Raishean Garrett

Raishean Garrett pic

January 21, 1970 – December 2, 1996

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Raishean Ali-Bai Garrett came of age and came out in Detroit in the late 1980s.  He held a number of retail jobs in the fashion industry and a popular “club kid” at the Glass House, Menjo’s, Heaven, the Continental, Shoppers, and countless house parties.  Before his death, Garrett moved with his sister to Columbia, South Carolina.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 26.

The State, December 3, 1996

Raishean, My Teacher and Muse

Mary Pyle

Mary Pyle pic

April 25, 1926 – September 5, 2015

Mary Elizabeth Pyle was born in Lansing and graduated from Lakeview Highland High School in Battle Creek in 1944, a member of its first graduating class.  She was employed as a secretary with Post Cereals for more than 30 years and after retiring in the mid-1980s moved to Phoenix.  Pyle was preceded in death by her partner of five decades Patsy Spahr and in her last years wintered back in Michigan.

Avink Funeral Home & Cremation Society

Augustus Rissman

Augustus Rissman aka Gorgeous Gussy pic

September 7, 1922 – May 30, 1997

Detroit native Augustus Herman Rissman was better known to members of the local gay community as Gorgeous Gussy.  Noted for “a gravelly voice and gruff manner,” Rissman entertained audiences throughout the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s at such Detroit bars as the Golden Slipper, LaRosa’s, the Diplomat, and the Gold Dollar.

Cruise, June 18, 1997

Mica Kindman

Mica Kindman pic

May 8, 1945 – November 22, 1991

Queens, New York native Michael Jay “Mica” Kindman attended Michigan State University in the mid-1960s and edited East Lansing’s first alternative newspaper The Paper.  Kindman later lived in Boston and San Francisco and became active in the Radical Faeries.  His autobiography, My Odyssey through the Underground Press, was published posthumously.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 46.

Bay Area Reporter, December 5, 1991

Jean Roberts

Jean Roberts pic

July 3, 1923 – August 31, 2020

Mt. Pleasant resident Jean Roberts grew up on a farm in rural Iowa and attended Western Michigan University, where she played tuba in the symphony.  She went on to teach physical education in Kalamazoo and at Comstock High School and later worked as a counselor in the Reed City schools.  For 15 years, Roberts and her life partner Janet Bush operated J & J Leather.

Morning Sun, September 1, 2020

Barbara Gessell

Barbara Gessel pic

February 3, 1962 – January 7, 2019

Barbara Faye Gessell was born in and spent much of her life in Ohio and held a J.D. and Bachelor’s in business administration.  Her long career in human resources included managerial positions at Mercy Health Network, Toledo Edison, and the Toledo Blade.  After she was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, Gessell retired to Saugatuck with her wife Jennifer Roe.

Toledo Blade, January 11, 2019

Jim Stone

Jim Stone pic

May 10, 1965 – March 4, 2020

A noted figure in Detroit’s electronic music scene, James Joseph Stone Jr. was born in Royal Oak and graduated from Seaholm High School in Birmingham in 1984.  He attended Eastern Michigan University and came out as a young gay man on the dance floors of Todd’s and Heaven.  A musician and DJ, Stone became an important distributor and promoter of house and techno throughout the metro area.

Potere-Modetz Funeral Home

The Advocate: Jim Stone, 1965-2020

Sara Brieden

Sara Brieden pic

November 13, 1963 – May 27, 1996

Born in Howell, Grosse Pointe Farms resident Sara Maria Briden grew up in Grosse Pointe and graduated with the class of 1981 from South High School.  She later attended the Ford School of Nursing and the University of Michigan before becoming a beauty consultant and operating her own business.  An active runner and swimmer, Breden was also a supporter of Affirmations Community Center.

Grosse Pointe News, May 30, 1996

Brent Lewis

September 30, 1965 – May 27, 2003

Detroit native and Pershing High grad Brent O’Neal Lewis earned his B.A. from Wayne State University.  He was an early participant in Men of Color and volunteered on the promotions committee for Hotter Than July.  Lewis also helped launch HIV meal outreach through Full Truth Fellowship Church and visited hospitalized PWAs through the group Oliver Branch.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 37.

Between The Lines, June 19, 2003

Tangala Moore-Powers

Tangala Moore Powers pic

July 9. 1979 – March 16, 2018

Tangela Moore-Powers graduated with the class of 1999 from Muskegon Heights High School and studied photography at Spring Arbor University.  In the mid-2000s she moved to Mesa, Arizona, where she attended the Arizona School of Massage Therapy and worked as a stocker for Walmart.  She and Sharon Powers met in 2006 and were married in September 2015.

Muskegon Chronicle, March 23, 2018