Kathryn Norris

Kathryn Norris pic

September 17, 1962 – March 23, 2014

Kathryn Elizabeth Norris graduated from Charlotte High School, studied management science at the University of Maryland, served in the U.S. Army from 1983 to 1987, and from 1988 to 2006 operated several Mancino’s outlets in Lansing.  She later moved to Chicago, where she came to share her life with her partner Vivian Shelton.

Lansing State Journal, March 27, 2014

Harry Kevorkian

Harry Kevorkian pic

August 7, 1947 – February 3, 2002

Originally from Waterford, Harry “Kitty” Kevorkian became involved in the Gay Liberation Front in Ann Arbor during in the early 1970s.  He, took part in numerous protests, once crashing an event donned in skag drag at the home of the president of the University of Michigan.  Kevorkian was a candidate for the city’s mayor in 1974 and later headed the bus union during a 42-day walkout.

Between The Lines, February 21, 2002

Clifford Reynolds Jr.

Clifford Reynolds pic

January 25, 1921 – December 26, 1997

Actor and artist, Clifford Reynolds Jr. grew up in Highland Park and attended what was then called Wayne University in Detroit.  He married in 1945, moved with his wife to California in 1952, and they divorced in 1968.  A radio and television performer, Reynolds was survived by companion Lorne Gay.

Bay Area Reporter, January 1, 1998

Joseph Maldonado

Joseph Maldanado pic

March 22, 1949 – July 25, 1989

Born in Detroit, Joseph Daniel Maldonado grew up in Saginaw and moved back to Detroit following high school.  Through much of the 1970s he performed as Dani DiLetto at such clubs at Morey’s, the Iron Hinge, and Bookie’s Club 870.  DiLetto was awarded the title of Miss Gay America in 1976 when the original winner had the crown rescinded.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 40.

Saginaw News, July 27, 1989

This Week in Texas, August 11, 1989

D.J. Boos

DJ Boos pic

April 4, 1965 – March 14, 2014

Danny W. (D.J.) Boos Jr. grew up in Beaverton and graduated from the Beaverton Rural Schools in 1982.  After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps until 1989, he moved to Chicago where he worked in the hospitality industry.  Long active in the Windy City LGBT community, Boos was named Mr. Chicago Leather in 1997.

Windy City Times, March 19, 2014

Jessie Makaila Shipps

Jessie Shpps pic

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

Cheri Jo Fiebig

Cheri Jo Fiebig pic

October 12, 1961 – November 19, 2013

Madison Heights High School grad Cheri Jo Fiebig performed for more than 30 years as a male impersonator, appearing at the State Bar in Flint, Silent Legacy in Inkster, and other bars in Metro Detroit in the 1980s and ‘90s.   She was featured on such local TV shows as Good Morning Detroit and Kelly & Company.  Fiebig later relocated to Nashville, Tennessee and died from lung cancer at age 52.

Detroit News, November 30, 2013