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
September 19, 1934 – August 4, 1992
Born in Bay City, Jill Marilyn (Conway) Ramseyer graduated from the Henry Ford Hospital nursing program in 1955 and began work as an RN for the Genesee County Public Health Department in 1972. The first nurse in Flint to do HIV testing, she was founder and later president of Wellness HIV/AIDS Services. Ramseyer retired to Au Gres in 1991 and was survived by her husband and two children.
Flint Journal, August 5, 1992
December 10, 1966 – May 30, 1998
Flint resident Shannon Daniel Holihan attended Grand Blanc High School, was employed as a computer programmer for the Kmart corporation in Troy, and cared for his mother. Holihan was murdered at age 31 after leaving the parking lot of the State Bar, his body found bludgeoned in the head behind a nearby restaurant.
Between The Lines, June 11, 1998
December 20, 1922 – August 6, 2019
Lake Ann resident and Clare native Betty Jane Finout worked on the assembly line in Flint during World War II and earned her B.S. from Central Michigan University. She went on to coach and teach physical education at schools in Fenton, Holly, Lake Fenton, and Owosso. Finout enjoyed an active retirement into her 90s and was survived by two children and by longtime partner Samantha Niergarth.
Lesbian Connection, January/February 2020
January 22, 1927 – June 1, 1989
Fredrica Kathryn Bartz graduated from Flint Central High School in 1943. After divorcing her husband, she received her B.A. from the Flint College of the University of Michigan. She later earned her M.A. at UM-Ann Arbor and her Ph.D. from MSU. She taught English at UM-Flint for 22 years, and at her death was chair of the department. Bartz shared a home in Montrose with her companion Mary Ellen Raleigh.
Memo, June 26, 1989
January 6, 1958 – August 16, 1993
Ernie Lee was born and grew up in Flint. He later moved to Dearborn, tended bar at the Hayloft Saloon and the Crystal Peacock in Detroit, and sang with the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus. With the death of his lover Jerry in 1989, Lee moved to Chicago, where he became active with the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power and lived with his companion Gregg. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 35.
Cruise, September 8, 1993
June 23, 1945 – April 11, 2012
Longtime Wyandotte resident Susan Ann Christner graduated from Central High School in Flint in 1963 and earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint in 1976. She went on to get her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UM in Ann Arbor in 1998 and went into private practice. She was survived by two sons and her partner Linda Sprankle.
Flint Journal, April 15, 2012
December 4, 1949 – May 17, 1993
Born in Flint, Frank Bradford McMinn, who went by Brad, graduated from Grand Blanc High School in 1968 and earned his B.A. in history from the University of Michigan-Flint in 1972. Following college, McMinn taught school in Flint until moving in 1978 to Washington, DC, where he worked in the national headquarters of the American Red Cross. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 43.
Washington Blade, May 28, 1993
September 16, 1954 – February 23. 2019
Jeri Shupe of Pontiac grew up in Taylor and graduated with the class of 1972 from Taylor High School. She worked variously as a ballroom dance instructor, a law office manager, and a licensed cosmetologist. Shupe was active in the Flint-area group Transgender Connect and in 2016, according to her obituary, transitioned from male to female. Her life partner Diane Morin survived her.
Sparks-Griffin Funeral Home
January 12, 1966 – October 25, 2019
Tara Louise Kelley was born in Flint, graduated from Bentley High School in Burton, and served six years in the U.S. Navy. She later earned her Bachelor’s at the University of Michigan-Flint, served in the National Guard, and for 19 years worked as a corrections officer with the State of Michigan. Kelley and her longtime partner Angelina Winn were found dead in their Kingsley home in a tragic murder-suicide.
Sharp Funeral Homes
Traverse City Record-Eagle, December 4, 2019