Bruce Hays

Bruce Hays pic

February 26, 1968 – pronounced dead November 6, 1999

Mundy Township resident Bruce Michael Hays attended Grand Blanc High, came out as a teen sneaking into Detroit bars, and in the mid-1980s started a computer dating service for Flint-area gay youth.  He later completed three years of college and worked as a bartender.  Hays gained national notoriety for swiping Michael Jackson’s glove from the Motown Museum.  He took his own life at age 31.

Flint Journal, November 12, 1999

Deborah Powell

August 31, 1958 – April 20, 1999

Deborah Sue Powell of Adrian was born in Illinois, spent part of her childhood in Toledo, Ohio, and studied fisheries and wildlife at Kent State.  She later served as a cook in the U.S. Air Force and was an assembly line worker at the Ford Automotive plant in Rawsonville.  Powell was survived by former partners Deb Harkins and Cheryl Zupan.

Between The Lines, April 29, 1999

Jason Johnson

Jason Johnson pic 2

April 1, 1983 – June 18, 1999

Swartz Creek resident Jason Michael Johnson was born in Flint and attended Swartz Creek High School.  He was a member of the concert band and the swim team and participated in quiz bowl.  He was also active in the online gay community.  Johnson lost his life at age 16 in an automobile crash in I-75.

Between The Lines, July 1, 1999

Harold McCormick

Harold McCormick pic

January 4, 1934 – May 9, 1999

Civil rights activist Harold McCormick was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1962.  After moving to Metro Detroit, he was engaged in social work and became CEO of Quality Human Services.  McCormick led a largely closeted life until he was found murdered in his Royal Oak Township apartment, the victim of a man he met at an adult book store.

Detroit Free Press, May 13, 1999

Between The Lines, June 10, 1999

Between The Lines, July 1, 1999

Kraig Knorr

Kraig Knorr pic

January 20, 1957 – November 18, 1999

Pontiac resident Kraig Marlon Knorr was born in Alpena and attended Hillman Community High School.  He served in the U.S. Navy from 1977 to 1979 and later earned his B.A. at the University of Michigan-Flint, where he worked as a tutor in the writing center.  In the 1990s, Knorr worked as DJ at the State Bar in Flint and at Popper’s in Pontiac.

Alpena News, November 21, 1999

George Potts

February 19, 1956 – March 14, 1999

George Edmund Potts, resident and booster of the Palmer Park neighborhood in Detroit was born in Highland Park and worked for many years in administration at Henry Ford Hospital.  He later worked as a grant writer for the Detroit Department of Parks and Recreation.  Potts was a familiar customer at Menjo’s.

Cruise, March 24, 1999

Columbus Howard

July 9. 1924 – February 19, 1999

Born in Detroit, Columbus Howard spent much of his life in Inkster and served in the U.S. Army during World War II.  In 1958, while employed as a 33-year-old stockroom worker at Montgomery Ward in Dearborn, Howard was prosecuted for gross indecency after being caught with another man in Detroit’s Rouge Park.

No known obituary

Kay McIlnay

January 24, 1941 – October 3, 1999

Kay Clare McIlnay grew up in Detroit and in the late 1970s moved to the Central Valley region of California, where s he and her loving companion Nancy Ruth Walker operated the Hummin Llama Ranch.  McIlnay died at age 58 after a long battle with cancer.

Detroit Free Press, October 5, 1999

Virgil Leone

Virgil Leone pic

May 30, 1952 – November 6, 1999

Virgil Julius “Tony” Leone was born in Detroit and graduated with the class of 1970 from Mt. Pleasant High School.  At Central Michigan University, he was an early member of Gay Liberation, serving as its president in the mid-1970s.  Leone later moved to San Francisco where he worked as a Registered Nurse and became involved in local HIV/AIDS activism.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.

Bay Area Reporter, November 18, 1999

Ricky Kirkwood

Ricky Kirkwood pic

September 23, 1964 – June 18, 1999

Detroit resident James Richard Kirkwood Jr. was employed with a credit union.  He learned he had HIV in 1989 and kept his status secret from his family for nine years out of shame and fear of rejection for his sexuality.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 34.

Between The Lines, July 1, 2004