Kenneth Kammann

Kenneth John Kammann pic

April 22, 1955 – September 12, 1989

Kenneth John Kammann grew up on Detroit’s East Side and graduated in 1973 from Bishop Gallagher High School in Harper Woods.  After attending Macomb Community College, Kallmann moved to San Francisco where he had a successful career in sales and co-founded the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Chorus.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 34.

Detroit Free Press, September 16, 1989

Bay Area Reporter, September 21, 1989

Ernie Lee

Ernie Lee pic

January 6, 1958 – August 16, 1993

Ernie Lee was born and grew up in Flint. He later moved to Dearborn, tended bar at the Hayloft Saloon and the Crystal Peacock in Detroit, and sang with the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus.  With the death of his lover Jerry in 1989, Lee moved to Chicago, where he became active with the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power and lived with his companion Gregg.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 35.

Cruise, September 8, 1993

Jere Van Syoc

Jere Van Syoc pic

April 22, 1935 – January 6, 2018

Painter, sculptor, and pioneering filmmaker Jere Van Syoc graduated from Lincoln High in Ferndale.  She went on to earn her B.A. and M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and later taught at Western Michigan University and Nazareth College.  In 1977, Van Syoc co-founded Aradia in Grand Rapids, where her home was known as “a palace for the goddess.”  She died at age 82 in West Virginia.

High Lawn Funeral Home

Jere Van Syoc Collection at The Woman Behind the Camera

Dannie Lucas

Dannie Lucas pic

May 4, 1958 – September 5, 1994

Daniel Robert “Dannie” Lucas spent most of his life in Battle Creek before moving to Chicago in 1991.  Lucas worked as a hairstylist, was long active with the Alano Club, and performed in community theater, realizing a long-held dream with his final role in “A Streetcar Named Desire” playing Stanley Kowalski.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 36.

Gay Chicago, September 22, 1994

Roger LeClaire

Roger LeClaire pic 2

March 24, 1950 – February 3, 1986

Roger Thomas LeClaire attended Detroit’s De La Salle Collegiate High School, where he lettered in football.  By the 1970s, he had made his way to California and did modeling under the name Geoffrey Kane for Playgirl and International Male.  LeClaire also worked as a photographer and as a bartender in West Hollywood.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 35.

Detroit Free Press, February 7, 1986

The AIDS Memorial

Harvi Griffin

Harvi Griffin pic

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

Carl Mitchell

Carl Mitchell pic

April 12, 1932 – May 14, 2018

Orphaned as a child, former Detroiter Carl Mitchell joined the U.S. Army at age 17 and served as a combat medic during the Korean War.  While home in Detroit on leave, he discovered the gay bars downtown, where his uniform attracted much attention.  He later worked as a nurse in Detroit-area hospitals.  Mitchell was survived in St. Petersburg, Florida by Robert Stanley, his partner of 48 years.

Between The Lines, May 24, 2018

Randy McGinn

Randy McGinn pic

April 25, 1950 – January 21, 1991

Randy Hutton McGinn of Key West, Florida graduated with the Owosso High School class of 1968 and went on to attend Michigan State University and the Virginia Ferrell School of Cosmetology in St. Clair Shores.  McGinn owned Randy’s Coiffer’s in Owosso and previously operated The Ultimate Image in Lansing.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 40.

Key West Citizen, January 22, 1991

Karen Casey Cornell

Karen Casey Cornell pic

March 8, 1954 – March 27, 2013

Karen “Casey” Cornell was born in Goodrich and grew up in Ortonville.  She was later heterosexually married, raised two children, and for 13 years operated her own restaurant.  At the time of her death at age 59, Cornell resided in Spring Hill, Florida.  She was survived by her partner Tammy Beardsley.

Oakland Press, March 29, 2013

Brad McMinn

Brad McMinn pic

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