Raishean Garrett

Raishean Garrett pic

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

Mary Pyle

Mary Pyle pic

April 25, 1926 – September 5, 2015

Mary Elizabeth Pyle was born in Lansing and graduated from Lakeview Highland High School in Battle Creek in 1944, a member of its first graduating class.  She was employed as a secretary with Post Cereals for more than 30 years and after retiring in the mid-1980s moved to Phoenix.  Pyle was preceded in death by her partner of five decades Patsy Spahr and in her last years wintered back in Michigan.

Avink Funeral Home & Cremation Society

Tangala Moore-Powers

Tangala Moore Powers pic

July 9. 1979 – March 16, 2018

Tangela Moore-Powers graduated with the class of 1999 from Muskegon Heights High School and studied photography at Spring Arbor University.  In the mid-2000s she moved to Mesa, Arizona, where she attended the Arizona School of Massage Therapy and worked as a stocker for Walmart.  She and Sharon Powers met in 2006 and were married in September 2015.

Muskegon Chronicle, March 23, 2018

Stephen Gendin

Stephen Gendin pic

February 20, 1966 – July 19, 2000

Stephen Gendin was a teenage member of Mensa and valedictorian of the Ypsilanti High School class of 1984.  While studying at Brown University, he learned he had HIV.  Gerdin went on to become a leading activist in ACT UP/New York, a columnist for POZ magazine, and the founder of Community Prescription Service, a mail-order pharmacy distributor.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 34.

New York Times, July 22,2000

Remembering Stephen Gendin on YouTube

Stephen Gendin Papers at Yale University

Karen Knudstrup

Karen Knudstrup pic 3

May 25, 1939 – September 17, 2017

Born in Mason, Karen Anne Knudstrup graduated from Mason High School, earned her Bacherlor’s in social science in 1961 at Michigan State University, and went on to teach physical education in Catholic and public high schools in Chicago.  She was a delegate in the teacher’s union and also served in the U.S. Navy Reserves.  Knudstrup was survived by Diana Haskell, her partner of 52 years.

Chicago Tribune, September 30, 2017

Dallas Williams Jr.

Dallas Williams pic

September 16, 1955 – April 19, 1993

Dallas Skeet Williams Jr., from Detroit, moved to San Francisco to live a more openly gay life.  He worked as a nurse and a massage therapist and became involved in modeling, bodybuilding, doing drag, photography, and performing in adult videos.  As a revolutionary HIV+ union activist, he protested with ACT UP and fought police brutality.  Williams lost his life to diabetes.

Bay Area Reporter, May 13 1993

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