August 12, 1958 – July 25, 2016
Theresa Mary Guillean of Bloomfield Hills graduated with the Pontiac Catholic High School class of 1976. She went on to earn her B.S. in 1990 from Oakland University and devoted herself to social work. Guillean and her wife Lori Klein Shapiro were among more than 300 couples issued marriage licenses on March 22, 2014 after a federal judge overturned Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Sparks-Griffin Funeral Home
October 19, 1951 – November 2, 2020
Debra Jean McGee was a master drummer and a priest of Obatala in the Yoruba faith. After moving to Michigan from New York, she worked as a coordinator at the Flushing Senior Center, received her Bachelor’s from the University of Michigan-Flint, and earned her MSW at the UM School of Social Work, specializing in geriatrics. McGee and her partner Sandy Cleomaude married in Swartz Creek in 2017.
Swartz Funeral Home
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
May 10, 1967 – September 27, 2000
Kenneth Ian “Kenny” Heron was a lifelong Detroit resident and worked for the Michigan Humane Society. He also served for nearly five years as the popular Wednesday night DJ at Off Broadway East. At age 33, Heron was shot and killed in an attempted carjacking on the city’s west side.
Between The Lines, October 5, 2000
March 31, 1943 – February 19, 1996
A native of Detroit and graduate of Mumford High School, Gerald Jhazel “Gerry” Fife won a Hopwood Award for his fiction at the University of Michigan and earned his B.A. in journalism there in 1965. After moving to California, he worked as a radio reporter for KSWO in Los Angeles and held positions with Crocker Bank and at the University of San Francisco.
Bay Area Reporter, April 11, 1996
January 21, 1970 – December 2, 1996
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Raishean Ali-Bai Garrett came of age and came out in Detroit in the late 1980s. He held a number of retail jobs in the fashion industry and a popular “club kid” at the Glass House, Menjo’s, Heaven, the Continental, Shoppers, and countless house parties. Before his death, Garrett moved with his sister to Columbia, South Carolina. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 26.
The State, December 3, 1996
Raishean, My Teacher and Muse
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 7, 1967 – June 26, 2004
Schawne Anthony Parker grew up in Detroit, graduated from Chadsey High School in 1985, and attended General Motors Institute before completing his B.S. in chemistry at Michigan State University. He served as first president of Men of Color Motivational Group and was later executive director of the HIV/AIDS agency Center Health Outreach Workers. Parker was survived by his longtime partner Marius Padieu.
Between The Lines, July 8, 2004
March 5, 1951 – April 17, 1996
Native Detroiter Floyd Dunn was a playwright, civil rights activist, and leader in the 1980s of the Detroit Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays. Dunn later served as the founding director of the Black AIDS non-profit organization Project Survival and advocated for the inclusion of men and women of color in clinical trials. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.
No known obituary