November 19, 1936 – April 29, 2021
Klaus Reich, better known to gay Metro Detroiters by Tony Rome, was born in Berlin, Germany and immigrated to the U.S. in the mid-1950s. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he began an aircraft servicing business in Ypsilanti. He later operated Foof’s Down Under downstairs at Gigi’s nightclub in Detroit. From 1979 to 1999, Rome published Cruise magazine before retiring to warmer climates.
Desert Sun, May 13, 2021
November 26, 1936 – October 12, 2016
Originally from Flint, Wayne Friday served in the U.S. Navy following high school and later worked as a stock broker on Wall Street and in San Francisco where Friday became close friends with future gay supervisor Harvey Milk. He also tended bar and for more than three decades he wrote a political column for the Bay Area Reporter. Suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Friday took his own life at age 79.
Bay Area Reporter, October 13, 2016
October 9, 1936 – July 28, 2008
A native of Moline, Illinois, Cynthia Ainsworth earned her B.A. in economics in 1958 from Michigan State University. A year after graduating, she moved to San Francisco, where she worked as in investments. She later became a hospital administrator, retiring in 1984. Ainsworth was survived by her longtime partner Carolee Houser.
San Francisco Chronicle, August 3, 2008
December 14, 1936 – August 9, 2005
Detroit native Harvi Alonzo Griffin was a world-renowned harpist, singer, and teacher. He graduated from Cass Tech High School and earned a B.A. and his M.A. from Michigan State University, served in the U.S. Army from 1962 to 1964, and pursued further studies at the Eastman School of Music. Griffin moved to Phoenix in the late 1980s and was survived by his partner of 13 years Lee Barr.
Arizona Republic, August 21, 2005
September 2, 1936 – December 26, 2019
Kentucky native Ann Sorrell moved to Detroit at age seven. She sold bakery goods, worked as a postal worker, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve before earning her B.A. and M.A. from Eastern Michigan University. She taught the hearing impaired in the Ann Arbor schools. Sorrell and her life partner Marge Elde were among the first lesbian couples married in Washtenaw County in June 2015.
Ann Arbor News, January 9, 2020
In Memory of Ann Sorrell
April 3, 1936 – September 10, 2010
Born in Detroit, poet, activist, and educator Judy Freespirit studied drama and speech at Michigan State University. After being heterosexually married, she came out in the feminist movement in California. In 1973, Freespirit coauthored the Fat Liberation Manifesto and in 1978 helped defeat the Briggs’ Initiative. Among her other publications was the 1982 chapbook Daddy’s Girl: An Incest Survivor’s Story.
The Reporter, December 2010
In Memory: Poet, Essayist, Activist Judy Freespirit
Judy Freespirit papers at the GLBT Historical Society
June 11, 1936 – May 4, 2005
Known as the “Worm Woman,” Kalamazoo resident Mary Arlene Appelhof became a world-renowned expert on using earthworms for composting. She was born in Detroit, grew up in Alma, and attended high school in Ohio. She earned a B.S. and two Masters from Michigan State and taught in Kalamazoo and at Interlochen. Appelhof was survived by her partner of 27 years Mary Frances Fenton.
Kalamazoo Gazette, May 5, 2005
Between The Lines, May, 19, 2005
Lesbian Connection, September/October 2006
July 30, 1936 – October 5, 2006
Originally from Amherstburg, Ontario, Anna Mae Kiraly went to school in Windsor to become a Registered Nurse and was employed by Detroit Receiving Hospital as a critical care nurse for more than 40 years. Kiraly lived in and around Metro Detroit, including Warren, Farmington, and Sterling Heights. She was survived by Judith Cook, her partner of 24 years.
Detroit News, October 9, 2006
May 22, 1936 – June 14, 2016
Born in Redding, Maine, Sherry Redding earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan and a Master’s from Michigan State University. A longtime counselor, for many years she taught women’s studies at William James College at Grand Valley State University. She was also a founding member in 1978 of the local lesbian organization Aradia. Redding and her spouse Karen Clahassey shared 36 years together.
Grand Rapids Press, June 16, 2016
September 23, 1936 – November 10, 2016
David Adamany served as president of Wayne State University from 1982 to 1997. A native of Janesville, Wisconsin, he earned his B.A. and J.D. from Harvard and his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. During his tenure at the helm of Wayne, he remained discreet about being gay. His sexuality was an open secret, however, and behind the scenes Adamany lent his support to various LGBT causes.
Between The Lines, November 24, 2016