Rodolfo Aviles

Rodolfo Aviles pic

May 1, 1942 – November 18, 1992

Born in Texas, Rodolfo “Rudy” Aviles grew up in Bay City and served four years in the U.S. Navy.  He attended Delta College and Saginaw Valley State University and worked with the Michigan Employment Security Commission.  Aviles was active in numerous civic causes, including bilingual education and raising money for Hispanic scholarships.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 50.

Bay City Times, November 18, 1992

Larry Gaynier

Larry Gaynier pic

October 14, 1949 – August 6, 1994

Taylor resident Larry Thomas Gaynier taught high school English and communications in Brownstown Charter Township for 22 years.  A member of the Association of Suburban People in the early 1980s, Gaynier later served on the boards of Affirmations and the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 44.

Detroit Free Press, August 9, 1994

Affirmations Newsletter, September 1994

Greg Hainbecker

Greg Hainbecker pic

October 18, 1957 – May 21, 1996

Gregory Thomas Hainbecker was born in Wyandotte and resided in Ecorse all his life, graduating in 1976 from Ecorse High School.  He was employed as a truck driver, roofer, carpenter, and handyman.  Hainbecker also worked as a longtime bartender at Gigi’s in Detroit.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 38.

Cruise, June 5, 1996

Don DeMorrow Jr.

February 18, 1951 – November 2, 1989

Donald Lee “Don” DeMorrow Jr. was born in and grew up in Benton Harbor.  Following high school, from 1969 to 1971, he served as a corpsman in the U.S. Navy.  Three years later he settled in California.  DeMorrow met his lover Hess Davison in 1979 and the two shared a home in Guernesville, north of San Francisco.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 38.

Bay Area Reporter, November 16, 1989

Jim Moyski

Jim Moyski pic

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

Jeffrey Schoch

Jeffrey Schoch pic

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

Veronica Mitchell

Veronica Mitchell pic

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

Robert Penick III

Robert Penick III pic

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

Michael Phelan

Michael Phelan pic

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

Bill Ashley

Bill Ashley pic

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