March 23, 1952 – March 5, 2009
Pleasant Ridge resident Gaye Ann Leeny grew up in Detroit. She was employed as a designer of prototypes in the automotive industry and also operated Rainbow Graphics in Hazel Park. In 1986, she joined with five others to establish Windover Resort, an all-women’s campground near the Thumb village of Owendale. Leeny was survived by her loving partner Janie Plunkett Henderson.
July 20, 1930 – January 21, 2009
Marjorie Ann Lyda earned her MSW from Wayne State and in 1967 became the first African-American woman to open a psychotherapy practice in Birmingham. She was one of the earliest therapists in Metro Detroit to provide positive counseling to gay clients and offered pioneering treatment for people now termed transgender. Lyda also served as pastor for churches in Ferndale and Detroit.
Detroit News, January 28, 2009
February 4, 1938 – February 27, 2009
Portia June Fagan was born in Kalamazoo, attended Richland High School, graduated from Western Michigan University, and had a long career as a tax preparer and real estate broker. In 1994, she came out as lesbian in the Kalamazoo Gazette to “break down stereotypes.” Fagan and her life partner Janice O’Dell retired to Arizona in the early 2000s.
Kalamazoo Gazette, March 11, 2009
September 5, 1951 – August 3, 2009
Muskegon resident Daniel Chambers spent summers on Mackinac Island while growing up in Dearborn and earned his degree in fine arts from Wayne State University. As owner of his own design business, he created interiors for residential and commercial clients on Mackinac Island and in west Michigan. Chambers and his life partner Terry MacAllister were together 28 years.
Mackinac Island Town Crier, September 5, 2009
Clock Funeral Home
September 2, 1955 – October 22, 2009
Randall Lee Seager, familiar to fans as Bucky, was longtime DJ in the 1980s and early 19980s at the Copa nightclub in Flint. He grew up in Burton Township and Mundy Township and graduated in 1973 from Grand Blanc High School, where he sang in the Mixed Chorus and the Acapella Choir. Later in life Seager worked as a cashier at Kroger.
Sharp Funeral Home
November 5, 1928 – January 3, 2009
Born in Saginaw, Gerald Laverne Hillert was a draftsman for Consumers Power in Saginaw in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and later worked as an interior designer for Sears-Roebuck in Detroit. Hillert was also an early subscriber to ONE magazine. He and his companion of 56 years Robert Costa retired to Vero Beach, Florida.
TC Palm, January 8, 2009
May 13. 1983 – July 31, 2009
A native of Engadine in Mackinac County, Jonel Kathryn Hoogterp was valedictorian of her high school class and part of the All-UP Girls Basketball Team in 2001. She earned her Bachelor’s at Aquinas College and later moved to Durham, North Carolina. Hoogterp and her partner Julie Hatch were killed in an automobile crash.
Beaulieu Funeral Home