Tim Stempniewski

Tim Stempniewski pic

November 24, 1957 – November 6, 1996

Timothy Dean Stempniewski attended Aquinas High School in Southgate and held degrees in education, nursing, and music.  He worked as a home-care nurse for Henry Ford Hospital and served as a church organist.  In the 1990s he was active with several recovery groups at Affirmations.  Stempniewski was found slain in his Detroit home at age 39.

OutPost, January 22, 1997

David Blair

David Blair pic 2

September 19, 1967 – July 23, 2011

David Blair, better known as Blair, was born in Newton, New Jersey and moved to Detroit in the 1990s.  He achieved national recognition as an openly queer socialist poet, artist, singer-song writer, and activist.  Blair also taught poetry to Detroit Public School students and at the Ruth Ellis Center.  Among his many achievements were a National Poetry Slam title and the BENT Writing Institute Mentor Award.

Between The Lines, July 28, 2011

Metro Times, August 3, 2011

Ciara La’Shae White

Ciara Lashae White pic

October 22, 1987 – January 10, 2013

Ciara La’Shae White was musically inclined at a young age, playing clarinet and bass clarinet in the concert and marching bands at Ruddiman Middle School in Detroit and taking part in the marching band, as well as junior ROTC, at Mackenzie High School.  She was a beloved member of the LGBT community and the Ruth Ellis Center.

Stinson Funeral Home

Aaron-Carl

Aaron-Carl pic

August 9, 1973 – September 30, 2010

Born in Detroit, Aaron-Carl attended Detroit schools and graduated from Harry S Truman High School in Taylor.  An electronic musical artist and DJ known for house, techno, and electro-funk, he received three Performers Awards of Detroit nominations and had a Top 40 hit on Billboard’s dance chart with “My House” in 1998.  He died at age 37 from lymphoma and was survived by his partner Mel Winders.

Between The Lines, October 7, 2010

Jim Proffitt

Jim Proffitt pic

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

Jeff Kucharski

Jeff Kucharski pic

January 13, 1964 – October 25, 1995

Jeffry Florian Kucharski of Dearborn earned a piano scholarship to Wayne State University.  He later received a B.A. in Russian Studies from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from the Wayne State Law School.  Kucharski worked as helpline coordinator at Affirmations Community Center and enjoyed traveling with his partner of 12 years Tom Wilczak.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 31.

Between The Lines, December 1995

Between The Lines, December 1996

Miranda Starr Bennett

Miranda Bennett pic

November 14, 1993 – January 2, 2016

Born in Muskegon, Miranda Starr Bennett was active in sports and music at Muskegon High School with a special devotion to the saxophone.  She worked for Wendy’s and Taco Bell.  Among her survivors was her life partner Kendra Boos.

Muskegon Chronicle, January 5, 2016