William Townsend

William Townsend pic

July 18, 1952 – July 17, 1993

Eastpointe resident William Daryl Townsend was founding president of Friends Alliance for people with HIV, served on the board of Wellness Networks, and co-founded the Detroit chapter of ACT UP.  His appearance on WDIV’s Sonya Friedman Show was canceled in 1985 because the camera crew feared AIDS contagion.  He died of AIDS-related complications at age 40.

Cruise, July 28, 1993

Kaye McDuffie

Kaye McDuffie pic

March 19, 1954 – January 29, 2014

Longtime HIV and AIDS educator and advocate Kaye Lourena McDuffie served as communicable disease coordinator and intervention prevention specialist for the Lansing Area AIDS Network.  Born in Ferndale, she graduated from Cass Tech in Detroit before attending Lansing Community College and Michigan State University.  A devoted wife and mother, McDuffie was also active in local theater.

Between The Lines, February 6, 2014

LAHR newsletter, March 2014

Riley Funeral Home

Sue Miller

Sue Miller pic

April 3, 1958 – April 25, 2010

Sue Helene Miller of Lancaster, California grew up in Lake City in Missaukee County.  Of Saginaw Chippewa heritage, Miller earned degrees in social work at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and the University of Washington, later pursuing a career as a certified alcohol and substance abuse counselor.  Miller was survived by her partner Michelle Klein.

Lesbian Connection, July/August 2010

Legacy.com

Melissa Schout

November 29, 1970 – November 3, 2016

Melissa Sorber Schout graduated from Grand Rapids Baptist High School in the class of 1988.  She later lived in Chicago before settling in Flowery Branch, Georgia outside Atlanta.  Schout was employed with RxSleep and was survived by her spouse Alicia Addington.

Grand Rapids Press, November 6, 2016

Carl Rippberger

Carl Rippberger pic

October 8, 1947 – May 16, 1994

Born in Detroit, Carl Rippberger graduated from Denby High School and served a tour of duty in Vietnam as a U.S. Army draftee.  He bar tended at Tiffany’s before acquiring the Escape Lounge, which he opened as Backstreet nightclub in 1979.  Rippberger served as president of the Detroit Bar Guild and helped raise funds for Wellness House and Affirmations.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 46.

Detroit Free Press, May 19, 1994

Cruise, May 25, 1994

Affirmations Newsletter, July 1994

Ronald Hoenig

Ronald Hoenig pic

January 8, 1947 – October 4, 2014

Ronald Hoenig of Bonita Springs, Florida was born in Toledo, Ohio and grew up in Adrian and Blissfield.  He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and later operated a cabinetry business with Art Trevino, his partner of 27 years.  The couple would have liked to have married but Hoenig died months before the Supreme Court made it legally possible.

Adrian Daily Telegram, October 11, 2014

Doug Fox

Doug Fox pic

October 30, 1946 – February 22, 1976

Randall Douglas “Doug” Fox was born in Indiana, earned his Bachelor’s at Earlham College and his Master’s at the University of Michigan.  Following grad school, he moved to Detroit and worked as an assistant manager at Woolworth’s.  Fox’s body was found bludgeoned and shot in the head on the sidewalk in the Virginia Park neighborhood in what friends considered an anti-gay killing.

Detroit News, February 23, 1976

Ann Flescher

Ann Fleischer pic maybe

June 13, 1958 – May 23, 2008

Ann Ellen Flescher of Lansing worked as a counselor and administrator for 16 years with the Counseling Center at Michigan State University.  She and her life partner Dawn Mead were early benefactors when MSU extended domestic partnership benefits to faculty and staff in 1997.  Flescher was a strong supporter of Allies for Change and the Leaven Center.

Lansing State Journal, May 25, 2008

Suzanne Klinko

Suzanne Klinko pic

September 25, 1941 – September 8, 2007

A 1960 graduate of Jackson High School and 1982 graduate of Michigan State University, Suzanne Klinko worked with the AWARE Shelter and the Community Action Agency before taking a job as substance abuse counselor for Chelsea Community Hospital.  She was preceded in death by her life partner Susan Roark.

Midland Daily News, September 11, 2007

Ricky Kirkwood

Ricky Kirkwood pic

September 23, 1964 – June 18, 1999

Detroit resident James Richard Kirkwood Jr. was employed with a credit union.  He learned he had HIV in 1989 and kept his status secret from his family for nine years out of shame and fear of rejection for his sexuality.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 34.

Between The Lines, July 1, 2004