January 24, 1943 – April 8, 2021
Stanwood resident Elizabeth “Betty” Long was born in Kalamazoo and graduated with the class of 1962 from Comstock High School. She went on to work for Upjohn’s pharmaceuticals and later operated the Nature’s Treasures flower shop in the town of Evart in Osceola County. Long was survived by Shirley Moore, her partner of more than 11 years.
Big Rapids Pioneer, April 9, 2021
August 4, 1977 – December 3, 2021
Jamie Louise Bissell grew up and attended college in Indiana. After earning her J.D. at Valparaiso University in 2005, she moved to Michigan where she first lived in Trenton and worked in law firms. She later moved to Livonia and took a job with the Wayne County Friend of the Court. She also served as president of her union local. Bissell was survived by two children and her wife Molly Pastori-Bissell.
Owen Family Funeral Homes
Erin Nicole Oyster was born in Cadillac and graduated from Reed City High School in 1997. She attended Western Michigan University, where she was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority and where she earned her Bachelor’s in education in 2002. After college Oyster taught high school English in Arizona. She was survived by her life partner Heather Schonfeld.
Big Rapids Pioneer, January 15, 2021
September 15, 1964 – August 3, 2021
Kelli Maria Hand, known professionally as K-Hand, grew up in Detroit where she attended Henry Ford High School. In the 1980s, she discovered the dance scene at the Paradise Garage nightclub in New York and became hooked on the music. Before long she landed gigs as a DJ, including at the Detroit gay venue Zipper’s, and came to achieve international acclaim as the “first lady of Detroit techno.”
Between The Lines [online only], August 5, 2021
New York Times, August 9, 2021
Remembering Detroit Techno Trailblazer Kelli Hand
April 6, 1949 – September 28, 2021
Lansing resident Ilona Rae Sabo-Shuler was born in Grand Rapids, graduated from South High School, attended Calvin College, and later studied at Garrett Theological Seminary in Illinois. After serving as pastor of Williamston United Methodist Church from 1982 to 1994, she became a real estate agent in East Lansing. Sabo-Schuler was preceded in death in 2020 by her partner of 42 years Jean Fillingham.
Palmer, Bush, & Jensen Family Funeral Home
November 19, 1936 – April 29, 2021
Klaus Reich, better known to gay Metro Detroiters by Tony Rome, was born in Berlin, Germany and immigrated to the U.S. in the mid-1950s. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he began an aircraft servicing business in Ypsilanti. He later operated Foof’s Down Under downstairs at Gigi’s nightclub in Detroit. From 1979 to 1999, Rome published Cruise magazine before retiring to warmer climates.
Desert Sun, May 13, 2021
July 31, 1955 – November 8, 2021
Bloomfield Hills resident and Detroit native Treva Bell Bass graduated from Cass Tech High School and pursued acting in Los Angeles. On returning to Detroit, Bass attended Specs Howard University and became a chief engineer with her family’s radio stations. Bass and June Washington, her partner of 33 years, gave generously to Affirmations, the Ruth Ellis Center, Hotter Than July, and other causes.
Between The Lines, November 25, 2021
July 9, 1992 – May 16, 2021
Born in Missouri, Ann Arbor resident David Lawrence Hutchinson grew up in Kansas City, Kansas and earned his B.A. from Truman State University. He went on to pursue his doctorate in history at the University of Michigan where his research interests included the Black diaspora, African American intellectual history, and queer studied. Hutchinson was killed in an automobile accident at age 28.
Thatcher’s Funeral Home
July 23, 1954 – June 13, 2021
Mary Catherine Linton was valedictorian of the class of 1972 at Bullock Creek High School in Midland, earned her B.S. from Michigan State, Master’s from Michigan Tech, and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. She devoted her life to science and poetry, specializing in wetlands, and served an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin. Linton was survived by her wife and partner Kathy Kauffman.
Midland Daily News, July 8, 2021
In Memory of Mary Linton
October 9, 1945 – April 7, 2021
Nancy Jean Riblet of Plymouth graduated from the Ferris State University School of Business in 1968 and went on to a career that took her to the vice presidency at J. Walter Thompson USA, the advertising agency for Ford Motors. Riblet was survived by her partner of 24 years Evelyn Butler.
Detroit News, April 12, 2021