February 2, 1944 – April 3, 1995
David John Zechel of Farmington Hills was born in Detroit and graduated from Edwin Denby High School in 1962. He went on to work as a noted local interior decorator. In the early 1970s, along with his then partner, Rev. Robert Cullinan, Zechel was an early member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 51.
Detroit Free Press, April 5, 1995
July 8, 1944 – May 15, 2020
Clinton Township resident Cheryl Margaret Lantinga was Homecoming Queen her senior year at Lamphere High School in Madison Heights, where she graduated in 1962. She later studied at Oakland University and was employed with Consumers Energy for 31 years. In her retirement, she volunteered at area hospital gift shops. Lantinga was survived by her life partner Colleen Stout.
Detroit Free Press, May 18, 2020
March 5, 1944 – December 23, 2018
Grand Rapids native Tess Wiseheart graduated from Ottawa High School and earned her Bachelor’s at Olivet College. She began her teaching career in Milford and later taught in Grand Rapids, where she was a founding member of Aradia. For 20 years she served as coordinator for the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. After moving to Oregon in 1988, Wiseheart directed the Portland Women’s Crisis Line.
OLOC E-News, January 2019
May 29, 1944 – April 6, 2005
Martha Charles of Lathrup Village was born in Crawfordsville, Indiana and as a toddle moved to Detroit, where she graduated with the class of 1962 from Cass Tech High School. After earning her B.A. from Western Michigan University, she taught middle and high school in St. Clair Shores. Charles was active in Women Together and co-founded the group Lesbian-A-Sisters. Her partner Sue Brooks survived her.
Between The Lines, May 12, 2005
October 24, 1944 – August 24, 1993
Detroit resident and Highland Park native Edward Walker grew up in Dearborn Township. He joined the U.S. Army following high school and was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds he received while serving in Vietnam. During the 1970s, he worked as an assembler at Ford Motor Company. From 1980 until his death, Walker operated the Hayloft Saloon with his lover Len Lippert.
Cruise, September 22, 1993
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
July 20, 1944 – February 26, 1987
Detroit native Paul Charles Ganter served in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1963. Ganter moved to Houston in 1971 and lived for a time in Austin and New Orleans. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 42.
This Week in Texas, March 6-12, 1987
December 19, 1944 – March 1, 2017
Cynthia “Diane” Miller was born in Flint attended Mott Community College and Eastern Michigan University, and worked for the Flint Community Schools. She and her partner Mary Hill shared 39 years together.
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
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