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
March 22, 1959 – August 31, 2015
Ordained into the priesthood in 2007, Rev. Karen Johanns moved to Michigan in 2008 to become rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Pontiac, a position she held until cancer forced her into “grouchy” retirement. Johanns was survived by her wife Claire Dodds.
Oakland Press, September 2, 2015
February 1, 1982 – October 5, 2015
A 2001 graduate of Pontiac High School, Greg Daniels, also known as Melvin, was shot to death on Detroit’s East Side wearing women’s clothing. At the time of death, Daniels was a manager-in-training at Wendy’s and also engaged in sex work.
Oakland Press, October 9, 2015
Between The Lines, October 15, 2015