Vielka Holness

Vielka Holness pic

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

Dorie Johnson

Dorace Dorie Johnson pic

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

Heather Moana

Heather Moana pic

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

Karen Johanns

Karen Johanns pic

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

Milton Lennox

Milton Lennox pic

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