June 9, 1969 – November 15, 2020
An early member of the House of Chanel, Jennifer Holiday Chanel graduated with the class of 1987 from Flint Central High School and went on to attend Eastern Michigan University. She performed at the Nectarine in Ann Arbor, later worked at Gigi’s in Detroit, and won the Miss Gigi’s title in 1997. The Performers Awards of Detroit honored Chanel with its Bookie Stewart Hall of Fame Award in 2017.
Between The Lines [online only], November 19, 2020
September 7, 1973 – March 31, 2020
Denison resident Rebecca Pauline Dunn was born in Lansing and attended Grand Valley State University and Aquinas College. She worked as a beloved bilingual education elementary teacher with the Grand Rapids Public Schools for more than two decades. Dunn and her partner of 22 years Melanie Auzins were married in the summer of 2019.
Grand Rapids Press, April 7, 2020
February 13, 1968 – September 2, 2020
Born in Bay City, Amy Jo Lambert grew up in Midland and graduated with the class of 1986 from Dow High School. She as director of the Fun House and in recent years helped facilitate a local Superhero Training Camp for kids. Lambert was also an avid camper, hiker, and kayaker. She was survived by her partner Julie Sugar.
Midland Daily News, September 4, 2020
February 27. 1958 – November 20, 2020
Deborah Jane “Deb” Price started college at the University of Michigan before transferring to Stanford, where she earned her B.A. and M.A. In 1992, while working for the Detroit News, she began writing a regular column on gay life, the first for a mainstream daily newspaper. The column was soon syndicated throughout the U.S. and continued for 18 years. Price was survived by her wife Joyce Murdoch.
Between The Lines, December 10, 2020
New York Times, December 10, 2020
April 19, 1964 – March 23, 2020
Writer and artists Brent Dorian Carpenter was born in Detroit and graduated from Cass Tech in 1981. His entrée into Detroit’s African American LGBTQ community came in 2001 when he approached Hotter Than July planners to promote his first novel, Man of the Cloth. Carpenter became and AIDS activist and he worked as a reporter and regular columnist for Between The Lines before moving to Atlanta in 2006.
Between The Lines, April 16, 2020
July 27, 1944 – June 21, 2020
Dearborn Heights resident Joy Estelle Geng graduated from Plymouth High School, earned her MBA at Wayne State, and worked for Ford Motors from 1967 to 1997. Geng was an early board member of the Triangle Foundation, initially using Jay Grange to protect her job, and remained active with the organization after it became Equality Michigan. She was survived by her partner Maria Winiarski.
Between The Lines, July 9, 2020
April 24, 1928 – May 22, 2020
Jerry Abraham Moore grew up in Detroit, graduated from Redford High School, and attended Wayne State before being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950. Following his military service he became immersed in Detroit’s gay bar scene and from 1958 to 1960 served as secretary of the short-lived Detroit Area Council of the Mattachine Society, the first ever formal homosexual organization in Michigan.
Between The Lines [online only], June 12, 2020
December 4, 1940 – July 6, 2020
A graduate of St. Mary’s Academy in Monroe, Sandra Lee Langeland earned her B.S. in physical education from Michigan State University in 1964. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Denver and taught psychology at the Oakland Community College Highland Lakes Campus for 29 years. Langeland and her life partner Susan Murdock shared homes un Union Lake before moving to Florida.
Oakland Press, July 10, 2020
October 19, 1951 – November 2, 2020
Debra Jean McGee was a master drummer and a priest of Obatala in the Yoruba faith. After moving to Michigan from New York, she worked as a coordinator at the Flushing Senior Center, received her Bachelor’s from the University of Michigan-Flint, and earned her MSW at the UM School of Social Work, specializing in geriatrics. McGee and her partner Sandy Cleomaude married in Swartz Creek in 2017.
Swartz Funeral Home
July 3, 1923 – August 31, 2020
Mt. Pleasant resident Jean Roberts grew up on a farm in rural Iowa and attended Western Michigan University, where she played tuba in the symphony. She went on to teach physical education in Kalamazoo and at Comstock High School and later worked as a counselor in the Reed City schools. For 15 years, Roberts and her life partner Janet Bush operated J & J Leather.
Morning Sun, September 1, 2020