Charter Township for 22 years. A member of the Association of Suburban People in the early 1980s, Gaynier later served on the boards of Affirmations and the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 44.
Detroit Free Press, August 9, 1994
Affirmations Newsletter, September 1994