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
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
Lesbian Connection, September/October 2006
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
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
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
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
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