Billy Herrod

Billy Herrod pic

October 26, 1957 – December 19, 2003

Activist and Joliet, Illinois native Billy Wayne Herrod Jr. began his career in retail following community college and moved to Detroit in 1996 as a manager for Sam’s Club.  He served on the board for Kick!, predecessor to LGBT Detroit, and as a member of the Detroit Black Gay Pride board helped to organize the annual Hotter Than July in the early 2000s.

Between The Lines, January 8, 2004

Nikki Nicholas

Nikki Nicholas pic

October 1, 1983 – February 21, 2003

Southfield resident Nikki Nicholas, an entertainer in Detroit gay bars, was found slain at age 19 in what the Triangle Foundation identified as an anti-trans hate crime in an abandoned house in Green Oak Township.  The Washtenaw Rainbow Action Project held a candlelight vigil in her memory and the National Association for the Advancement of Transgender People later marched in Lansing in her honor.

Between The Lines, March 6, 2003

The Final Assault on Nikki

Brent Lewis

September 30, 1965 – May 27, 2003

Detroit native and Pershing High grad Brent O’Neal Lewis earned his B.A. from Wayne State University.  He was an early participant in Men of Color and volunteered on the promotions committee for Hotter Than July.  Lewis also helped launch HIV meal outreach through Full Truth Fellowship Church and visited hospitalized PWAs through the group Oliver Branch.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 37.

Between The Lines, June 19, 2003

Veronica Mitchell

Veronica Mitchell pic

January 9, 1956 – March 1, 2003

Detroit native Veronica Perryman Mitchell attended Mumford High School.  In a 1995 Detroit Free Press feature, she revealed how HIV helped her turn from a life of addiction.  Among her achievements, Mitchell served as AIDS ombudsperson for the City of Detroit, began a women with AIDS support group in C-HAG, and sat on the board of Men of Color.  She died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.

Detroit Free Press, March 6, 2003

Between The Lines, March 13, 2003

David Quinn

David Quinn pic

February 7, 1957 – April 27, 2003

Port Huron native David Quinn graduated with the class of 1975 from Port Huron High School and was employed with Kroger for 18 years.  He was a founding member of and served on the board for Blue Water Pride.  Quinn also helped to plan and organize the international Sarnia-Port Huron Pride celebration.

Port Huron Times-Herald, April 29, 2003

Between The Lines, May 8, 2003

James Limbacher

James Limbacher pic

November 30, 1926 – February 8, 2003

James Louis Limbacher, audio-visual librarian with the Dearborn Public Library for 35 years, was born in Ohio and moved to Michigan in 1955.  He earned his Master’s in library science degree at Wayne State and also taught at Wayne as a world-renowned film historian.  Limbacher was active with the Association of Suburban People and the Forum Foundation.

Detroit Free Press, February 13, 2003

Oddis

Oddis pic in color

December 22, 1966 – January 25, 2003

Southfield activist, performance artist, and poet Oddis was born in Detroit as Otis Mitchell and regularly showcased his work at 1515 Broadway.  In 1998, he took part in the group Detroit Noir as it won first-place in the DC Black Pride poetry slam.  Oddis also worked as a professional model, worked as a promoter for Club One X, and participated in Detroit Black Gay Pride and Karibu House.

Between The Lines, January 30, 2003

Hal Lawson

Hal Lawson pic

January 28, 1925 – June 21, 2003

Hal Lawson, a graduate of Wayne State University, was founding chair from 1958 to 1960 of the Detroit Area Council of the Mattachine Society, the first known organization for homosexuals in Michigan.  He was later involved in ONE in Detroit, the Association of Suburban People, the Michigan Organization for Human Rights, the Unitarian-Universalist Gay Caucus, and Dignity/Flint.

Between The Lines, July 17, 2003

Craig Case

May 9, 1964 – April 1, 2003

Craig Edwin Case was born in Jackson and grew up in Battle Creek.  After graduating from Battle Creek Central High School in 1982, he managed Custer Party Store and was later operations manager for the Battle Creek Flower Exchange.  Case was united with his life partner Martin Burgess in a commitment ceremony in 1998.

Battle Creek Enquirer, April 3, 2003

Robin Ware

Robin Ware pic

November 26, 1957 – August 31, 2003

Taylor resident Robin Enez Ware contracted HIV from her husband and passed the virus to her daughter at birth.  As a social worker for AIDS Partnership, Ware targeted outreach to at-risk populations and help educate people that AIDS was not simply a gay disease, work that was highlighted in a July 1997 issue of the Detroit Free Press.  She died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.

No known obituary