April 16, 1960 – January 4, 2018
Lesbian writer, filmmaker, and punk musician Rayya Mokdessy Elias was born in Syria, grew up in Metro Detroit, and graduated from Center Line High School. She moved to New York in the 1980s, returning intermittently to Michigan, living in Warren and Royal Oak. Elias directed the film shorts Anonymous and Lunchroom and authored the memoir Harley Loco. She was survived by Elizabeth Gilbert.
The Cut, January 5, 2018
The Alpha Wolf
July 5, 1991 – October 19, 2010
Born in Florida, Corey Dwayne Jackson graduated summa cum laude in 2009 from Warren Woods Tower High School, where he swam and ran track. He was employed as a food clerk at McDonald’s in Warren and was a sophomore at Oakland University. Jackson took his own life at age 19 in a wooded area of campus. His boyfriend Mario Martin was among his survivors.
Between The Lines, October 28, 2010
Harold W. Vicks Funeral Home
Looking Back: Corey Jackson
July 23, 1953 – May 1, 2019
Warren resident Chrissy Surewater attended Fordson High School in Dearborn, studied at Rochester College in Rochester, and worked at Precision Imagery and as a photographer for Ford Motor Company. She was also a longtime member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, for three years serving as office administrator. Surewater was survived by her beloved fiancé Michelle Fox-Phillips.
Between The Lines, May 2, 2019 [online only]
March 24, 1965 – November 21, 1995
Warren resident Charles Petty grew up around Waterford and Pontiac and graduated with the class of 1983 from Lake Orion High School. He was a bartender at the Woodward and the Other Side, as well as a dancer at the Gold Coast. Petty later handled maintenance at the TNT Health Club and his lover was Danny Potter. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 30
Cruise, December 13, 1995.
July 30, 1936 – October 5, 2006
Originally from Amherstburg, Ontario, Anna Mae Kiraly went to school in Windsor to become a Registered Nurse and was employed by Detroit Receiving Hospital as a critical care nurse for more than 40 years. Kiraly lived in and around Metro Detroit, including Warren, Farmington, and Sterling Heights. She was survived by Judith Cook, her partner of 24 years.
Detroit News, October 9, 2006
July 16, 1945 – February 18, 2017
Mary Barbara Virginia Banister, co-owner with her life partner Wendy Robertson of the Touch of Country Mall, was born in Detroit and later lived in Warren before moving to Howell in 1972. Before acquiring the antique mall, she worked for various lumber, hardware, and nursery stores. Banister was a devoted member of Hardy United Methodist Church.
Livingston Daily Press and Argus, February 21, 2017
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
September 24, 1964 – March 10, 2002
Ferndale resident Lawrence James Kunkle, better known as Larry, was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated in 1973 from Warren High School. He earned his Bachelor’s in advertising from Ferris State University in 1987 and worked in advertising, journalism, and computer tech. Kunkle was active in WAGS, Wonderful Animals Giving Support, and was named Mr. Detroit Eagle 2002.
Between The Lines, April 11, 2002
October 29, 1961 – February 10, 2000
Scott Lawrence, a homeowner in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, graduated high school in Warren and was employed with area advertising agencies. He volunteered with Affirmations Community Center and for a time worked as a waiter at the Backstage Deli. Lawrence was survived by his life partner Ron Fisher.
Cruise, March 1, 2000
Between The Lines, March 9, 2000
August 12, 1972 – October 13, 2002
Born in Southfield, Brian Thomas Scholz resided in Warren and was employed at several Detroit area bars, including Pronto, Karma, Club Inuendo, and Male Box. He took part in the Metro Detroit Softball League and donated time to numerous causes, including the Midwest AIDS Prevention Project, Steppin’ Out, and annual pride celebrations.
OutPost, October 16-29, 2002
Between The Lines, October 17, 2002