April 7, 1984 – June 23, 2015
Birmingham native Jessie Makaila Shipps was a decorated veteran the U.S. Air Force, serving from 2003 to 2014. She was active in SPARTA, an organization for trans military members, and produced a number of YouTube videos documenting her gender transition. Shipps and her spouse Leeanna resided in Hampton, Virginia with their daughter Grace.
The Advocate, June 24, 2015
Detroit News, July 5, 2015
March 10, 1962 – July 11, 2006
Douglas McIntosh earned a B.S. in architecture from the University of Michigan in 1984 and a Masters from Yale in 1990. Three years later, he co-founded McIntosh Poris Associates in Birmingham and soon became a central voice for historic preservation. McIntosh served as president of Preservation Wayne and, with his life partner Scotty James, restored the 1896 Julius Melchers home in Detroit’s West Village.
Between The Lines, July 20, 2006
Model D, July 29, 2015
April 24, 1929 – April 16, 2004
Usein “Mike” Alieff Jr. grew up in Pontiac and for many years ran his own piano school in Birmingham. He and his life companion Max LePard shared a home in Royal Oak for more than forty years. In their retirement, he and LePard were crochet instructors at the Royal Oak Senior Center.
A.J. Desmond & Sons
July 19, 1920 – October 27, 2002
Max LePard grew up in Owosso and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He owned a beauty salon in Birmingham in the 1960s and later operated his own graphic art business in Royal Oak, where he lived for more than forty years with his life partner Usein Alieff.
Daily Tribune, October 29, 2002
August 25, 1948 – January 19, 1993
A graduate of Farmington High School, Alan Redner was deployed to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, received a Bronze Star for his service, and rose to the rank of captain with the Michigan National Guard. Employed with Estate Motors in Birmingham and later with BMW, Redner was also active with the Association of Suburban People. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 44.
Cruise, January 27, 1993
September 16, 1958 – July 17, 2015
A graduate of Roeper High School in Birmingham, Sharon Gittleman earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan and J.D. from the University of Detroit. She later left the field of law to pursue a career in journalism, serving as editor of the Royal Oak Mirror and a freelance writer for Between The Lines.
Between The Lines, July 23, 2015
September 5, 1958 – August 18, 1992
Birmingham resident Michael Connelly attended the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit and worked as a portrait artist. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 33.
Cruise, September 9, 1992