Jeri Shupe

Jeri Shupe pic

September 16, 1954 – February 23. 2019

Jeri Shupe of Pontiac grew up in Taylor and graduated with the class of 1972 from Taylor High School.  She worked variously as a ballroom dance instructor, a law office manager, and a licensed cosmetologist.  Shupe was active in the Flint-area group Transgender Connect and in 2016, according to her obituary, transitioned from male to female.  Her life partner Diane Morin survived her.

Sparks-Griffin Funeral Home

Ellen Rogowski

Ellen Rogowski pic

September 18, 1963 – April 3, 2020

Growing up in the 1970s, Ellen Marie Rogowski of Holly was the first girl to play in a boys’ baseball league in Royal Oak.  She earned her B.A. and M.A. from Oakland University and taught middle school in Pontiac and English at Henry Ford Community College and Lewis College of Business.  She was also an accomplished musician, releasing three albums.  She and Rosemary Jozwiak shared 30 years together.

Sharp Funeral Homes

Scott Amedure

Scott Amedure pic

January 26, 1963 – March 9, 1995

Scott Bernard Amedure moved to Waterford from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was five, left high school at 17 to join the U.S. Army, and later worked as a bartender at Popper’s in Pontiac.  In March 1995, two days after Amedure revealed his secret crush on his straight acquaintance Jonathan Schmitz during a taping of the Jenny Jones Show, Schmitz murdered him in his Orion Township mobile home.

Between The Lines, April 1995

Kraig Knorr

Kraig Knorr pic

January 20, 1957 – November 18, 1999

Pontiac resident Kraig Marlon Knorr was born in Alpena and attended Hillman Community High School.  He served in the U.S. Navy from 1977 to 1979 and later earned his B.A. at the University of Michigan-Flint, where he worked as a tutor in the writing center.  In the 1990s, Knorr worked as DJ at the State Bar in Flint and at Popper’s in Pontiac.

Alpena News, November 21, 1999

Bill Ashley

Bill Ashley pic

June 20, 1961 – December 12, 1992

William Harrison Ashley graduated with the class of 1979 from Pontiac Central High School.  In 1983, Ashley was one of three partners who opened Chosen Books in its original location on McNichols in Detroit.  Ashley left the business in 1987 and moved to Ohio, later settling in Washington, DC.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 31.

Cruise, February 3, 1993

Cindy Everling

Cindy Everling pic

August 18, 1946 – January 14, 2011

Cynthia Susan Everling, known to friends as Cindy, graduated from Pontiac Central High School and studied philosophy at Oakland University, with additional studies at Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan.  She was a case manager and grant writer for the HIV/AIDS Resource Center.  Everling resided in Ann Arbor with her partner of 28 years Lin Jacobs.

Ann Arbor.com

Douglas Pizzala

Doug Pizzala pic

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