Larry Kunkle

larry kunkle pic

September 24, 1964 – March 10, 2002

Ferndale resident Lawrence James Kunkle, better known as Larry, was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated in 1973 from Warren High School.  He earned his Bachelor’s in advertising from Ferris State University in 1987 and worked in advertising, journalism, and computer tech.  Kunkle was active in WAGS, Wonderful Animals Giving Support, and was named Mr. Detroit Eagle 2002.

Between The Lines, April 11, 2002

LaVell Williams

Lavell Williams pic

February 23, 1967 – October 27, 2018

Roseville resident LaVell Williams grew up in Detroit, graduated from Cooley High School, and attended the Center for Creative Studies.  From 1997 to 2010, he worked at Record Time in Roseville and Ferndale and music was central to his life.  Williams was co-founder of the Detroit Sound Conservancy and volunteered with the Michigan Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, AIDS Walk Detroit, and Motor City Pride.

Detroit News, October 31, 2018

Facebook Obituary by Carleton Gholz

Suzie Dowden

April 17, 1934 – January 31, 2010

A native of Parkersburg, West Virginia, Suzanne “Suzie” Dowden majored in physical education at Miami University of Ohio and earned her Master’s from the University of Michigan in 1966.  She taught at Eastern Michigan University and had a varied career of teaching, counseling, and coaching in Detroit, Ferndale, and Kalkaska.  Dowden lived in Traverse City with her partner of 42 years Connie Riopelle.

Traverse City Record-Eagle, February 4, 2010

Richard Villaire

Richard Villaire pic

May 8, 1948 – January 19, 1995

Ferndale resident and pioneering AIDS activist Richard William Villaire was born in Wyandotte and attended Roseville High School and Ferris State University before earning his B.A. in psychology at Eastern Michigan University.  He was an officer of the Michigan Organization for Human Rights and was a founder of Wellness Networks, Friends Alliance, and the Midwest AIDS Prevention Project.

Between The Lines, February 1995

Metra, February 15, 1995

Between The Lines, March 1995

Tim Warner

Tim Warner pic

September 18, 1955 – September 25, 1993

Born in Jackson, Timothy Gerald Warner shared a home in Ferndale with his life companion David Wyka and worked for Consumers Power.  Warner served as president of the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce, sat on the city’s Beautification Commission, and volunteered with Wellness Networks.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 38.

Royal Oak Tribune, September 27, 1993

Tom Bartley

November 19, 1947 – January 10, 1990

Utica resident Thomas Michael Bartley grew up in Port Huron, earned his B.S. in nursing in Houston and a Master’s in nursing from Mercy College in Detroit.  He sang in the choir at Zion Lutheran Church in Ferndale and was involved in both Wellness Networks and AIDS Interfaith Network.  Bartley was survived by two children and his lover Jim Proffitt.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 42.

Detroit Free Press, January 11, 1990

Chester Cislo

Chester Cislo pic

July 13, 1945 – September 5, 1994

Chester Cislo attended St. Casimir High School on Detroit’s West Side and worked as a sexton at St. James Catholic Church in Ferndale.  Cislo represented the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus on the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Council, was active with Wellness Networks and the NAMES Project, and served on the board for Friends Alliance.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 49.

Cruise, September 28, 1994