November 27, 1953 – January 13, 1993
James Ernest Moyski was born in Detroit, graduated in 1971 from Walled Lake Western High School, and earned his B.S. from Eastern Michigan University. He worked as a licensed cosmetologist, was active in theater and dance, and resided in Ferndale with his lover William Markel. Moyski also performed for 8 years with the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 39.
Cruise, January 20, 1993
September 29, 1957 – January 8, 1994
Detroit native Jeffrey Louis Schoch graduated with the class of 1975 from Henry Ford High School and later attended Tri-State University in Indiana. Schoch moved to Texas in 1980 and worked as a seller for a meat broker in San Antonio before returning to Michigan to live with his mother in the last months of his life. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 36.
Detroit Free Press, January 14, 1994
This Week in Texas, February 4, 1994
January 9, 1956 – March 1, 2003
Detroit native Veronica Perryman Mitchell attended Mumford High School. In a 1995 Detroit Free Press feature, she revealed how HIV helped her turn from a life of addiction. Among her achievements, Mitchell served as AIDS ombudsperson for the City of Detroit, began a women with AIDS support group in C-HAG, and sat on the board of Men of Color. She died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.
Detroit Free Press, March 6, 2003
Between The Lines, March 13, 2003
September 24, 1965 – May 23, 1992
Robert Edward Lee Penick III graduated with the class of 1983 from Cass Tech High School in Detroit. He came out in the early 1980s on the dance floors of such gay nightclubs as Todd’s, Bookie’s, and the Famous Door. At age 20, Penick moved to New York City to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 28.
No known obituary
June 6, 1949 – January 9, 1990
Michael Phelan grew up in St. Clair Shores and graduated from Lakeview High School. During the 1970s, he performed female impersonation as Whitney Blake at various Detroit bars and won titles for Miss Todd’s, Miss Bookie’s, and Miss Michigan before moving to California. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 40.
Cruise, January 24, 1990
June 20, 1961 – December 12, 1992
William Harrison Ashley graduated with the class of 1979 from Pontiac Central High School. In 1983, Ashley was one of three partners who opened Chosen Books in its original location on McNichols in Detroit. Ashley left the business in 1987 and moved to Ohio, later settling in Washington, DC. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 31.
Cruise, February 3, 1993
October 25, 1968 – August 7, 2013
Detroit native Sean Franklin Sasser graduated from Cass Technical High School and attended the University of Chicago for a year. He gained national celebrity a few years later as the HIV-positive AIDS educator boyfriend of Pedro Zamora on MTV’s The Real World in San Francisco. Sasser went on to become a pastry chef and was survived by husband and longtime partner Michael Kaplan.
Washington Blade, August 8, 2013
CNN, August 8, 2013