October 26, 1966 – December 21, 2007
Born in Los Angeles, Kurt Andrew Tamm went to Bentley High School in Livonia. He later tended bar at Backstreet in Detroit and Cobalt in Ferndale. In his last years, Tamm made a home in Puerto Rico. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.
Between The Lines, January 17, 2008
June 27, 1942 – December 8, 2004
Detroit native Walter Mark Drewek worked for more than nearly three decades in kitchen and bathroom design and remodeling. In his last five years of life, Drewek shared his Ferndale home with his partner Martin Oliver, who survived him.
Between The Lines, December 23, 2004
August 4, 1966 – February 24, 2020
Michael Hugh Guigar was born in Marlette and earned his B.S. in computer science at Saginaw Valley State University. He later resided in Ferndale, Royal Oak, and Hazel Park and became active with the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus for many years. Guigar was employed by 7-Eleven and attended the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit. His partner Brent Toner survived him.
Between The Lines, March 5, 2020
September 17, 1953 – April 4, 2006
Michele “Mickie” Janisse attended Utica High School, graduated from the Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science, and resided in Hazel Park and Ferndale. A longtime and compassionate funeral director in Ontario and Michigan, Janisse also practiced a form of massage called myomassology. She was survived by her beloved partner Lynne Rose.
Windsor Star, April 6, 2006
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
November 27, 1953 – January 13, 1993
James Ernest Moyski was born in Detroit, graduated in 1971 from Walled Lake Western High School, and earned his B.S. from Eastern Michigan University. He worked as a licensed cosmetologist, was active in theater and dance, and resided in Ferndale with his lover William Markel. Moyski also performed for 8 years with the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 39.
Cruise, January 20, 1993
July 20, 1930 – January 21, 2009
Marjorie Ann Lyda earned her MSW from Wayne State and in 1967 became the first African-American woman to open a psychotherapy practice in Birmingham. She was one of the earliest therapists in Metro Detroit to provide positive counseling to gay clients and offered pioneering treatment for people now termed transgender. Lyda also served as pastor for churches in Ferndale and Detroit.
Detroit News, January 28, 2009
April 1, 1957 – January 4, 2015
Kevin James Rogers was born and grew up in Clinton Township in Macomb County. He resided in Lincoln Park and Detroit before moving to Ferndale, where he co-chaired Keep Our Human Rights, a group formed to combat a ballot campaign to rescind Ferndale’s newly enacted non-discrimination ordinance in 1999. Rogers owned and operated Just 4 Us in Ferndale from 2004 until his death.
Between The Lines, January 15, 2015
March 19, 1954 – January 29, 2014
Longtime HIV and AIDS educator and advocate Kaye Lourena McDuffie served as communicable disease coordinator and intervention prevention specialist for the Lansing Area AIDS Network. Born in Ferndale, she graduated from Cass Tech in Detroit before attending Lansing Community College and Michigan State University. A devoted wife and mother, McDuffie was also active in local theater.
Between The Lines, February 6, 2014
LAHR newsletter, March 2014
Riley Funeral Home
February 15, 1944 – November 3, 2014
A native of Ecuador with a Bachelor’s from Columbia University and a Master’s from American University, Ernest “Tito” Gutierrez Jr. enjoyed a 20-year career at the Kresge Foundation in Troy. While a resident of Royal Oak, Gutierrez served on the board for Affirmations and played a significant role in capital fundraising for construction of the community center’s own building in downtown Ferndale.
Between The Lines, November 13, 2014