Susan Christner

Susan Christner pic

June 23, 1945 – April 11, 2012

Longtime Wyandotte resident Susan Ann Christner graduated from Central High School in Flint in 1963 and earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint in 1976.  She went on to get her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UM in Ann Arbor in 1998 and went into private practice.  She was survived by two sons and her partner Linda Sprankle.

Flint Journal, April 15, 2012

John Monahan

John Monahan pic

May 10, 1945 – January 1, 2002

Colorado native and longtime Saginaw resident John Michael Monahan worked as a rehabilitation therapist.  During the 1980s, he became active in the Michigan Organization for Human Rights and in 1990 co-founded the Triangle Foundation and served as its president.  Following a heart transplant in 1993, Monahan moved to Detroit to engage in activism full time.

Between The Lines, January 10, 2002

Saginaw News, January 16, 2002

Mary Banister

Mary Banister pic

July 16, 1945 – February 18, 2017

Mary Barbara Virginia Banister, co-owner with her life partner Wendy Robertson of the Touch of Country Mall, was born in Detroit and later lived in Warren before moving to Howell in 1972.  Before acquiring the antique mall, she worked for various lumber, hardware, and nursery stores.  Banister was a devoted member of Hardy United Methodist Church.

Livingston Daily Press and Argus, February 21, 2017

Ron Owens

ron owens pic

November 22, 1945 – December 30, 1999

Hairstylist Ronald Lorence Owens grew up in New Mexico and served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1970, honorably discharged as a Specialist 5 in the Air Defense Artillery.  He resided in Southern California before moving to Michigan, where he lived in Detroit and Rochester.  Owens was a member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit.

Cruise, February 2, 2000

Chester Cislo

Chester Cislo pic

July 13, 1945 – September 5, 1994

Chester Cislo attended St. Casimir High School on Detroit’s West Side and worked as a sexton at St. James Catholic Church in Ferndale.  Cislo represented the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus on the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Council, was active with Wellness Networks and the NAMES Project, and served on the board for Friends Alliance.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 49.

Cruise, September 28, 1994

Nancy Fitzgerald

Nancy Fitzgerald pic

September 12, 1945 – May 24, 2008

A Detroit native and a 1964 graduate of Livonia Bentley High School, Nancy Fitzgerald earned her Associate’s degree from Lansing Community College and her B.S. from Spring Arbor College in 1998.  She worked as an LPN and held a number of management positions in health care and insurance.  An avid motorcyclist, Fitzgerald and her partner Lisa Whitehead shared a home in Eaton Rapids.

Lesbian Connection, September/October 2008

Thomas Shaw

Thomas Shaw pic

August 28, 1945 – October 17, 2014

Marvil Thomas Shaw III was born in Battle Creek, grew up in Coldwater, and attended Alma College.  A celibate gay monk ordained into the priesthood in 1971, Shaw became Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts in 1995.  Throughout his tenure, he advocated for minority rights, for allowing women, gay men, and lesbians to be ordained, and for other causes of social justice.

Bay Windows, October 23, 2014

Gay Whiteside

August 22, 1945 – November 17, 1993

Wyandotte resident Gay Whiteside formed a chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis in Detroit in 1971.  She was also active with the Gay Radio Collective, was a longtime member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, and volunteered on the Affirmations telephone hotline.

Detroit Free Press, November 19, 1993

Affirmations Newsletter, January 1994

Bill Beachler

bill-beachler-pic

December 4, 1945 – January 11, 2016

A founder in 1979 of the Lansing Association for Human Rights, William Beachler later helped establish the Pride Scholarship for LGBT students at his alma mater Michigan State University.

Between The Lines, January 21, 2016

Remembering William Beachler

Bill Beachler papers at Michigan State University