September 17, 1953 – April 4, 2006
Michele “Mickie” Janisse attended Utica High School, graduated from the Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science, and resided in Hazel Park and Ferndale. A longtime and compassionate funeral director in Ontario and Michigan, Janisse also practiced a form of massage called myomassology. She was survived by her beloved partner Lynne Rose.
Windsor Star, April 6, 2006
September 20. 1953 – December 12, 1992
Detroit native Allen Wallace majored in art history at Wayne State University and led protests in the 1970s to save the MacKenzie House, an effort that gave birth to Preservation Wayne. Wallace later worked with the Martha Graham Center in New York and as a publicity agent in Los Angeles, where he resided with his companion Michael Lombardo. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 39.
Detroit Free Press, December 17, 1992
WSU Alumni News, Winter 1993
January 5, 1940 – June 16, 2013
Donna Pomerance, a homeowner with her life companion Bonnie Friend in Lakeside for two decades, was born in Chicago. She and Friend operated the advertising firm DP Productions for 33 years, one of Chicago’s first women-owned businesses. Pomerance was later a co-owner of Augie’s Booze & Schmooze and a strong contributor to the LGBT community.
Windy City Times, June 18, 2013
September 13, 1945 – November 26, 2019
William “Bill” Galligan Jr. grew up in a Chicago suburb and earned his Bachelor’s at Western Michigan University. Following a career as an educator, Galligan moved to Saugatuck, where he became a beloved retailer, operating the Old Post Office Shop and later Spice Crazy Cottage. He was active in efforts to enact a gay rights ordinance in the late 1990s and was also a strong supporter of local arts.
Commercial Record, December 5, 2019
January 23, 1993 – June 28, 2013
A native of the state of Wyoming, Krisen Grace Lison of Charlotte graduated from Manchester High School in Manchester in 2011. She went on to attend Michigan State University, where she was involved with the campus LGBT community. Lison was studying writing and authored three books of poetry and short stories. Her fiancé Dalton Strong was among her survivors.
Lansing State Journal, June 30, 2013
April 5, 1944 – December 10, 1985
Born in Elmhurst, Illinois, James Martin earned his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Illinois before earning his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1969. After a year clerking for a federal appeals judge, Martin joined the UM Law School and had a distinguished 15-year career there while living a discreet gay life in Ann Arbor. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.
Ann Arbor News, December 22, 1985
June 20, 1965 – June 18, 1995
Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Eric Leroy Jordan moved to Detroit following high school and became active in Men of Color, Full Truth Fellowship Church, and the James Baldwin/Pat Parker Society. From 1993 to 1995, Jordan was employed as a case worker for the AIDS Consortium of Southeastern Michigan. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 29, two days shy of his 30th birthday.
Between The Lines, July 1995
September 28, 1956 – February 22, 2021
Otisville resident Lauriejane Clare Smith was born in Flint, grew up in Davison, and graduated with the class of 1974 from Davison High School. After completing the criminal justice program at Mott Community College, she worked as a park ranger and later as a patrol deputy and paramedic for the Genesee County Sheriff. In 2015, Smith married her partner Patricia Lawrence-Smith, who died in 2019.
Hensen Funeral Home
December 15, 1952 – December 19, 2000
Brenda Joyce Blizzard was born in Columbia, South Carolina. She moved to Michigan in her 20s, worked for the Southland Corporation, and was a longtime member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, where she served as a deacon. In 1992, Blizzard moved to Washington State and became assistant pastor of MCC Seattle. She was survived by her partner Loran Timmons.
Tacoma News Tribune, December 21, 2000
June 2, 1917 – March 23, 2009
LeRoy Raymond Scott was born in Detroit, graduated from Cass Tech, and attended Wayne State. For three decades he resided in New York, where his drag persona Madame X was photographed by Diane Arbus. After returning to Michigan, he became active in Unlimited Seniors and Black and White Men Together. Metro Detroit’s LGBT community honored Scott with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
Between The Lines, March 26, 2009