December 4, 1949 – May 17, 1993
Born in Flint, Frank Bradford McMinn, who went by Brad, graduated from Grand Blanc High School in 1968 and earned his B.A. in history from the University of Michigan-Flint in 1972. Following college, McMinn taught school in Flint until moving in 1978 to Washington, DC, where he worked in the national headquarters of the American Red Cross. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 43.
Washington Blade, May 28, 1993
April 17, 1933 – January 17, 2008
Gordon Toivo “Gordie” Moilanen graduated from Hancock High School in 1951 and went on to work for Detroit and Northern Savings and Loan. He later served as dean of financial aid at Soumi College, retiring in 1995. In the late 1950s, Moilanen subscribed to the pioneering homophile publication ONE magazine.
Daily Mining Gazette, January 19, 2008
February 13, 1942 – March 31, 2013
Deloris Jean Riddlesprigger grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas and studied osteopathic medicine at Michigan State University, earning her doctor degree in 1980. She specialized in anesthesiology and practiced in Metro Detroit for more than three decades. Riddlesprigger and her beloved partner Barbara White shared a home in Southfield for 28 years.
Oakland Press, April 2, 2013
November 6, 1949 – July 14, 1988
Longtime Lansing resident Joseph Martin “Joe” Courter graduated from John H. Gabriels High School and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1968 to 1981. Following his military service, Courter worked for General Telephone Company and, for the last two years of his life, resided in Alma. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 38.
Alma Morning Sun, July 21, 1988
September 16, 1954 – February 23. 2019
Jeri Shupe of Pontiac grew up in Taylor and graduated with the class of 1972 from Taylor High School. She worked variously as a ballroom dance instructor, a law office manager, and a licensed cosmetologist. Shupe was active in the Flint-area group Transgender Connect and in 2016, according to her obituary, transitioned from male to female. Her life partner Diane Morin survived her.
Sparks-Griffin Funeral Home
March 23, 1952 – March 5, 2009
Pleasant Ridge resident Gaye Ann Leeny grew up in Detroit. She was employed as a designer of prototypes in the automotive industry and also operated Rainbow Graphics in Hazel Park. In 1986, she joined with five others to establish Windover Resort, an all-women’s campground near the Thumb village of Owendale. Leeny was survived by her loving partner Janie Plunkett Henderson.
July 27, 1933 – March 22, 2019
Margaret “Peg” Powell was born in Lansing and served as an MP with the Women’s Army Corps during the Korean War. She raised her younger sister and two children of her own and studied to become an LPN, specializing in hospice care. Powell was active in Lansing’s lesbian community in the 1970s and 1980s before moving to Wisconsin. She was survived by Mary Kay Schleiter, her partner of 32 years.
Lesbian Connection, November/December 2019
Casey Family Options