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

Usein Alieff

Usein Alieff pic

April 24, 1929 – April 16, 2004

Usein “Mike” Alieff Jr. grew up in Pontiac and for many years ran his own piano school in Birmingham.  He and his life companion Max LePard shared a home in Royal Oak for more than forty years.  In their retirement, he and LePard were crochet instructors at the Royal Oak Senior Center.

A.J. Desmond & Sons

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 Club, the Tryst Club, and the Deck.

No known obituary.

Heather Moana

Heather Moana pic

February 14, 1973 – June 3, 2015

Self-described tech nerd, scuba diver, traveler, musician, artist, photographer, cook, and gardener, Heather Moana spent her early years in Frankenmuth before moving to Battle Creek, where she graduated from Lakeview High School in 1991.  Following high school, she worked for the Battle Creek Enquirer and, in 2005, relocated to California.

Battle Creek Enquirer, June 15, 2015

Amy Oak

Amy Oak pic

January 11, 1951 – November 7, 2016

Twin Oak resident Amy Oak taught special education and led teacher training workshops throughout Michigan.  An avid gardener, cook, community activist, and drummer, she performed with her wife Barbara Pitcher in the musical ensemble Framing Rhythm.

Grand Haven Tribune, November 12, 2016

Judy Eisenberg


July 24, 1944 – November 1, 2015

An eleven-year resident of Marquette, Judith Fern “Judy” Eisenberg worked as a waitress, an emergency medical technician, Dichtaphone operator, folk singer, and piano teacher.  As a member of the Lake Superior Piano Workshop from 2004 to 2010, she performed at the Peter White Library and the Women’s Federated Clubhouse.

Swanson-Lundouist Funeral Home