December 14, 1936 – August 9, 2005
Detroit native Harvi Alonzo Griffin was a world-renowned harpist, singer, and teacher. He graduated from Cass Tech High School and earned a B.A. and his first She M.A. from Michigan State University, served in the U.S. Army from 1962 to 1964, and pursued further studies at the Eastman School of Music. Griffin moved to Phoenix in the late 1980s and was survived by his partner of 13 years Lee Barr.
Arizona Republic, August 21, 2005
April 25, 1950 – January 21, 1991
Randy Hutton McGinn of Key West, Florida graduated with the Owosso High School class of 1968 and went on to attend Michigan State University and the Virginia Ferrell School of Cosmetology in St. Clair Shores. McGinn owned Randy’s Coiffer’s in Owosso and previously operated The Ultimate Image in Lansing. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 40.
Key West Citizen, January 22, 1991
February 13, 1942 – March 31, 2013
Deloris Jean Riddlesprigger grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas and studied osteopathic medicine at Michigan State University, earning her doctor degree in 1980. She specialized in anesthesiology and practiced in Metro Detroit for more than three decades. Riddlesprigger and her beloved partner Barbara White shared a home in Southfield for 28 years.
Oakland Press, April 2, 2013
January 16, 1946 – September 21, 2015
Born in Oregon, photographer and filmmaker Honey Lee Cottrell grew up in mid-Michigan and graduated in 1964 from Jackson High School. She completed a year at Michigan State University before she found her vocation while working in a photo lab. Cottrell subsequently moved to San Francisco, where she was employed with the union movement and became a pioneering creator of lesbian erotica.
Windy City Times, September 26, 2015
The Advocate, November 13, 2015
Honey Lee Cottrell Papers at Cornell University
February 20, 1941 – May 19, 1993
Flint native and Swartz Creek resident John Rex Brooks was a graduate of Michigan State University with a B.A. and M.A. specializing in counseling and psychology. He was a teacher and counselor at Longfellow Junior High, later Longfellow Middle School, for 29 years, and was long active in the Flint teacher’s union. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 52.
Flint Journal, May 20, 1993
April 15, 1949 – April 26, 2010
A board member of Affirmations in the early 1990s, Kathryn Leta Wright of Lathrup Village earned her D.O. from the Michigan State University School of Osteopathic Medicine. In her position with the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, she founded the Horizons Project in 1994 targeting the needs of HIV-positive and at-risk youth. Wright was survived by her life partner Susan Brooks and daughter Jordan.
Between The Lines, May 6, 2010
November 4, 1951 – November 23, 2015
Linda Eileen Gesterling was born in Bixby Knolls, California and resided in Glendale, Arizona when she passed away. In the 1980s she lived in Lansing, where she was employed with the Social Security Administration and was a 1990 graduate of Michigan State University. Gesterling was survived by her spouse Lisa Howell.
Kalamazoo Gazette, December 1, 2015
September 23, 1948 – August 7, 2012
Kalamazoo nutritionist Diana Zhenhua Artz-Iffland earned her B.S. from Western Michigan University and her M.S. from Michigan State University. She was a longtime member of the People’s Church and, with her life partner River Artz-Iffland, was active in the pioneering local lesbian organization Lavender Morning. For 18 years the couple operated Pandora’s Books for Open Minds.
January 24, 1959 – July 16, 2011
Thaddeus Allen Rusztowicz of East Lansing and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida was born in Detroit and earned his Bachelor’s in marketing in 1982 from Michigan State University. He enjoyed a long career in design, retiring as president of the auto supplier LPC Manufacturing to a new career in real estate. Rusztowicz was survived by Mark Clouse, his life partner of 21 years.
Lansing State Journal, July 19, 2011
June 15, 1953 – July 27, 2015
Vande Jane Grewer of Troy earned her B.S. in retail management in 1975 from Michigan State University. She was as a licensed real estate agent in Metro Detroit and attended the First United Methodist Church of Birmingham. Grewer’s life partner Tamara Dowd survived her.
Detroit News, July 31, 2015