May 13, 1947 – February 8, 1993
Detroit native and onetime seminary student James Earl Proffitt was an out real estate agent and for sixteen years was organist for Zion Lutheran Church in Ferndale. In the 1980s, he served as an officer of the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Council and later worked for AIDS Care Connection. Proffitt fathered a daughter with lesbian friend J. Charlene Genther. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.
Detroit Free Press, February 10, 1993
Royal Oak Tribune, February 10, 1993
November 19, 1947 – January 10, 1990
Utica resident Thomas Michael Bartley grew up in Port Huron, earned his B.S. in nursing in Houston and a Master’s in nursing from Mercy College in Detroit. He sang in the choir at Zion Lutheran Church in Ferndale and was involved in both Wellness Networks and AIDS Interfaith Network. Bartley was survived by two children and his lover Jim Proffitt. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 42.
Detroit Free Press, January 11, 1990
December 2, 1965 – May 17, 1994
Born in Detroit, James Douglas Drain served in the U.S. Army from 1984 to 1986 and was active in the organization Men of Color. He later worked as office manager for Affirmations Community Center. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 28.
Affirmations newsletter, July 1994
July 13, 1945 – September 5, 1994
Chester Cislo attended St. Casimir High School on Detroit’s West Side and worked as a sexton at St. James Catholic Church in Ferndale. Cislo represented the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus on the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Council, was active with Wellness Networks and the NAMES Project, and served on the board for Friends Alliance. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 49.
Cruise, September 28, 1994
December 26, 1943 – May 12, 1995
Born in Detroit, hairdresser Anthony Caputo attended the Virginia Farrell Beauty School and landed a job at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York at age 20. He returned to Michigan in the early 1980s and later learned he was HIV-positive. Caputo went on to help found AIDS Walk Detroit and work as volunteer coordinator for Wellness House. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 51.
Detroit Free Press, May 18, 1995
January 28, 1952 – February 27, 1992
Detroit native Richard Steven Shank graduated from Novi High School in 1971 and worked as a waiter and bartender at Morey’s and the Escape. Shank was also involved in local community theater and for a time performed female impersonation as Rickie Day. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 39.
Cruise, March 18, 1992
July 2, 1959 – May 23, 1987
Abraham “Ty” Bady grew up in Saginaw, graduated from Buena Vista High School, and attended Ferris State University before moving to San Francisco in 1982. Bady was active in the organization Black and White Men Together. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 27.
Saginaw News, May 28, 1987
Bay Area Reporter, June 4, 1987