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
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
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
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
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
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
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