Ernest Gutierrez Jr.

Ernest Gutierrez pic

February 15, 1944 – November 3, 2014

A native of Ecuador with a Bachelor’s from Columbia University and a Master’s from American University, Ernest “Tito” Gutierrez Jr. enjoyed a 20-year career at the Kresge Foundation in Troy.  While a resident of Royal Oak, Gutierrez served on the board for Affirmations and played a significant role in capital fundraising for construction of the community center’s own building in downtown Ferndale.

Between The Lines, November 13, 2014

Sharon Beck

Sharon Beck pic

August 1, 1944 – September 13, 2011

Born in Battle Creek, Sharon Kay Beck resided in Mount Morris and retired after 30 years from Saginaw Steering Gear-Delphi in 2002.  She enjoyed running, her poodles, and traveling in northern Michigan with Hope, her partner of 27 years.

Flint Journal, September 18, 2011

Connie McConnohie

Connie McConnohie pic

September 14, 1944 – June 24, 2005

Born in Los Angeles, Connie McConnohie moved to Detroit in the early 1970s where she worked for the city’s department of social services and became involved in gay lib politics.  After a split with the Detroit Gay Activists, McConnohie formed the Motor City Alliance of Gays and published Gayzette, a short-lived local gay newspaper.  In 1973, she ran as an open lesbian for a city council seat, losing in the primary.

Detroit Free Press, April 18, 2006

Connie McConnohie remembrance by East Side Republican Club

Peresephone Reynolds

September 1, 1944 – May 2, 2018

Born in Pontiac, Peresephone Reynolds grew up in Lake Orion and, in 1971, moved to Harrisville where she lived with her life partner Gloria Laurette.  She taught with the Oscoda Area Schools and Alpena Community College, earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1993, and retired in 2007.  Reynolds and Laurette moved downstate to Clinton Township in 2016.

Oscoda Press, May 2, 2018

Dennis Komac

Dennis Komac pic

November 9, 1944 – November 7, 1994

A founder of the Lesbian and Gay Community Network of West Michigan, Dennis Komac served in Army from 1968 to 1970 and moved to Grand Rapids in 1984 to serve as executive director of the Grand Rapids Art Museum.  Komac and his life partner Jeff Swanson later operated Sons and Daughters bookstore.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 49.

Network newsletter, December 1994