December 14, 1936 – August 9, 2005
Detroit native Harvi Alonzo Griffin was a world-renowned harpist, singer, and teacher. He graduated from Cass Tech High School and earned a B.A. and his first She M.A. from Michigan State University, served in the U.S. Army from 1962 to 1964, and pursued further studies at the Eastman School of Music. Griffin moved to Phoenix in the late 1980s and was survived by his partner of 13 years Lee Barr.
Arizona Republic, August 21, 2005
April 3, 1958 – May 1, 2020
Maureen “Mo” Kay Doyle was born in Lowell and graduated from Lowell High School in 1976 before pursuing a Bachelor’s in education and health at Northern Michigan University. She taught and worked as a camp counselor before taking up a 30-year career as a delivery driver for UPS. Doyle and Peggy Michmershuizen were married in August 2016 and shared a home in northwest Grand Rapids.
Grand Rapids Press, May 2, 2020
December 4, 1949 – May 17, 1993
Born in Flint, Frank Bradford McMinn, who went by Brad, graduated from Grand Blanc High School in 1968 and earned his B.A. in history from the University of Michigan-Flint in 1972. Following college, McMinn taught school in Flint until moving in 1978 to Washington, DC, where he worked in the national headquarters of the American Red Cross. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 43.
Washington Blade, May 28, 1993
May 1, 1942 – November 18, 1992
Born in Texas, Rodolfo “Rudy” Aviles grew up in Bay City and served four years in the U.S. Navy. He attended Delta College and Saginaw Valley State University and worked with the Michigan Employment Security Commission. Aviles was active in numerous civic causes, including bilingual education and raising money for Hispanic scholarships. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 50.
Bay City Times, November 18, 1992
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 5, 1944 – December 23, 2018
Grand Rapids native Tess Wiseheart graduated from Ottawa High School and earned her Bachelor’s at Olivet College. She began her teaching career in Milford and later taught in Grand Rapids, where she was a founding member of Aradia. For 20 years she served as coordinator for the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. After moving to Oregon in 1988, Wiseheart directed the Portland Women’s Crisis Line.
OLOC E-News, January 2019
September 18, 1963 – April 3, 2020
Growing up in the 1970s, Ellen Marie Rogowski of Holly was the first girl to play in a boys’ baseball league in Royal Oak. She earned her B.A. and M.A. from Oakland University and taught middle school in Pontiac and English at Henry Ford Community College and Lewis College of Business. She was also an accomplished musician, releasing three albums. She and Rosemary Jozwiak shared 30 years together.
Sharp Funeral Homes
October 9, 1990 – September 3, 2018
Born in Detroit, Melissa Silvia Zicarelli of Lansing earned her B.S. in Spanish and linguistics and her M.A. in teaching English to speakers of other languages from Central Michigan University. She later worked as director of preschool enrichment at Okemos Public Montessori. In November 2017, Zicarelli was united in marriage with Katherine VanArdsall.
Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes
August 8, 1948 – January 13, 2008
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, James Hendricks “Jim” Posante Jr. moved to Michigan at age 12 and attended Milford High School in Highland before moving to Ann Arbor in 1966. He taught at Greenhills School for 32 years and for four decades was driving force in local theater in the community and at the University of Michigan. Posante was survived by a daughter and by Charles Sutherland, his partner of 36 years.
Between The Lines, January 17, 2008
Detroit News, January 17, 2008
May 29, 1944 – April 6, 2005
Martha Charles of Lathrup Village was born in Crawfordsville, Indiana and as a toddle moved to Detroit, where she graduated with the class of 1962 from Cass Tech High School. After earning her B.A. from Western Michigan University, she taught middle and high school in St. Clair Shores. Charles was active in Women Together and co-founded the group Lesbian-A-Sisters. Her partner Sue Brooks survived her.
Between The Lines, May 12, 2005