February 2, 1968 – January 1, 2022
Damon Michael Williams was born in Flint and graduated with the class of 1986 from Grand Blanc High School. He relocated to Columbus where he attended Ohio State University. At the time of his death, Williams worked as Educational Coordinator for OhioHealth. He was preceded in death by his mother. Survivors included his father, his siblings, and his boyfriend Ricky.
Lawrence E. Moon Funeral Home
January 17, 1947 – December 16, 2020
Lathrup Village resident Susan Catherine Brooks moved to Michigan from Pennsylvania in the 1970s. She earned her M.A. from Central Michigan, and worked for various Girl Scouts councils, the YWCA in Flint, and the YMCA in Detroit. Brooks was also involved in the early lesbian organization Moonrise and with Paws with a Cause. Her partners Martha Charles and Kathryn Wright preceded her in death.
No known obituary
June 18, 1963 – July 16, 2009
Matthew Dean Colden was born in Flint and attended Kearsley High School through 10th grade before dropping out. Colden worked as a chef in restaurants in the Flint and Detroit areas for much of his adult life and lived in Mount Clemens with Steve Daldine, his lover of 27 years. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 46.
Flint Journal, July 18, 2009
June 1, 1934 – March 20, 2986
Wilbert Delos “Hank” George attended North Branch High School in North Branch and worked on the assembly line at AC Spark Plug in Flint before serving in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958. Following his time in the military, he was employed in maintenance for the State of Michigan in Flint and Lapeer. George was a familiar presence at the State Bar and in the local gay community.
Flint Journal, March 21, 1986
September 28, 1956 – February 22, 2021
Otisville resident Lauriejane Clare Smith was born in Flint, grew up in Davison, and graduated with the class of 1974 from Davison High School. After completing the criminal justice program at Mott Community College, she worked as a park ranger and later as a patrol deputy and paramedic for the Genesee County Sheriff. In 2015, Smith married her partner Patricia Lawrence-Smith, who died in 2019.
Hensen Funeral Home
June 9, 1969 – November 15, 2020
An early member of the House of Chanel, Jennifer Holiday Chanel graduated with the class of 1987 from Flint Central High School and went on to attend Eastern Michigan University. She performed at the Nectarine in Ann Arbor, later worked at Gigi’s in Detroit, and won the Miss Gigi’s title in 1997. The Performers Awards of Detroit honored Chanel with its Bookie Stewart Hall of Fame Award in 2017.
Between The Lines [online only], November 19, 2020
February 26, 1968 – pronounced dead November 6, 1999
Mundy Township resident Bruce Michael Hays attended Grand Blanc High, came out as a teen sneaking into Detroit bars, and in the mid-1980s started a computer dating service for Flint-area gay youth. He later completed three years of college and worked as a bartender. Hays gained national notoriety for swiping Michael Jackson’s glove from the Motown Museum.
Flint Journal, November 12, 1999
March 11, 1910 – February 8, 1994
World War II vet Ralph Thompson Stallings began working as a bellhop while attending Saginaw High School and rose in the ranks of hotels in Flint and Detroit. He met his life partner Ralph O’Reilly at a bridge party when neither played bridge. They soon shared an apartment in Detroit and later a home in Davisburg, where they raised Japanese bonsai before moving to Escondido, California in the early 1980s.
Times-Advocate, February 11, 1994
April 1, 1983 – June 18, 1999
Swartz Creek resident Jason Michael Johnson was born in Flint and attended Swartz Creek High School. He was a member of the concert band and the swim team and participated in quiz bowl. He was also active in the online gay community. Johnson lost his life at age 16 in an automobile crash in I-75.
Between The Lines, July 1, 1999
November 26, 1936 – October 12, 2016
Originally from Flint, Wayne Friday served in the U.S. Navy following high school and later worked as a stock broker on Wall Street and in San Francisco where Friday became close friends with future gay supervisor Harvey Milk. He also tended bar and for more than three decades he wrote a political column for the Bay Area Reporter. Suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Friday took his own life at age 79.
Bay Area Reporter, October 13, 2016