Carter Conway

Carter Conway pic

May 27, 1963 – September 18, 2009

A 1981 graduate of Flint Southwestern High School, Carter Conway worked for the Hamady Brothers Grocery and the City of Flint.  A familiar patron at the State Bar and Copa Nightclub, he was a pianist, choir leader, and a member of Divine Peace Metropolitan Community Church in Waterford.

Flint Journal, October 1, 2009

Rexford Palmer

Rexford Palmer pic

July 1, 1954 – August 28, 1996

Born in Middleville in Barry County, Rexford Palmer moved to Detroit as a young adult to work in retail.  He continued his retail career after relocating in the mid-1980s to San Francisco, where he became active in the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Bay Area Reporter, September 19, 1996

Vielka Holness

Vielka Holness pic

August 27, 1965 – June 4, 2015

A graduate of Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx, Vielka Holness received her B.A. from New York University.  She studied law at the University of Michigan Law School, clerked with the Michigan Court of Appeals, earned a Masters from Columbia, and received certification from Harvard’s Management Development Program in Higher Ed.  She capped an esteemed career serving as director for Post-Graduate Opportunities and the Pre-Law Institute of John Jay College.

Journal News, June 6, 2015

Christopher Case

October 24, 1962 – July 22, 1994

Christopher Case attended Washtenaw Community College for his LPN and worked for many years in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Hospital.  Case was also active in the Ann Arbor theater scene.  He died of complications from AIDS at age 31.

Between The Lines, September 1994

Stennis Ousley

Stennis Ousley pic

November 4, 1914 – January 18, 1991

Pianist Stennis Ousley accompanied Bramwell “ChiChi” Franklin at the Golden Slipper and other venues in the 1950s.  She performed solo at various straight and gay bars into the 1980s, including the Willis Show Bar, the Tryst Club, and the Deck.

No known obituary.

Esmeralda Bermudez

Esmerdela Bermudez pic

December 19, 1983 – April 28, 2016

Kalamazoo resident Esmeralda Bermudez graduated from Traverse City High School in 2005, earned her associates degree from Northern Michigan College, and worked as a dental technician.  She was survived by two daughters and her wife Jade Austin Morgan.

Dignity Memorial obituary

Robert Hatcher

Robert Hatcher pic

May 12, 1984 – June 27, 2006

Known for his “fallout” dance move, Robert “Reebe” Hatcher became involved in the Ruth Ellis Center for homeless LGBT youth in Highland Park in his late teens.  He died of complications from a heart condition at age 22.

Between The Lines, July 20, 2006

Bradley Grant

Bradley Grant pic

June 4, 1963 – July 19, 1993

Bradley Grant was a longtime member of the Detroit chapter of Black and White Men Together.  He served on the board of the Michigan Organization or Human Rights and was active with the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Council.  He also performed as a female impersonator under the name Peaches la Fleur.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 30.

BWMT Detroit newsletter, August 1993

Isabello Reyes Jr.

Isabello Reyes Jr pic

November 19, 1955 – September 27, 2003

As board chair and educator with Gospel Against AIDS/Global Research, Education, and Training Network, physician Isabello Reyes Jr. pushed for AIDS education, care, and civil rights protections.  In addition to his advocacy, Reyes taught at Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Detroit.

Between The Lines, October 16, 2003

Prophet Jones

Prophet Jones pic

November 24, 1907 – August 12, 1971

James Francis Jones, better known as Prophet Jones, was a nationally renowned religious leader in Detroit famed for his flamboyance and fantastical predictions.  In 1956, he was arrested for allegedly making an “indecent proposal” to an undercover vice officer.

The Advocate, September 15-28, 1971