Sylvia Robinson

Sylvia Robinson pic

October 28, 1941 – June 15, 2001

Sylvia Robinson moved to Detroit at age 10, attended Northwestern High School, and earned her MSW from Wayne State.  In 1977, she was appointed liaison to the gay community for the city’s Human Rights Department.  Robinson also co-founded the Detroit Coalition of Black Gays in 1979, served as education officer for the Michigan Organization for Human Rights, and later attended Full Truth Fellowship Church.

No known obituary

Michelle Hughson

Michelle Hughson pic

June 19, 1966 – September 17, 2001

Jackson resident Michelle Marie “Mitch” Hughson was born in Lansing and graduated with the class of 1985 from Charlotte High School.  For 12 years, Hughson worked as a radiologist technician at Hayes Green Beach Hospital in Charlotte.

Legacy.com

Jack Birkinsha

January 22, 1940 – December 18, 2001

Jack Birkinsha of Byron Center was a Kansas native, earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and retired from the Great American Life Insurance Company.  As an attorney in Detroit in the late 1970s, Birkinsha served as a trustee for the monthly paper Metro Gay News and, as a member of the Committee for Gay Rights, helped push for the city’s Omnibus Human Rights Ordinance.

St. Joseph News-Press, December 25, 2001

Walter Cunningham

March 25, 1952 – Declared dead October 31, 2001

A 30-year employee of GM’s Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly Plant and a regular patron of the R&R in Detroit, Walter Greig Cunningham was murdered at age 49 in his Romulus apartment in what police believed was an anti-gay pick-up crime.

Between The Lines, November 22, 2001

Garland Gillard II

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October 1, 1965 – January 24, 2001

Garland Gillard II operated PC Doctor, a computer repair business, and served as minister of music for Full Truth Unity Fellowship Church in Detroit.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 35.

Between The Lines, February 8, 2001