Gerald Fife

Gerald Fife pic 3

March 31, 1943 – February 19, 1996

A native of Detroit and graduate of Mumford High School, Gerald Jhazel “Gerry” Fife won a Hopwood Award for his fiction at the University of Michigan and earned his B.A. in journalism there in 1965.  After moving to California, he worked as a radio reporter for KSWO in Los Angeles and held positions with Crocker Bank and at the University of San Francisco.

Bay Area Reporter, April 11, 1996

Raishean Garrett

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January 21, 1970 – December 2, 1996

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Raishean Ali-Bai Garrett came of age and came out in Detroit in the late 1980s.  He held a number of retail jobs in the fashion industry and a popular “club kid” at the Glass House, Menjo’s, Heaven, the Continental, Shoppers, and countless house parties.  Before his death, Garrett moved with his sister to Columbia, South Carolina.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 26.

The State, December 3, 1996

Raishean, My Teacher and Muse

Sara Brieden

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November 13, 1963 – May 27, 1996

Born in Howell, Grosse Pointe Farms resident Sara Maria Briden grew up in Grosse Pointe and graduated with the class of 1981 from South High School.  She later attended the Ford School of Nursing and the University of Michigan before becoming a beauty consultant and operating her own business.  An active runner and swimmer, Breden was also a supporter of Affirmations Community Center.

Grosse Pointe News, May 30, 1996

Floyd Dunn

Floyd Dunn pic

March 5, 1951 – April 17, 1996

Native Detroiter Floyd Dunn was a playwright, civil rights activist, and leader in the 1980s of the Detroit Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays.  Dunn later served as the founding director of the Black AIDS non-profit organization Project Survival and advocated for the inclusion of men and women of color in clinical trials.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.

No known obituary

Greg Hainbecker

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October 18, 1957 – May 21, 1996

Gregory Thomas Hainbecker was born in Wyandotte and resided in Ecorse all his life, graduating in 1976 from Ecorse High School.  He was employed as a truck driver, roofer, carpenter, and handyman.  Hainbecker also worked as a longtime bartender at Gigi’s in Detroit.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 38.

Cruise, June 5, 1996

Brian McDonald

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October 18, 1963 – March 17, 1996

Born in Flint, Brian Keith McDonald spent most of his life in Otisville.  He majored in theater at the University of Michigan-Flint and worked for 13 years for the Flint Youth Theater.  McDonald was also employed by the local VGs grocery chain.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 32.

Flint Journal, March 18, 1996

Bob Gross

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January 23, 1937 – June 26, 1996

A native of the Isabella County town of Weidman, Bob Gross covered high school sports for the Lansing State Journal for 34 years and lived a largely closeted life.  In 1996, he was murdered by a young man he picked up at Stober’s Bar.  Gross was posthumously inducted into the Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.

Between The Lines, August 1996

Jim Paffenbarger

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April 2, 1949 – June 30, 1996

Jim Paffenbarger, also known as Jimmy Leather, attended the University of Michigan for one year from 1967 to 1968 before going to work for radio station WABX.  He soon returned to Ann Arbor where he was employed with the student station WCBN and later served as chief engineer at WUOM.

Between The Lines, August 1996

Rexford Palmer

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July 1, 1954 – August 28, 1996

Born in Middleville in Barry County, Rexford Palmer moved to Detroit as a young adult to work in retail.  He continued his retail career after relocating in the mid-1980s to San Francisco, where he became active in the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Bay Area Reporter, September 19, 1996

Joe Elias

Joe Elias pic

May 31, 1951 –  September 4, 1996

Detroit native Joe Elias graduated from Notre Dame High School in Harper Woods in 1969 and received his B.A. in sociology from the University of Detroit-Mercy in 1973.  He worked in personnel at Chrysler and later relocated to Chicago and San Francisco.

Cruise, September 18, 1996