November 20, 1941 – February 2, 1989
Oliver Wellington Sipple was born in Detroit, grew up in Royal Oak, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1967 to 1970, including a tour-of-duty in Vietnam. After leaving the military, he moved to San Francisco, where he could live a more open gay life. On September 22, 1975, Sipple made headlines and history when he prevented an attempted assassin from shooting President Gerald Ford.
New York Times, February 4, 1989
Radiolab story on Oliver Sipple
April 11, 1941 – July 24, 1973
Larry Frost grew up in Royal Oak. He left Metro Detroit as a young adult and lived in various cities until he landed in New Orleans, where he worked as a bar manager and attended the local Metropolitan Community Church. Frost is believed to be one of three unidentified arson victims of the Upstairs Lounge Fire that killed 32 people.
The Advocate, November 15, 2015
September 26, 1941 – December 10, 2010
Allegan resident Dianna “Jo” Bortz and her husband Jay were active in the Holland/Lakeshore chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. She was a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Saugatuck. Prior to retirement, Bortz worked in senior care and protective services.
Kalamazoo Gazette, December 16, 2010
September 2, 1941 – April 20, 1992
Detroit native and onetime resident of Dallas, Texas, Sharon Piazza worked as a bouncer at Menjo’s in Detroit and performed in local community theater.
This Week in Texas, May 1, 1992
January 4, 1941 – January 9, 2018
A 1959 graduate of Holland High School, Ronald DeJonge attended Kendall School of Art and Design in Grand Rapids. A veteran of the National Guard, he later worked as a graphic designer and cabinet maker. At his death he shared a home in New Richmond with his partner Darris Chichock.
Holland Sentinel, January 11, 2018
May 12, 1941 – March 19, 2014
Milton Ford taught liberal studies at Grand Valley State University and served as founding director of the campus LGBT Resource Center from 2008 to 2010. He authored the book Playing It Straight: Gay Men and Heterosexual Marriage.
Courier-Journal, March 23, 2014
November 3, 1941 – October 14, 2005
Oak Park resident Phyllis Wyrick held a Masters from Wayne State and enjoyed a long career with the Girl Scouts and the YWCA. In the mid-1990s she served on the board for Affirmations Community Center.
Between The Lines, November 3, 2005