January 19, 1911 – February 8, 2004
Rev. Anne Garrison was a longtime ally who joined Michigan State University campus ministries after retiring as a business professor. She served on the bishop’s committee that produced a pioneering 1973 report that recommended greater inclusions for gay people within the Michigan Diocese of the Episcopal Church.
Detroit Free Press, February 17. 2004
January 22, 1935 – September 29, 2015
A pioneer in the Grand Rapids LGBTQ community, Milton Lennox was longtime owner of the Apartment Lounge with his life partner Edward Ladner. Together they provided financial support for the Network, now known as the Grand Rapids Pride Center, and the Red Project. Months before Lennox’s death, he and Ladner celebrated their 50th anniversary as a couple.
Grand Rapids Press, October 4, 2015
January 18, 1923 – August 18, 2008
Reba Bodary served as a tech corporal with the Women’s Army Corps during World War II and later worked at Flint’s AC Spark Plug Division. A lifetime member of the NRA, in the late 1970s Bodary was co-owner of a short lived gay bar called the Lemon Tree.
Flint Journal, August 21, 2008
October 15, 1909 – March 19, 1984
The son of a Russian junk peddler, Sam “Bookie” Stewart worked as manager of his brother-in-law’s bar the Silver Dollar in Detroit in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1959, Stewart opened the Diplomat, famed for his female impersonators, and from 1970 to 1984 operated Bookie’s Club 870 on West McNichol’s.
Metra, March 28, 1984
March 23, 1940 – March 12, 2004
A graduate of Southfield High School, Victoria “Vicky” Samalis operated the Underground beneath the Bell Bar on Eight Mile in Detroit from 1977 to 1990. She spent much of her retirement in Jacksonville, Florida.
A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Home obituary
July 9, 1950 – January 11, 2009
A 1968 graduate of Lansing’s Sexton High School, Denor Hey earned her Bachelor’s from Central Michigan University and was employed with Disability Determination Services for the State of Michigan for 24 years. She and her life partner Beverly Bristol enjoyed travel, gardening, and their prize-winning Silky Terriers.
Lansing State Journal, January 13, 2009
November 7, 1955 – January 7, 2009
A community producer with the Flint radio program “Face the Music” and organizer of the LGBT arts celebration Out ‘N About, Joann Downing attended Grand Blanc High School and graduated from Michigan State University. Her long career with non-profits included 22 years with the Girl Scouts.
Flint Journal, January 12, 2009
Lesbian Connection, May/June 2009