December 19, 1952 – April 27, 2017
Detroit native Peter Cooper, Cody High School class of 1971, worked for National City Bank for 20 years and for a decade was employed with AIDS Partnership Michigan. While in college in the early 1970s, he became involved in the Wayne State Gay Liberation Front. He was subsequently active in MCC Detroit, ASP, Simcha, and Affirmations. Cooper was survived by his partner of 12 years Jonathan Quirk.
Between The Lines, May 4, 2017
July 27, 1932 – July 18, 2017
Nancy Ledins was born in Cleveland, Ohio as William Griglak, was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1959, and served as an assistant rector at St. Anthony parish in Detroit in the early 1960s. After leaving the priesthood to marry a nun, William transitioned to Nancy in 1979 and was obliged to divorce. In her last years, Rev. Ledins resumed ministering with a congregation in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Charlotte Observer, July 22, 2017
Nancy S. Ledins profile at LGBT Religious Archives Network
July 25, 1967 – May 30, 2017
Timothy Richard Liupakka graduated in 1986 from Marquette Senior High School and attended Northern Michigan University before moving to Milwaukee to pursue a degree in interior design. Liupakka performed under the drag name Tabitha Stephens in Wisconsin and later in annual shows at NMU. In 2015, he moved to Florida where he worked in hotel housekeeping and married Peter Williamson.
Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral Home
January 20, 1959 – July 13, 2017
Judith Ann “Judy” Fraidenburg was born in St. Johns and graduated in the class of 1977 from Laingsburg High School. She tended bar for more than 20 years at the Mayfair Bar in Haslett. Fraidenburg and her spouse Kim Hasbrook were married in October 2015.
Watkins Brothers Funeral Home
April 18, 1925 – November 2, 2017
Erie, Pennsylvania native John DeCecco, a pioneering scholar of sexuality and longtime editor of the Journal of Homosexuality, taught at the University of Detroit from 1953 to 1955 and at Michigan State University from 1955 to 1960. Turning his interests to psychology, he moved on to an esteemed career at San Francisco State University until his retirement in 2003.
Windy City Times, November 12, 2017
San Francisco Chronicle, April 26, 2018
John DeCecco papers at the GLBT Historical Society
October 2, 1950 – October 15, 2017
A native of Traverse City and graduate of the Traverse City Schools, Bonnie Jean Purvis attended Central Michigan University and worked for more than three decades as a lab technician at Traverse City Osteopathic Hospital, later Munson Medical Center, retiring in 2013. An avid golfer, biker, and kayaker, Purvis was survived by Tammy Krentz, her spouse and loving partner of 36 years.
Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home
February 5, 1992 – December 11, 2017
Kristen Kay Laughton was born in Midland, graduated from Bullock Creek High School in 2010, studied at Mid Michigan College, and worked at Dow Chemical. Laughton lost her life in a fatal car crash due to winter road conditions. Her spouse Jessica Laughton survived her.
Midland Daily News, December 16, 2017