Ernest Gutierrez Jr.

Ernest Gutierrez pic

February 15, 1944 – November 3, 2014

A native of Ecuador with a Bachelor’s from Columbia University and a Master’s from American University, Ernest “Tito” Gutierrez Jr. enjoyed a 20-year career at the Kresge Foundation in Troy.  While a resident of Royal Oak, Gutierrez served on the board for Affirmations and played a significant role in capital fundraising for construction of the community center’s own building in downtown Ferndale.

Between The Lines, November 13, 2014

Jay Ralko

Jay Ralko pic

July 13, 1992 – Last seen December 10, 2014

Jay Ralko of Warren was active in the GLBTA Student Union while a student at Wayne State University and was employed at Kroger.  The 22-year-old trans man went missing on December 10, 2014, sparking an extensive regional search.  He was found dead in his car thirteen days later.  Police suspected that Ralko took his own life.

Oakland County Times, December 24, 2014

Windy City Times, December 26, 2014

Remembering Jay Video

Craig Case

May 9, 1964 – April 1, 2003

Craig Edwin Case was born in Jackson and grew up in Battle Creek.  After graduating from Battle Creek Central High School in 1982, he managed Custer Party Store and was later operations manager for the Battle Creek Flower Exchange.  Case was united with his life partner Martin Burgess in a commitment ceremony in 1998.

Battle Creek Enquirer, April 3, 2003

Henry Trent

Henry Trent pic

September 16, 1927 – October 2, 2005

Union Lake resident Henry Charles Trent served in the U.S. military and operated Trent’s Prime Rib Beef Market in Detroit prior to opening Menjo’s in Detroit with Mike Crawford and Joe LaRosa.  Trent also owned the Prudential Health Club in Detroit.

Detroit Free Press, October 4, 2005

Cindy Pigeon

Cindy Pigeon pic

April 9, 1959 – October 10, 2018

Known as “Auntie” to tribal youth in Michigan, Cindy Pigeon of Wayland led workshops on native culture and was active with the Grand Rapids Inter-Tribal Council and the Indian Workers Conference of the United Methodist Church.  She was an avid sports enthusiast, kept score for Hopkins Public Schools, and pitched softball with the Salem Indian Mission team.  She was survived by her wife Faith Pigeon.

Grand Rapids Press, October 14, 2018

Stormie Parham

Stormie Parham pic

October 13, 1950 – August 14, 2007

Betty Jo “Stormie” Parham grew up in Grand Rapids and lived in Phoenix and Chicago before settling with her partner Gail Goldstein in Placitas, New Mexico.  She worked variously as a builder, chef, clown, firefighter, handy-woman, and innkeeper.  Parham died at age 56 after a long battle with lung cancer.

Lesbian Connection, May/June 2008