October 26, 1951 – October 26, 2009
A longtime HIV survivor, Douglas Pizzala was born and raised in Pontiac. He earned a B.A. in education from Central Michigan University and later worked for the AIDS Consortium of Southeast Michigan and AIDS Partnership Michigan. Pizzala and his life partner of 28 years Ken Pape shared a home in Pleasant Ridge. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 58.
Between The Lines, October 29, 2009
Sullivan & Son Funeral Directors
December 28, 1958 – January 3, 2012
Born in Pontiac, Mark George Bidwell earned his bachelor’s at Lawrence Technological University. He also attended SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary and earned a master’s in pastoral ministry at the Samaritan Institute of Sunshine Cathedral. In 1989, Bidwell joined the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, rose to the position of deacon, and later served as senior pastor until his resignation in 2011.
Between The Lines, January 20, 2012
September 1, 1944 – May 2, 2018
Born in Pontiac, Peresephone Reynolds grew up in Lake Orion and, in 1971, moved to Harrisville where she lived with her life partner Gloria Laurette. She taught with the Oscoda Area Schools and Alpena Community College, earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1993, and retired in 2007. Reynolds and Laurette moved downstate to Clinton Township in 2016.
Oscoda Press, May 2, 2018
September 2, 1943 – November 24, 2015
Born in Pontiac, Randell “Randy” French served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, worked at the GM V-8 Engine Plant in Flint, and belonged to the Masonic Lodge in Ortonville. For a time, he also tended bar at the Interchange and other Detroit gay nightspots.
Flint Journal, May 15, 2016
April 7, 1921 – June 15, 2014
As a fighter pilot in World War II, Pontiac native and Rochester Hills resident Robert Harper survived weeks in the jungles of the Philippines after his plane was shot down. With degrees from Albion and Michigan State University, he taught in the Waterford Schools for twenty-five years. Harper was of a generation that never told their parents they were gay.
Oakland Press, June 22, 2014
February 5, 1966 – June 9, 2017
Born in Pontiac, Duane Froelich was a 1984 graduate of Oscoda High School and a 1992 graduate of Central Michigan University. He was employed in the restaurant industry in Columbus, Ohio for 20 years before returning to Oscoda, where he worked for the auto supplier Cooper Standard.
Iosco County News-Herald, June 14, 2017
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