January 5, 1946 – February 27, 1991
Garden City native Robert Joel Crane graduated from Cody High School in Detroit and earned his B.A. in art education at Eastern Michigan University. He went on to teach at the elementary level in the Southfield Public Schools. Crane and his lover James Anderson shared a home in Livonia. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.
Cruise, March 13, 1991
December 7, 1960 – May 12, 2020
Originally from North Carolina, Redford resident and trailblazing activist Aimee Stephens was fired from her job as a funeral director in Garden City in 2013 when she revealed she was transgender and would be living as a woman. She filed suit against her employer but did not live to witness the Supreme Court decision that her firing violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Stephens was survived by her wife Donna.
New York Times, May 12, 2020
Between The Lines, May 18, 2020 [online only]
October 3, 1970 – November 27, 2017
Jacqueline Maurier of Livonia earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan and an Associate degree from Henry Ford Community College. She worked as a surgical technologist at Garden City Hospital and taught as a surgical instructor. The mother of two, Maurier was survived by her significant other Cristi Dikeou.
Detroit Free Press, November 30, 2017
Griffin Funeral Home
December 9, 1954 – June 13, 1999
Raised in a military family, Rev. James Joseph Beates earned his theology degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He moved to Michigan from West Falls, New York and lived in Detroit and Garden City. Beates was the first openly gay pastor to serve in the Presbytery of Detroit and was active in Friends Alliance. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 44.
Detroit Free Press, June 16, 1999
Cruise, June 23, 1999
Between The Lines, June 24, 1999
November 16, 1953 – November 16, 2004
Michael Sweazey of Canton and formerly of Garden City began bartending at Gigi’s in Detroit in the mid-1970s and was one of six employees to inherit ownership of the bar after the death of Tony Garneau. For many years he worked as Gigi’s show director and performed female impersonation under the name Vanessa LaSalle. Sweazey was survived by his life partner of 28 years Steven McAfee.
Between The Lines, December 2, 2004
Vanessa LaSalle at Our Community Roots
February 2, 1936 – January 24, 2015
Patricia Margaret Wootton worked in health care at Zieger Osteopathic Hospital in Detroit. In retirement, she participated in the Western Wayne County Senior Olympics, medaling in golf. Wootton and her life partner Patricia Fair shared a home together in Garden City.
Detroit Free Press, January 25, 2015