Diane Collins

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November 29, 1957 – January 23, 2011

Royal Oak resident Diane Helen Collins graduated with the class of 1975 from Capac High School and went on to serve in the U.S. Navy.  She worked as a dental assistant was a member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit.  Collins was survived by her son.

Oakland Press, February 9, 2011

Karen Johnstone

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February 13, 1938 – May 6, 2020

Born in Ohio, Karen Sue Johnston graduated from Saginaw High School in 1956 and earned her B.S. in biology from Albion College in 1960.  After pursuing advanced degrees at Columbia and DePaul, she served as Director of Physical Therapy at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak from 1970 to 1996.  Johnstone represented in the U.S. at four Paralympics Games.  Her partner Dr. Jane C. Perrin survived her.

Detroit Free Press, May 12, 2020

Evelyn Fisher

Evelyn Fischer pic

April 4, 1941 – December 29, 2020

Evelyn Joseph Fisher attended the University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods and earned her M.D. from the Wayne State University Medical School.  As senior specialist for infectious disease at Henry Ford Hospital, Fisher saw her first patient with AIDS in 1982.  A year later Fisher was instrumental in helping to found Wellness Networks to serve the needs of people with HIV in southeast Michigan.

Detroit News, January 16, 2021

Between The Lines, February 4, 2021

Damon Williams

Damon Williams pic

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

Fred Flett

August 2, 1882 – March 25, 1959

Frederick Arthur Flett was born in Petrolia, Ontario and immigrated to the U.S. in 1900.  He earned his dental degree from the Detroit College of Medicine and practiced dentistry for the next 50 years.  Flett was the sole participant whose identity is known of an unsuccessful attempt to launch an affiliate of the Mattachine Society in Detroit in 1954, four years before a local chapter was finally established.

No known obituary

Dolores Kukla

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November 23, 1930 – September 20, 2010

Dolores Louise Kukla of Walled Lake was born in Detroit and graduated from Western High School.  She earned her B.S. in nursing from Wayne State University in 1960 and subsequently worked as an RN.  In the mid-1970s, Kukla listed herself as a “contact dyke” in Lesbian Connection to serve as a resource for women in Metro Detroit.  She was also involved in the Forum Foundation in the early 1990s.

Detroit News, September 26, 1990

Sandra Peckens

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May 27, 1949 – September 5, 2020

Sandra Lee Peckens of Harbor Springs was born in Ann Arbor and grew up in Otsego.  She earned her B.A. in social work from Michigan State University in 1971 and went on for her MSW, also at MSU.  Peckens career took her to hospitals in Metro Detroit and Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey.  She and her longtime partner Sally Hood were united in a civil union in 2008 and legally married in 2010.

Livingston Daily Press & Argus, September 8, 2020

Lauriejane Smith

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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

Lisa Carlson

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December 20, 1972 – October 18, 2019

Born in Kalamazoo, Lisa Ilene Carlson graduated from Montague High School in Montague and attended Muskegon Community College.  She trained as a paramedic at Great Lakes Academy in Allendale and had a 20-year career as an EMT and EMT trainer.  She also enjoyed music and was a devoted fan of the Michigan Renaissance Festival.  Carlson was survived by her partner Amanda Visger.

Muskegon Chronicle, October 21, 2019

Debra McGee

Debra McGee pic

October 19, 1951 – November 2, 2020

Debra Jean McGee was a master drummer and a priest of Obatala in the Yoruba faith.  After moving to Michigan from New York, she worked as a coordinator at the Flushing Senior Center, received her Bachelor’s from the University of Michigan-Flint, and earned her MSW at the UM School of Social Work, specializing in geriatrics.  McGee and her partner Sandy Cleomaude married in Swartz Creek in 2017.

Swartz Funeral Home