Brian McDonald

Brian McDonald pic

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

Bob Gross pic

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

Jim Paffenbarger pic

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

Rexford Palmer pic

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

Carol Srbeny

Carol Srbeny pic

March 13, 1947 – November 11, 1996

A Chicago native, Carol Srbeny moved to Interlochen when she was 25, earned a second Bachelor’s degree, and worked as a self-employed counselor.  An animal lover and wildlife enthusiast, she was active in the Grand Traverse area chapter of Dignity and Friends North.

Traverse City Record-Eagle, November 13, 1996

Friends North newsletter, January-February 1997

Alma Routsong

alma-routsong-pic

November 26, 1924 – October 4, 1996

Born in Traverse City, Alma Routsong served in the WAVES during World War II and graduated from Michigan State University.  After moving to New York City, she authored the pioneering novel Patience and Sarah under the pen name Isabel Miller.

Gay Community News, Winter 1996

Lesbian Herstory Archives oral history of Alma Routsong