Vanessa Goldman

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November 14, 1964 – February 13, 2018

Vanessa Goldman, also known as Vanessa Prygoski, graduated from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel High School in Wyandotte.  She earned her B.S. at Central Michigan University in 1987 and her M.I.L.S. from the University of Michigan in 1990.  A librarian at Cooley Law School, Baker College in both Owosso and Jackson, and for 18 years at UM-Flint, Goldman also played with the Metro Detroit LGBT Softball League.

Wild Hunt, February 19, 2018

Michigan Times, March 6, 2018

Tom Zimmerman

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November 11, 1946 – April 28, 2009

Thomas Stephen Zimmerman was born in Chicago and grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He attended seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio and earned his B.S. at the University of Toledo before moving to Bay City in 1985.  Together with his life partner Gary Fogelsonger, Zimmerman operated a mortuary vault company and a pet crematory.  He was also CEO of Sunset Valley Crematory.

Midland Daily News, April 28, 2009

John Leon Allen

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June 26, 1939 – July 3, 1998

Police arrested 20-year-old Muskegon native John Leon Allen in January 1960 in a crackdown on homosexual activity at the University of Michigan.  He was permitted to graduate, doing so with honors.  He went on to earn his library science degree at the University in 1964 and his Ph.D. in 1974.  Allen later served as longtime columnist for the Muskegon Chronicle, coming out to his readers in the early 1990s.

Muskegon Chronicle, July 5, 1998

April Glover

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March 11, 1981 – June 18, 2012

Born in Muskegon, April Lynn Glover was a tomboy growing up, graduated from Fruitport High School in Fruitport with the class of 1999 and later worked at Bob Evans.  She was pursuing studies at Baker College to become a veterinarian technician at the time of her death.  Glover’s survivors included her life partner of four years Tiffany Randall.

Muskegon Chronicle, June 21, 2012

Clock Funeral Home

Ron Fracker

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December 27, 1954 – July 8, 2002

Ronald Bradley Fracker of Ypsilanti was born in Jackson and graduated from Michigan Center High School in 1972 before earning his Bachelor’s from the University of Michigan.  Fracker became an accomplished pianist, taught on the music faculty of Washtenaw Community College, and helped found UM’s first gay and lesbian alumni group.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.

Ann Arbor News, July 10, 2002

WRAP newsletter, November 2002

Diane Collins

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November 29, 1957 – January 23, 2011

Royal Oak resident Diane Helen Collins graduated with the class of 1975 from Capac High School and went on to serve in the U.S. Navy.  She worked as a dental assistant was a member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit.  Collins was survived by her son.

Oakland Press, February 9, 2011

Karen Johnstone

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February 13, 1938 – May 6, 2020

Born in Ohio, Karen Sue Johnston graduated from Saginaw High School in 1956 and earned her B.S. in biology from Albion College in 1960.  After pursuing advanced degrees at Columbia and DePaul, she served as Director of Physical Therapy at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak from 1970 to 1996.  Johnstone represented in the U.S. at four Paralympics Games.  Her partner Dr. Jane C. Perrin survived her.

Detroit Free Press, May 12, 2020

Wendell Addington

May 28, 1925 – October 13, 1994

A resident of Indian Village in Detroit, Wendell Glynne Addington pursued racial justice in housing in two firms he founded, in helping establish the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and through a lifetime of activism.  A Dallas native, Addington served in the Pacific with the Army during World War II.  He was also a longtime member of the leather community and a regular face at the Detroit Eagle.

Cruise, October 19, 1994

Betty Long

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January 24, 1943 – April 8, 2021

Stanwood resident Elizabeth “Betty” Long was born in Kalamazoo and graduated with the class of 1962 from Comstock High School.  She went on to work for Upjohn’s pharmaceuticals and later operated the Nature’s Treasures flower shop in the town of Evart in Osceola County.  Long was survived by Shirley Moore, her partner of more than 11 years.

Big Rapids Pioneer, April 9, 2021

Steven Swan

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October 28, 1971 – September 4, 2010

A native of Oxford, England, Steven William Swan graduated from Grosse Pointe North high School and as a teenager took part in the Youth Group at Affirmations.  He later attended Oakland Community College and held jobs at Bill Knapp’s restaurant, Jacobson’s department store, and Art Van Furniture.  From 2004 to 2005 Swan as a sales representative for Between The Lines.

Between The Lines, September 23, 2010

Grosse Pointe News, September 23, 2010