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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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