February 14, 1954 – April 28, 2018
Born in Three Rivers, Bradley Conrad graduated from nearby Mendon High School and went on to study at Northwood Institute in Midland and Nazareth College in Kalamazoo. He was employed as a financial controller and human resources for the plastics firm Crocker Ltd. Conrad met his partner and future spouse Mark McCoskey in 1991 and the two married in Connecticut in 2016.
Kalamazoo Gazette, May 3, 2018
November 14, 1964 – February 13, 2018
Vanessa Goldman, also known as Vanessa Prygoski, graduated from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel High School in Wyandotte. She earned her B.S. at Central Michigan University in 1987 and her M.I.L.S. from the University of Michigan in 1990. A librarian at Cooley Law School, Baker College in both Owosso and Jackson, and for 18 years at UM-Flint, Goldman also played with the Metro Detroit LGBT Softball League.
Wild Hunt, February 19, 2018
Michigan Times, March 6, 2018
April 16, 1960 – January 4, 2018
Lesbian writer, filmmaker, and punk musician Rayya Mokdessy Elias was born in Syria, grew up in Metro Detroit, and graduated from Center Line High School. She moved to New York in the 1980s, returning intermittently to Michigan, living in Warren and Royal Oak. Elias directed the film shorts Anonymous and Lunchroom and authored the memoir Harley Loco. She was survived by Elizabeth Gilbert.
The Cut, January 5, 2018
The Alpha Wolf
June 15, 1981 – December 10, 2018
Born in Lansing, Jesse James Sherman Melot graduated from Fulton High School in Middleton in 1999. He later earned his Associate’s at Lansing Community College and his Bachelors from Sienna Heights University, going on to work as operations manager for Farm Bureau Insurance. Melt met his future husband Derek Melot in March 2004 and the two wed in October 2013.
Lansing State Journal, December 14, 2018
July 9, 1953 – February 17, 2018
A resident and native of Indiana, Carol Ann McGill-Colagrossi operated a hair salon and pursued her MSW at Western Michigan University. She went on to work as a social worker in substance abuse rehabilitation at a number of health care clinics and agencies in her home state. McGill-Colagrossi met her future wife Jean McGill in 1990 and the two were married in Iowa in 2013.
South Bend Tribune, February 21, 2018
May 13, 1953 – February 16, 2018
White Lake resident and transgender activist Rachael Stephaine Two-Spirit Jackson had a 47-year career in flexographic printing and was employed at the FSI Label Company in Roseville. She was active in Affirmations and PFLAG Plymouth-Canton, as well as the Native American community, serving on the board for American Indian Services, Inc. Jackson was survived by her wife Marie.
O’Brien & Sullivan Memorial Services
September 2, 1954 – February 22, 2018
Wilbert Anthony “Billi” Gordon Jr. graduated from Union High School in Dowagiac, class of 1972. He left seminary to attend the University of Michigan, where he became involved in gay activism, including as spokesperson for the Ann Arbor Black Gay Caucus. Gordon went on to become a celebrated model, entertainer, writer, and neuroscientist. He was survived by his spouse of 30 years Robert Schallert.
Los Angeles Times, March 10, 2018
November 17, 1932 – October 15, 2018
Born in Jackson, Carolyn Joan Fretz graduated with the 1950 high school class from Midland High School, attended Michigan State University and the earned her Bachelor’s in phys ed from Central Michigan University. Following a long career as an elementary teacher with the Midland Public Schools, she operated her own pet care service. Fretz was preceded in death by life partner Gwendolyn Bagley.
Midland Daily News, October 18, 2018
March 30, 1944 – December 4, 2018
Randall Steven “Randy” Pope grew up in Battle Creek and earned his B.S. from the University of Michigan. He worked for the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta before returning to Michigan. During his 40-year career in public health, Pope was at the forefront of steering state governmental response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Pope was preceded in death by his wife and survived by two sons and two stepsons.
Lansing State Journal, December 11, 2018
September 21, 1925 – July 20, 2018
Longtime Ironwood resident Carl Mathew Kinnunen grew up in Wisconsin and attended college at the University of Wisconsin. During World War II, Kinnunen served in the U.S. Navy as a Yeoman First Class in the Pacific. He later worked as an accountant in the construction industry and in retirement was active in his church choir and with charitable causes in Gogebic and Iron counties.
McDevitt-Patrick Funeral Home & Crematory