Martha Charles

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

Erroll Hert

Erroll Hert pic

January 22, 1943 – June 23, 2005

Erroll Wayne Hert took his mother’s name Vaunda for his stage name, wowing audiences as the renowned Vaunda Lee at Menjo’s, the Gold Coast, Triple XXX, and other Detroit bars in the 1970s and 1980s.  He won the Camp Prize from the Performer Awards of Detroit in 1982.  Hert resided in his hometown of Bedford, Indiana at the time of his death.

Our Community Roots

Mary Appelhof

Mary Appelhof pic

June 11, 1936 – May 4, 2005

Known as the “Worm Woman,” Kalamazoo resident Nary Arlene Appelhof became a world-renowned expert on using earthworms for composting.  She was born in Detroit, grew up in Alma, and attended high school in Ohio.  She earned a B.S. and two Masters from Michigan State and taught in Kalamazoo and at Interlochen.  Appelhof was survived by her partner of 27 years Mary Frances Fenton.

Kalamazoo Gazette, May 5, 2005

Between The Lines, May, 19, 2005

Lesbian Connection, September/October 2006

Regi Thompson

Regi Thompson pic

June 17, 1955 – June 27, 2005

Detroit native Regi Thompson worked as a party promoter before opening his own gay club, Regine’s Off the Park, in 1997 on the city’s east side.  When a fire gutted the club, Thompson rebuilt and expanded the space into a premiere dance spot.  He later renamed the bar the Palladium.

Between The Lines, June 30, 2005

Henry Trent

Henry Trent pic

September 16, 1927 – October 2, 2005

Union Lake resident Henry Charles Trent served in the U.S. military and operated Trent’s Prime Rib Beef Market in Detroit prior to opening Menjo’s in Detroit with Mike Crawford and Joe LaRosa.  Trent also owned the Prudential Health Club in Detroit.

Detroit Free Press, October 4, 2005

Marlene Kutz

March 23, 1932 – February 27, 2005

Marlene Kutz grew up in Dearborn and later resided in Livonia and Harrison Township.  A subscriber to the Ladder in the early 1970s and supporter of the Forum Foundation in the 1990s, Kutz was also a sister in the Catholic Church.

Detroit News, March 1, 2005

Dan Stoepker

Dan Stoepker pic

March 26, 1949 – August 5, 2005

Onetime Birmingham resident Daniel Lee Stoepker was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1986.  He was a church elder active in Presbyterians for Gay and Lesbian Concerns and served on the board of directors for AIDS Partnership Michigan.  Stoepker was preceded in death by his partner Brad Kosko and survived by his daughter and son.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 56.

Between The Lines, August 11, 2005