Susan North

Susan North pic

July 23, 1940 – September 8, 2010

Susan Sanborn North of Troy was born in New Hampshire and graduated from Hunter College in New York.  She worked as a computer programmer, author, and financial planner, and in the latter career advised bequests to numerous LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations in Metro Detroit.  North was active with both Affirmations and the Triangle Foundation.

Between The Lines, September 23, 2010

Norma Andres

Norma Andres pic

September 27, 1949 – February 1, 2014

Norma Jean Andres graduated with the class of 1967 from Chippewa High School in Clinton Township and earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Wayne State University.  She worked as an EMT, hospital attendant, and vocational counselor before heading Project Hope, which provided HIV/AIDS Services in Detroit.  Andres was a supporter of Affirmations and the Ruth Ellis Center.

Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons

Eunica Thurmond

April 16, 1975 – May 20, 2002

Detroit native and homemaker Eunica Jackqulie Thurmond died of smoke inhalation during a house fire at her Lenox Street home.  She was survived by her partner Nicole McDowell.  Funds raised through Affirmations community center helped pay for Thurmond’s burial.

Between The Lines, June 27, 2002

Sara Brieden

Sara Brieden pic

November 13, 1963 – May 27, 1996

Born in Howell, Grosse Pointe Farms resident Sara Maria Briden grew up in Grosse Pointe and graduated with the class of 1981 from South High School.  She later attended the Ford School of Nursing and the University of Michigan before becoming a beauty consultant and operating her own business.  An active runner and swimmer, Breden was also a supporter of Affirmations Community Center.

Grosse Pointe News, May 30, 1996

Larry Gaynier

Larry Gaynier pic

October 14, 1949 – August 6, 1994

Taylor resident Larry Thomas Gaynier taught high school English and communications in Brownstown Charter Township for 22 years.  A member of the Association of Suburban People in the early 1980s, Gaynier later served on the boards of Affirmations and the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 44.

Detroit Free Press, August 9, 1994

Affirmations Newsletter, September 1994

Marc Loveless

Marc Loveless pic

March 23, 1960 – March 8, 2020

Longtime African American LGBTQ activist and Chicago resident Marcus Zohntell Loveless graduated from Redford High School in 1978 and earned his Bachelor’s from Wayne State University.  In 1988, he helped form the Michigan Lesbian/Gay Democratic Caucus.  Loveless was later an instrumental force with the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Anti-Violence Project and active in the founding of Affirmations.

Windy City Times, March 9, 2020

Hyde Park Herald, March 10, 2020

Roger Reisdorf

Roger Reisdorf pic

May 30, 1949 – November 21, 2010

Roger Stanley Reisdorf graduated from Redford Union High School and earned his B.S. from Ferris State University.  He held positions with Grandview Nursing Home, McWilliams Credit Reports, and the Detroit Transportation Corporation.  In the early 1990s, Reisdorf became active with Affirmations, later served on the board of directors, and helped raise more than $5 million for its new building.

Between The Lines, December 9, 2010

Nancy Unwin

Nancy Unwin pic

February 15, 1934 – January 27, 2020

Former Rochester Hills resident Nancy Ann Unwin earned her M.A. in clinical psychology from the University of Detroit and served as a school psychologist for 25 years in Detroit, Clawson, and Lapeer.  Through Affirmations in 2001, she formed OUTSkirts, a discussion group for older lesbians.  Unwin also co-founded Women OUT & About to provide a social outlet with dances, picnics, and other activities.

Detroit Free Press, January 31, 2020

Between The Lines, February 20, 2020

Diane Kotila

Diane Kotila pic

May 28, 1969 – June 23, 1990

Diane Kotila was born in Southfield and graduated with the class of 1987 from Kimball High School in Royal Oak.  She was a student at Oakland University and was employed by William Beaumont Hospital.  After losing her life in an automobile accident, friends held a benefit at the Railroad Crossing for a fund in her name at Affirmations to help provide lesbian and gay youth with counseling and support.

Royal Oak Daily Tribune, June 24, 1990

Affirmations newsletter, September 1990

Kathryn Wright

Kathryn Wright pic

April 15, 1949 – April 26, 2010

A board member of Affirmations in the early 1990s, Kathryn Leta Wright of Lathrup Village earned her D.O. from the Michigan State University School of Osteopathic Medicine.  In her position with the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, she founded the Horizons Project in 1994 targeting the needs of HIV-positive and at-risk youth.  Wright was survived by her life partner Susan Brooks and daughter Jordan.

Between The Lines, May 6, 2010