Marjorie Lyda

Marj Lyda pic

July 20, 1930 – January 21, 2009

Marjorie Ann Lyda earned her MSW from Wayne State and in 1967 became the first African-American woman to open a psychotherapy practice in Birmingham.  She was one of the earliest therapists in Metro Detroit to provide positive counseling to gay clients and offered pioneering treatment for people now termed transgender.  Lyda also served as pastor for churches in Ferndale and Detroit.

Detroit News, January 28, 2009

Betsy Boyette

Betsy Boyette pic

July 21, 1930 – March 13, 2018

Betsy Ann Boyette was born in rural North Carolina and served as a radio operator in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War before attending DeVry Technical Institute in Chicago as its first female graduate.  In the mid-1980s, she started her own interior decorator business, retiring to Saugatuck in 2002.  Boyette and her spouse Dianne Wendt were together 43 years and married in 2015.

Commercial Record, March 22, 2018

Stanley Jankiewicz

Don Cherry pic

July 15, 1930 – June 21, 1993

Stanley Raymond Jankiewicz, better known in Detroit’s gay bar world as Don Cherry, graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1949 and attended Wayne State University.  He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and later managed four city golf courses until retiring in 1987.  For 27 years he tended bar at such establishments as the Woodward Lounge, the Gas Station, and Menjo’s.

Cruise, June 30, 1993

JoAnn Westrick

JoAnn Westrick pic

October 17, 1930 – July 31, 2010

JoAnn Westrick grew up in Toledo, Ohio and earned her B.S. in Nursing from Wayne State in Detroit in 1969.  From 1975 to 1993 she taught on the faculty of Michigan State University college of Nursing, specializing in psychiatric mental-health nursing.  She was survived by her partner of 27 years Donna Hardenberg.

Lansing State Journal, August 2, 2010

Betty Jo Hudson

Betty Jo Hudson pic 2

November 19, 1930 – October 4, 2013

A native of Muncie, Indiana, Betty Jo Hudson earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s from Ball State University.  After a long career as a university administrator, including more than two decades at Ohio State University, she and her life partner Barbara Young retired to Torch Lake in the northern lower peninsula.

Traverse City Record-Eagle, October 8, 2013