June 21, 1971 – June 3, 2016
Ishpeming native Lee Allen LaForge grew up in Republic, was a 1989 graduate of Republic-Michigamme High School, and went on to earn his Master of Science from Northern Michigan University. He was active in the Marquette arts scene, directing and performing in local theater. At the time of his death, LaForge worked as an adjunct professor at NMU, as a tutor, and as manager of Book World.
Bjork & Zhulkie Funeral Home
January 8, 1951 – May 1, 1991
Geoffrey Martin Fine grew up in Ann Arbor and moved to New York City following high school. He appeared in a number of Off-Broadway plays before moving back to Ann Arbor in 1975 to study choreography and dance at the University of Michigan. On returning on New York, Fine pursued stand-up and volunteered with Gay Men’s Health Crisis. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 40.
Outweek, June 12, 1991
November 5, 1961 – October 22, 1994
Lifelong Lansing resident Paul Darwin Morgan, better known as Darwin, graduated from Hill High School in 1979, then attended Lansing Community College and Michigan State University. Morgan later worked as a mental health counselor and performed as an actor with the Riverwalk Theatre, the Lansing Civic Players, and Spotlight Theatre. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 32.
Lansing State Journal, October 25, 1994
May 4, 1958 – September 5, 1994
Daniel Robert “Dannie” Lucas spent most of his life in Battle Creek before moving to Chicago in 1991. Lucas worked as a hairstylist, was long active with the Alano Club, and performed in community theater, realizing a long-held dream with his final role in “A Streetcar Named Desire” playing Stanley Kowalski. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 36.
Gay Chicago, September 22, 1994
May 1, 1923 – January 11, 1986
In the early 1940s, Frederick Strowan Robertson attended the University of Michigan, where he roomed with W.H. Auden’s lover Chester Kallman. Robertson finished his B.A. at the University of British Columbia then returned to Ann Arbor to earn his M.A. at UM. He was active in community theater and gay social circles there in the 1950s. In later life, he worked for the National Film Board of Canada.
Montreal Gazette, January 22, 1986
November 27, 1953 – January 13, 1993
James Ernest Moyski was born in Detroit, graduated in 1971 from Walled Lake Western High School, and earned his B.S. from Eastern Michigan University. He worked as a licensed cosmetologist, was active in theater and dance, and resided in Ferndale with his lover William Markel. Moyski also performed for 8 years with the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 39.
Cruise, January 20, 1993
August 8, 1948 – January 13, 2008
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, James Hendricks “Jim” Posante Jr. moved to Michigan at age 12 and attended Milford High School in Highland before moving to Ann Arbor in 1966. He taught at Greenhills School for 32 years and for four decades was driving force in local theater in the community and at the University of Michigan. Posante was survived by a daughter and by Charles Sutherland, his partner of 36 years.
Between The Lines, January 17, 2008
Detroit News, January 17, 2008
September 4, 1993 – June 11, 2019
Grand Rapids resident Alice Joy Anderson was born in Holland. Anderson’s creativity drew her to mythology, literature, music, architecture, history, and photography, and a passion for LEGO building blocks. Her studies took her to India and Iceland. At age 16, Anderson entered Hope College, where she worked as a set carpenter in the Theater Department and earned her B.A. in studio art in 2016.
Holland Sentinel, June 21, 2019
January 9, 1962 – November 7, 1995
Actor, director, playwright, and Grand Rapids native Michael Gerard Barto of Chicago earned his B.A. in theater at the University of Michigan-Flint. In 1987, while pursuing his M.F.A. at the University of Iowa, Barto directed and co-wrote The Wizard of AIDS, which was performed more than 700 times over seven years throughout the Midwest. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 33.
Chicago Tribune, November 11, 1995
October 18, 1963 – March 17, 1996
Born in Flint, Brian Keith McDonald spent most of his life in Otisville. He majored in theater at the University of Michigan-Flint and worked for 13 years for the Flint Youth Theater. McDonald was also employed by the local VGs grocery chain. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 32.
Flint Journal, March 18, 1996