Sally Ann Hopkins

Sally Hopkins pic

April 14, 1958 – October 24, 2012

Sally Ann Hopkins was born in Jackson and graduated in the class of 1976 from Jackson High School.  She later earned her Associates Degree from Columbia College in Missouri and served 20 years in the U.S. Navy.  Following her service, Hopkins worked at Home Depot and resided in Atlanta, Indiana with her partner Kathryn “Kathi” Lee Miller.

Jackson Citizen-Patriot, October 28, 2012

Barb Sowers

Barb Sowers pic

May 4, 1932 – October 19, 2012

In 1953 and 1954 Barbara Jean “Barb” Sowers played outfrield with Muskegon Belles and the Grand Rapids Chicks in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.  Born in Detroit, she grew up in Livonia and retired as a high school counselor with the Livonia schools, where she headed the teachers’ union in the mid-1970s.  Sowers was preceded in death by Shirley Weaver, her companion of 45 years.

Roberson Funeral Home and Crematory

Dolores Harris

Dolores Jean Harris pic

November 28, 1931 – April 16, 2012

Dolores Jan Harris was active with the Genesee County chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.  Born in Lansing, she married in 1950, worked as a paraprofessional with Brandon Schools, served as a Girl Scout leader, and sang in the choir of Ortonville United Methodist Church.

Oakland Press, April 18, 2012

Mark Bidwell

Mark Bidwell pic

December 28, 1958 – January 3, 2012

Born in Pontiac, Mark George Bidwell earned his bachelor’s at Lawrence Technological University.  He also attended SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary and earned a master’s in pastoral ministry at the Samaritan Institute of Sunshine Cathedral.  In 1989, Bidwell joined the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, rose to the position of deacon, and later served as senior pastor until his resignation in 2011.

Between The Lines, January 20, 2012

Leon Smith

Leon Smith pic

August 7, 1952 – January 12, 2012

Detroiter Leon Smith attended Murray-Smith High School and became active in the local LGBT community in the 1980s.  He helped launch the Men of Color Motivational Group, was one of the original organizers of the Hotter Than July pride celebration, and took part in a support group for HIV+ men sponsored by what was then known as Kick!.

Between The Lines, January 26, 2012

Sabra Fischer

Sabra Fischer pic

August 11, 1938 – October 16, 2012

Sabra Fischer grew up in Glencoe, Illinois and attended Ohio Wesleyan University.  She later earned her M.S.W. from Wayne State University in Detroit, owned a private practice in social work and later massage therapy, and raised two children in Harper Woods.  She and her partner Sue Grywalski moved to Lexington along Lake Huron in 1994.

Port Huron Times Herald, October 17, 2012

Pomeroy Funeral Home memorial

Mary Ellen Raleigh

Mary Ellen Raleigh pic

June 2, 1940 – January 29, 2012

A graduate of Mott Community College and the University of Michigan, Mary Ellen Raleigh taught English and business writing at UM-Flint from 1975 to 1995.  She served on the campus Task Force on Sexual Orientation, played competitive Scrabble, and authored a longtime column for East Village Magazine.

Flint Journal, January 31, 2012