Ann Sorrell

Ann Sorrell pic

September 2, 1936 – December 26, 2019

Kentucky native Ann Sorrell moved to Detroit at age seven.  She sold bakery goods, worked as a postal worker, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve before earning her B.A. and M.A. from Eastern Michigan University.  She taught the hearing impaired in the Ann Arbor schools.  Sorrell and her life partner Marge Elde were among the first lesbian couples married in Washtenaw County in June 2015.

Ann Arbor News, January 9, 2020

In Memory of Ann Sorrell

Alice Anderson

Alice Anderson pic

September 4, 1993 – June 11, 2019

Grand Rapids resident Alice Joy Anderson was born in Holland.  Anderson’s creativity drew her to mythology, literature, music, architecture, history, and photography, and a passion for LEGO building blocks.  Her studies took her to India and Iceland.  At age 16, Anderson entered Hope College, where she worked as a set carpenter in the Theater Department and earned her B.A. in studio art in 2016.

Holland Sentinel, June 21, 2019

James Brown II

James Brown II pic

August 2, 1960 – February 11, 2019

James Osmond Brown II, known to customers and leather community members as Diamond Jim, grew up in Highland Park and graduated from Detroit’s Cass Tech High School.  Over the years, he held such titles as Mr. R&R, Mr. Leather Detroit, and Mr. Michigan Leather and in 1994 helped form the Michigan International Gay Rodeo Association.  From 2001 to 2010, Brown operated Diamond Jim’s Saloon.

Between The Lines, March 7, 2019

Lisa Ortiz

Lisa Ortiz pic

June 2, 1966 – February 21, 2019

Lisa Maria Rodriguez Ortiz was born in Chicago and as a teenager moved to Michigan, where she graduated from Okemos High School and attended the University of Michigan and Boston College.  For 26 years she taught Spanish at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor.  Ortiz resided in Ypsilanti with her daughters and wife Julia Marvin.

Ann Arbor News, February 28, 2019

Stuart Itzkowitz

Stuart Itzkowitz pic

May 3, 1948 – November 5, 2019

Grosse Pointe Park resident Stuart George Itzkowitz moved Detroit in 1974 after earning his Masters at the University of Michigan.  He became active with the Wayne State University GLF, was a founder of MOHR, and served on the board of Wellness Networks.  He went on to get his Ph.D. from Wayne State, where he later taught.  Itzkowitz was preceded in death by his husband and partner of 38 years Larry Zimmerman.

Between The Lines, November 21, 2019

Sarah Flick

Sarah Flick pic

April 1, 1963 – September 20, 2019

The first female player on the Little League baseball team in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota, Sarah Ann Flick was born in Chicago and lived in Grand Rapids in the late 1980s.  She spent 18 years in law enforcement, retiring in 2017 from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.  Flick passed away from cancer at the home she shared in Ada, Michigan with her wife Heidi Gidley.

Holland Sentinel, September 28, 2019

Rodger Williams

Rodger Williams pic

March 28, 1964 – April 3, 2019

Canton resident Rodger Lynn Williams was born in Detroit, graduated from Clarenceville High School in Livonia, and later studied at William Tyndale College in Farmington Hills.  Rev. Williams received his religious training at Concordia Seminary in Missouri and for 13 years served as pastor of Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church in Ann Arbor.

Observer & Eccentric Newspapers, April 11, 2019