November 28, 1965 – August 21, 2022
Dearborn native PJ Redbird Two Ravens of Ypsilanti graduated from the University of Michigan in 1990 and earned an MSW from Eastern Michigan University in 1999. He worked at U-M as a sleep technician and an HIV/AIDS social worker. He also formed the group Gender Explorers and volunteered with HARC. Two Ravens was preceded in death by his fiancé Amy Chesbro and was survived by his partner Jay.
Ann Arbor News, September 8, 2022
September 1, 1988 – May 13, 2020
Kody William VanGuilder of Midland, formerly of Bay City, earned his B.A. in psychology and philosophy from Eastern Michigan University in 2010. He held jobs at Tim Hortons and McDonald’s, as well as at the University of Michigan as a teaching assistant. In 2018, VanGuilder married Alex Sage, who survives him.
Gephart Funeral Home
November 8, 1971 – November 27, 2016
Born in Toledo, Ohio, Virlena Cerese Reed of Ann Arbor, previously of Ypsilanti, graduated from Belleville High School and attended Washtenaw Community College. She earned her Bachelor’s at Eastern Michigan University in 2000 and worked as a case manager as well as an artist. Reed was survived by her son Christopher Fitzner-Reed and her co-parenting partner Melinda Fitzner.
Ann Arbor News, November 30, 2016
June 9, 1969 – November 15, 2020
An early member of the House of Chanel, Jennifer Holiday Chanel graduated with the class of 1987 from Flint Central High School and went on to attend Eastern Michigan University. She performed at the Nectarine in Ann Arbor, later worked at Gigi’s in Detroit, and won the Miss Gigi’s title in 1997. The Performers Awards of Detroit honored Chanel with its Bookie Stewart Hall of Fame Award in 2017.
Between The Lines [online only], November 19, 2020
July 7, 1940 – October 20, 2008
Nona Diane McKenna of Dexter was born in the Upper Peninsula town of Hermansville, graduated from Roosevelt High School in Ypsilanti, earned her B.A. in physical education from Eastern Michigan University, and served in the U.S. Marines from 1961 to 1966. In 1991, she and Sally Johnson became the first same-sex couple to register as domestic partners. They married in California in 2008.
Ann Arbor News, October 23, 2008
December 20, 1960 – July 19, 2002
A graduate of Groves High School in Birmingham and Eastern Michigan University, Maureen Elaine Dorrington of Beverly Hills performed was a noted actress on Detroit area stages. Her work included roles in two gay-themed productions of the Jewish Ensemble Theater, Torch Song Trilogy in 1996 and The Laramie Project in the 2001-2002 season, for which she was nominated for a Wilde Award.
Between The Lines, August 8, 2002
August 20, 1946 – January 1, 1990
Mark David Manhoff was born in Detroit, where he graduated from Mumford High School. He attended Eastern Michigan University and later worked as an accountant. In the late 1980s Manhoff and his life partner Burton Fogelman served on the board of the Motor City Business Forum. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 43.
Detroit Free Press, January 3, 1990
January 5, 1946 – February 27, 1991
Garden City native Robert Joel Crane graduated from Cody High School in Detroit and earned his B.A. in art education at Eastern Michigan University. He went on to teach at the elementary level in the Southfield Public Schools. Crane and his lover James Anderson shared a home in Livonia. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.
Cruise, March 13, 1991
June 23, 1928 – November 11, 2010
Illinois native Jean Shirley Cione pitched with the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1945 to 1954, including one year each playing with the Battle Creek Belles and the Muskegon Belles. In the off-season earned her Bachelor’s at Eastern Michigan University, where she later taught for 29 years and served as the first Women’s Athletic Director. Cione was survived by her partner Ginny Hunt.
Ann Arbor News, December 2, 2010
May 10, 1965 – March 4, 2020
A noted figure in Detroit’s electronic music scene, James Joseph Stone Jr. was born in Royal Oak and graduated from Seaholm High School in Birmingham in 1984. He attended Eastern Michigan University and came out as a young gay man on the dance floors of Todd’s and Heaven. A musician and DJ, Stone became an important distributor and promoter of house and techno throughout the metro area.
Potere-Modetz Funeral Home
The Advocate: Jim Stone, 1965-2020