August 27, 1965 – June 4, 2015
A graduate of Cardinal Spellman High School in Detroit, Vielka Holness received her B.A. from New York University. She studied law at the University of Michigan Law School, clerked with the Michigan Court of Appeals, and earned a masters in higher education from Harvard. She capped an esteemed career serving as director for Post-Graduate Opportunities and the Pre-Law Institute of John Jay College.
Journal News, June 6, 2015
April 6, 1949 – January 23, 2015
Originally from Detroit, Adrian resident Bonnie Miller worked for Faraday fire alarm manufacturers and shared a home with her life partner Esther Stoker.
Adrian Daily Telegram, January 27, 2015
February 20, 1931 – August 22, 2015
Grand Rapids resident Dorace “Dorie” Johnson graduated from the Blodgett Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1950 and had a long career as an RN. She and her life partner Cindy Gould were active in the Michigan Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Grand Rapids Press, August 25, 2015
April 21, 1958 – December 10, 2015
A Saginaw native, Melinda “Bones” Rea worked as a security guard for Courtland Center in Flint and with the Genesee County Department of Parks and Recreation. She later had am eleven-year career with the Genesee Schools.
Flint Journal, December 13, 2015
February 14, 1973 – June 3, 2015
Self-described tech nerd, scuba diver, traveler, musician, artist, photographer, cook, and gardener, Heather Moana spent her early years in Frankenmuth before moving to Battle Creek, where she graduated from Lakeview High School in 1991. Following high school, she worked for the Battle Creek Enquirer and, in 2005, relocated to California.
Battle Creek Enquirer, June 15, 2015
March 22, 1959 – August 31, 2015
Ordained into the priesthood in 2007, Rev. Karen Johanns moved to Michigan in 2008 to become rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Pontiac, a position she held until cancer forced her into “grouchy” retirement. Johanns was survived by her wife Claire Dodds.
Oakland Press, September 2, 2015
January 22, 1935 – September 29, 2015
A pioneer in the Grand Rapids LGBTQ community, Milton Lennox was longtime owner of the Apartment Lounge with his life partner Edward Ladner. Together they provided financial support for the Network, now known as the Grand Rapids Pride Center, and the Red Project. Months before Lennox’s death, he and Ladner celebrated their 50th anniversary as a couple.
Grand Rapids Press, October 4, 2015