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

Joe Periard

Joe Periard pic

June 2, 1964 – July 2, 2018

Joseph Patrick Periard of Kalamazoo, formerly of Southfield, was born in Bay City and graduated from Bay City Western High School.  He earned his Bachelor’s in computer science from Michigan Technological University and was later employed with Ford Credit in Detroit.  In March 2017, Periard was united in marriage with Joseph Biron II, who survives him.

Kalamazoo Gazette, July 3, 2018

Harold McCormick

Harold McCormick pic

January 4, 1934 – May 9, 1999

Civil rights activist Harold McCormick was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1962.  After moving to Metro Detroit, he was engaged in social work and became CEO of Quality Human Services.  McCormick led a largely closeted life until he was found murdered in his Royal Oak Township apartment, the victim of a man he met at an adult book store.

Detroit Free Press, May 13, 1999

Between The Lines, June 10, 1999

Between The Lines, July 1, 1999

Tess Wiseheart

Tess Wiseheart pic

March 5, 1944 – December 23, 2018

Grand Rapids native Tess Wiseheart graduated from Ottawa High School and earned her Bachelor’s at Olivet College.  She began her teaching career in Milford and later taught in Grand Rapids, where she was a founding member of Aradia.  For 20 years she served as coordinator for the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.  After moving to Oregon in 1988, Wiseheart directed the Portland Women’s Crisis Line.

OLOC E-News, January 2019

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

Ellen Rogowski

Ellen Rogowski pic

September 18, 1963 – April 3, 2020

Growing up in the 1970s, Ellen Marie Rogowski of Holly was the first girl to play in a boys’ baseball league in Royal Oak.  She earned her B.A. and M.A. from Oakland University and taught middle school in Pontiac and English at Henry Ford Community College and Lewis College of Business.  She was also an accomplished musician, releasing three albums.  She and Rosemary Jozwiak shared 30 years together.

Sharp Funeral Homes

Strowan Robertson

Strowan Robertson pic

May 1, 1923 – January 11, 1986

In the early 1940s, Frederick Strowan Robertson attended the University of Michigan, where he roomed with W.H. Auden’s lover Chester Kallman.  Robertson finished his B.A. at the University of British Columbia then returned to Ann Arbor to earn his M.A. at UM.  He was active in community theater and gay social circles there in the 1950s.  In later life, he worked for the National Film Board of Canada.

Montreal Gazette, January 22, 1986