After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]


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Affirmations’ friend dies at 42

By |2007-02-22T09:00:00-05:00February 22nd, 2007|News|

Mario Cirefice knew how to make people smile. If not because of his kindness then because of his tickling fetish.
“He was a very caring, spiritual and friendly man, eager to help when you needed him, and sometimes when you didn’t,” said Peter Cooper, a longtime friend who lives in Oak Park.
Cirefice, 42, died on Feb. 7 in St. Petersburg, Fla., as a result of a heart condition. He was a self-employed landscaper and caregiver who lived in various locations, including Ferndale and Brighton. He was also active in Detroit’s leather community. Cirefice belonged to the Metropolitan Community Church Detroit, where he met Cooper, and attended the Affirmations Men’s Discussion Group, where his easy-going attitude attracted many friends.
“No one was a stranger to Mario,” Cooper said. “He quickly made friends with neighbors and
co-workers. He loved to schmooze and exaggerate.”
Cirefice had a fascination with ’60s entertainment and paraphernalia, including “Bewitched,” The Monkees and Lily Tomlin, who he e-mailed numerous times.
“He even got (her) to answer his several dozen e-mails,” Cooper said. “He was persistent.”
Cooper has many fond memories of Cirefice, who he knew for 20 years, but he’ll especially remember the time he spent with his friend in the late ’90s. Cirefice’s perfection and enthusiasm for his job at Clean Care in Oak Park (one block from Cooper’s home) led to several raises, which allowed him to afford a basement apartment on Ardmore Drive in Ferndale. He furnished the nook in ’60s deco and frequently entertained friends and family there.
“It was a great place to just crash when I felt like company,” Cooper said.
Cirefice is survived by his parents, Luigi Mario and Sharon Cirefice of Brighton, three brothers and three sisters and many nieces and nephews. A service was held at the Herrmann Funeral Home in Brighton on Feb. 13, followed by internment at the St. Hedwig’s Cemetery on Warren in Dearborn Heights. Gifts and memorials may be made for pediatric AIDS support or to the charity of one’s choice. To contact the family or for other information, write to and messages will be forwarded.

About the Author:

Chris Azzopardi
As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Cher, Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. His work has also appeared in GQ, Vanity Fair and Billboard. Reach him via Twitter @chrisazzopardi.