November 4, 1933 – November 10, 2011
Born in Ohio, pioneering publisher Barbara Glycine Grier spent much of her childhood in Detroit and attended ninth grade at Highland Park Community High School. She came to understand herself as lesbian as a teenager after requesting books on homosexuality at the Detroit Public Library. Grier went on to edit the magazine The Ladder and to co-found the Naiad Press with her partner Donna McBride.
New York Times, November 13, 2011
Lesbian Herstory Archives oral history of Barbara Grier
Barbara Grier-Naiad Press Collection at the San Francisco Public Library
August 26, 1933 – September 19, 2005
Born in Chicago, Barbara Lee Christiansen graduated from Baldwin High School in Birmingham and earned her degree in dental hygiene from the University of Michigan. A resident of Huntington Woods, she was active with the local library, the garden club, the Detroit Zoo, and other causes. With her involvement with Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Christiansen was also a PFLAG mom.
Detroit News, September 21, 2005
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
Memorial Chapel Funeral Home
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
April 30, 1933 – October 2, 2015
Wanda Hope Jubb was born in Nunica and went on to a distinguished career in education. She earned her Bachelor’s and two M.A.s from Western Michigan University and her Ed.D. from the University of Alabama. She taught and coached in the Vicksburg Public Schools and for 24 years served with the Michigan Department of Education. She was preceded in death by her partner Muriel Van Patten.
Lansing State Journal, October 11, 2015
June 19, 1933 – August 3, 2017
Silver Lee Garske, a Kalamazoo native and resident of the village of Mattawan, played fast pitch softball. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in education from Western Michigan University and went on to teach gym for 33 years, retiring from the Harper Creek Community Schools in 1987. Garske was preceded in death by her life companion of 65 years Betty Clark.
Kalamazoo Gazette, August 6, 2017
April 3, 1933 – December 6, 1983
Originally from Arkansas, Winfred Wells was raised in Detroit and in the 1950s became a noted local beatnik poet. In the 1960s he performed female impersonation under his own name at the Diplomat Lounge. Wells subsequently moved to England, where he wrote screenplays and lived with his longtime companion, director Silvio Narizzano.
London Times, December 8, 1983
August 11, 1933 – April 28, 2007
Osseo resident Beverly Alleger was a school bus driver before becoming of surveyor for the Michigan Department of Agriculture, where she worked for 25 years. She was a strong supporter of animal rights. Alleger met her life partner Bobbi Byrd in 1977 through her involvement in Lansing’s lesbian community and the two had a commitment ceremony for their 20th anniversary.
Lesbian Connection, July-August 2007
August 31, 1933 – July 19, 2016
From 1972 to 1975, Anthony Clemente, known to congregants as Pastor Tony, served as the first official minister of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit.
Between The Lines, August 14, 2016
July 9, 1933 – April 13, 2009
A purchasing agent for Saginaw Community Hospital and a Navy veteran, Andrew Platko was onetime owner of the Heidelberg Inn, for many years one of the few gays bars in the Tri Cities.
Saginaw News, April 14, 2009