June 17, 1935 – November 2, 1990
Richard Dutton grew up in Birmingham, graduated from high school in 1953, and served as a medic in the U.S. Army. Following his military service, he held retail jobs before starting bartending at Tiffany’s in the early 1970s. He later operated the Cove with Lin Shampine and Norm Schwartz and then worked for Menjo’s and staffed the door at the Pink Flamingo. At age 55, Dutton took his own life.
Cruise, November 14, 1990
April 22, 1935 – January 6, 2018
Painter, sculptor, and pioneering filmmaker Jere Van Syoc graduated from Lincoln High in Ferndale. She went on to earn her B.A. and M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and later taught at Western Michigan University and Nazareth College. In 1977, Van Syoc co-founded Aradia in Grand Rapids, where her home was known as “a palace for the goddess.” She died at age 82 in West Virginia.
High Lawn Funeral Home
Jere Van Syoc Collection at The Woman Behind the Camera
June 20, 1935 – November 17, 2018
Born in Detroit, Frances Suzanne Moore moved to California at age 22, served as a journalist in the U.S. Navy, and worked at the Jet Propulsion Lab of California Tech. As an activist in San Diego, she cared for patients with AIDS and served as chair of the local Gay Academic Union. Moore was preceded in death by her wife and partner of 27 years Charlynn Johnson.
Mad River Union, January 26, 2019
March 4, 1935 – August 4, 2007
Born in Greenleaf Township in rural Sanilac County, Charles Henry “Chuck” Darr grew up on a farm, later moved to Saginaw, and worked at Marlette Homes. He volunteered with Green House Gathering Place and the local LGBT community group Perceptions. In 2007, he was beaten to death at age 69 by a former renter. Darr was preceded in death by his longtime lover William Harper.
Between The Lines, August 16, 2007
Between The Lines, September 6, 2007
July 9, 1935 – April 29, 2016
Redford Township native Toni Langfield came out following a heterosexual marriage. She enjoyed a long career as a children’s librarian in the San Francisco Bay area and was active in Old Lesbians Organizing for Change. Langfield was preceded in death by a son and was survived by another son, two daughters, and Carly Rivers, her partner of more than 20 years.
East Bay Times, May 27, 2016
The Record, September 2016
January 22, 1935 – November 5, 2017
Detroit native and Novi resident Robert Murphy served in the U.S. Navy and retired as a Chief Petty Officer from the Naval Reserves. A long active in the leather community under the name Mark Ensinger, he was a member of Detroit’s Studs 30 and the Chicago Hellfire Club. He was posthumously awarded the 2018 Chuck Renslow President’s Award by the Leather Archives and Museum.
Detroit News, November 7, 2017
Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors
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