November 24, 1907 – August 12, 1971
James Francis Jones, better known as Prophet Jones, was a nationally renowned religious leader in Detroit famed for his flamboyance and fantastical predictions. In 1956, he was arrested for allegedly making an “indecent proposal” to an undercover vice officer.
The Advocate, September 15-28, 1971
June 8, 1937 – October 19, 1986
Fr. James Markunas was a graduate of Detroit’s Cody High School and Albion College. While serving as associate rector of St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in Detroit, Fr. Markunas was arrested for peaceably demonstrating after the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 49.
Bay Area Reporter, October 23, 1986
March 22, 1959 – August 31, 2015
Ordained into the priesthood in 2007, Rev. Karen Johanns moved to Michigan in 2008 to become rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Pontiac, a position she held until cancer forced her into “grouchy” retirement. Johanns was survived by her wife Claire Dodds.
Oakland Press, September 2, 2015
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
Metra, October 14, 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