March 15, 1947 – September 1, 2016
Marceline Elaine Lewis grew up in Flint, graduated from Flint Central High School, and attended Mott Community College. She was later employed with the marketing consulting firm TGI Direct and for a time owned and operated a cleaning business. A month before her passing, Lewis married her partner of 19 years Edith Pauline Foote.
Flint Journal, September 6, 2016
November 10, 1947 – December 24, 2019
Grammy-winning songwriter Alta Sharral “Allee” Willis was born in Detroit and graduated in 1965 from Mumford High School. Following college in Wisconsin, Willis moved to New York, where she launched her music career. Her credits include songs for Earth, Wind, and Fire, the Pointer Sisters, Bonnie Rait, and the theme for the sitcom Friends. Willis was survived by her partner of 27 years Prudence Fenton.
New York Times, December 25, 2019
August 15, 2947 – March 17, 2005
Kenneth John Arnold was born in Detroit and graduated in 1965 from Lincoln Park High School in Lincoln Park. He later moved to Bay City and in the early 1970s, he became proprietor of Chalet Interiors in Saginaw. Often known by his drag name Bambi, Arnold took over Tallulah’s Show Bar in the 1990s and rechristened it Bambi’s Bottoms Up.
Saginaw News, March 19, 2005
January 17, 1947 – December 16, 2020
Lathrup Village resident Susan Catherine Brooks moved to Michigan from Pennsylvania in the 1970s. She earned her M.A. from Central Michigan, and worked for various Girl Scouts councils, the YWCA in Flint, and the YMCA in Detroit. Brooks was also involved in the early lesbian organization Moonrise and with Paws with a Cause. Her partners Martha Charles and Kathryn Wright preceded her in death.
No known obituary
June 26, 1947 – December 7, 2010
Michael David Scott was born in Lansing and graduated from Central High School in Kalamazoo in 1966. He later worked as a chef in Lansing and at Michigan State University. Scott was a noted local drag performer and in June 1972 won the Miss Capital City title at a pageant held at Joe Covello’s. Days later he led the first-ever Pride parade down Woodward in Detroit and sang at the rally in Kennedy Square.
Lansing State Journal, December 13, 2010
November 17, 1947 – July 9, 2019
Clifford Alan “Clif” Levin graduated with the class of 1965 from Oak Park High School, earned his B.A. at Wayne State, and went on to receive his law degree there. In 1973 he began a 30-year career with the Wayne County Friend of the Court. Lemon served on the boards of the Triangle Foundation and the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus. He was also active in community theater in Grosse Pointe.
Between The Lines, July 25, 2019
June 3, 1947 – March 9, 2005
Born in Detroit, Brian Joseph Killian earned his B.A. at Ferris State and MBA at Wayne State. He taught at Grosse Pointe North High School before switching careers and becoming a celebrated interior designer. Killian donated generously to the Triangle Foundation and served as co-chair of the 1993 Human Rights Campaign Michigan Dinner gala fundraiser. A fire in his Birmingham home took his life.
Detroit Free Press, March 11, 2005
Between The Lines, March 17, 2005
January 23, 1947 – July 20, 2020
Marie Anne Hansen was born in Mt. Pleasant and earned her Bachelor’s in human ecology at Michigan State University. She later got her Masters and had a long career in student affairs in Colorado, Nebraska, and at MSU. She was a beloved part the Lansing area lesbian community and was longtime coordinator of the local women and arts festival. Hansen was survived by her wife Priscilla Feigenbaum.
Lansing State Journal, July 25, 2020
April 10, 1947 – February 4, 2018
Paulettia Ann French of Kalamazoo, originally from Arkansas, graduated with the class of 1965 from Berrien Springs High School and later worked as non-profit directors for senior services. French and her partner of 27 years Tammy Vollrath were married in 2016.
Kalamazoo Gazette, February 6, 2018
October 8, 1947 – May 16, 1994
Born in Detroit, Carl Rippberger graduated from Denby High School and served a tour of duty in Vietnam as a U.S. Army draftee. He bar tended at Tiffany’s before acquiring the Escape Lounge, which he opened as Backstreet nightclub in 1979. Rippberger served as president of the Detroit Bar Guild and helped raise funds for Wellness House and Affirmations. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 46.
Detroit Free Press, May 19, 1994
Cruise, May 25, 1994
Affirmations Newsletter, July 1994