February 16, 1953 – February 14, 2011
Originally from Florida, Steve Nader got his start as a gay dance club DJ in Atlanta, Georgia. After moving to Michigan in the 1970s, he helped found the Disco Pool Detroit record pool and went on to spin discs at such bars as Five West, the Gas Station, Menjo’s, the Detroit Eagle, and Off Broadway East. He lost his life to prostate cancer at age 58.
Between The Lines [online only], May 7, 2015
July 7, 1940 – August 11, 2011
Born in Newport, Rhode Island, Marina Doukales moved with her mother to Ann Arbor in the 1960s. She later worked as a phlebotomist with the University of Michigan Hospital for 20 years. Doukales and her partner of 32 years Nora Forde resided in Whitmore Lake before retiring to Desert Hot Springs, California.
Desert Sun, August 20, 2011
February 21, 1942 – November 15, 2011
Grand Rapids resident Martha VanderEyk immigrated from the Netherlands at age six with her family. She graduated from Kalamazoo Christian High School in 1960, attended Calvin College, and earned her Bacherlor’s in Music from Grand Valley State University. VanderEyke was employed as a business manager and was a longtime member, with her partner Leslie Kohn, of the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus.
Grand Rapids Press, November 23, 2011
January 24, 1959 – July 16, 2011
Thaddeus Allen Rusztowicz of East Lansing and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida was born in Detroit and earned his Bachelor’s in marketing in 1982 from Michigan State University. He enjoyed a long career in design, retiring as president of the auto supplier LPC Manufacturing to a new career in real estate. Rusztowicz was survived by Mark Clouse, his life partner of 21 years.
Lansing State Journal, July 19, 2011
September 19, 1967 – July 23, 2011
David Blair, better known as Blair, was born in Newton, New Jersey and moved to Detroit in the 1990s. He achieved national recognition as an openly queer socialist poet, artist, singer-song writer, and activist. Blair also taught poetry to Detroit Public School students and at the Ruth Ellis Center. Among his many achievements were a National Poetry Slam title and the BENT Writing Institute Mentor Award.
Between The Lines, July 28, 2011
Metro Times, August 3, 2011
December 23, 1946 – March 14, 2011
Judith Slotkin of Bloomfield Hills and formerly of Detroit was marketing manager for Show Tech Presentation Systems and later ran her own consulting firm. A volunteer fundraiser for WTVS-TV, the Music Hall, and Michigan Opera Theater, she was also actively involved in the Jewish Gay Network of Michigan. Slotkin was survived by her life partner of Anne Adelson.
Between The Lines [online only], March 24, 2011
September 22, 1946 – June 27, 2011
A dedicated and influential figure in Kalamazoo’s LGBTQ community, Jim Knox was co-founder in 1985 of Community AIDS Resource and Education Services and co-founder in 1987 of the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center, later renamed OutFront Kalamazoo. Knox was also a longtime employee of the Barn Theatre in Augusta.
Between The Lines, July 7, 2011
Kalamazoo Gazette, July 8, 2011
June 25, 1949 – December 5, 2011
Margaret Ellen “Maggie” Mendoskin was born in Flint and was a member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Mendoskin earned her cosmetology license in 1970 and worked as a hairstylist in the Flint area for more than three decades. She and her partner Melinda Rea shared a home in Genesee Township and were later buried together.
Allen Funeral Home
September 21, 1978 – August 2, 2011
Kerstin Monroe graduated from Webberville High School and was employed with the Riverwind Assisted Living facility in Williamston. She lost her life a month before their planned wedding when a car she was riding in was hit by a semi-truck that failed to stop. Monroe was survived by her fiancé Courtney.
Lesbian Connection, January/February 2012
January 29, 1956 – January 20, 2011
West Bloomfield resident and University of Michigan football fan Heather Louise Higgins hosted popular Port of Call parties at her home on Middle Straits Lake, enjoying water skiing and riding on her pontoon. Since 2003, she was the owner of Tis Herself Entertainment. Higgins died from cancer at age 54.
Lesbian Connection, July/August 2011