September 17, 1952 – November 2, 1996
Detroit resident Craig Economy grew up in Dearborn, attended Dearborn High School, and pursued studies in Vermont and Arizona. On returning to Michigan, he worked as a popular hairdresser at Jacobsen’s and other salons. A longtime survivor of HIV, Economy was active in Friends Alliance, the AIDS Interfaith Network, and other organizations. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.
Cruise, November 20, 1996
February 25, 1951 – October 7, 1996
Redford resident David Ross Betley grew up in Beverly Hills and graduated in 1969 from Groves High School in Birmingham. Betley was employed as an assistant manager with Budget Rent-A-Car and, together with his companion Brian Carmody, belonged to the Motor City Organ Society. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.
Cruise, October 16, 1996
July 15, 1968 – February 4, 1996
AIDS activist Steven Martin Korzetz graduated from Anderson High School in Southgate. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s in business from Wayne State University and later worked in the hotel industry in Dearborn. Given six months to live in 1992, Korzetz left his job and traveled to more than 40 countries. He became involved in Wellness Networks as well. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 27.
Detroit Free Press, February 7, 1995
Stephen Korzetz Papers at the Bentley Historical Library
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
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
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
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
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
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
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