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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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