August 26, 1933 – September 19, 2005
Born in Chicago, Barbara Lee Christiansen graduated from Baldwin High School in Birmingham and earned her degree in dental hygiene from the University of Michigan. A resident of Huntington Woods, she was active with the local library, the garden club, the Detroit Zoo, and other causes. With her involvement with Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Christiansen was also a PFLAG mom.
Detroit News, September 21, 2005
December 20, 1960 – July 19, 2002
A graduate of Groves High School in Birmingham and Eastern Michigan University, Maureen Elaine Dorrington of Beverly Hills performed was a noted actress on Detroit area stages. Her work included roles in two gay-themed productions of the Jewish Ensemble Theater, Torch Song Trilogy in 1996 and The Laramie Project in the 2001-2002 season, for which she was nominated for a Wilde Award.
Between The Lines, August 8, 2002
September 19, 1934 – August 4, 1992
Born in Bay City, Jill Marilyn (Conway) Ramseyer graduated from the Henry Ford Hospital nursing program in 1955 and began work as an RN for the Genesee County Public Health Department in 1972. The first nurse in Flint to do HIV testing, she was founder and later president of Wellness HIV/AIDS Services. Ramseyer retired to Au Gres in 1991 and was survived by her husband and two children.
Flint Journal, August 5, 1992
March 30, 1944 – December 4, 2018
Randall Steven “Randy” Pope grew up in Battle Creek and earned his B.S. from the University of Michigan. He worked for the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta before returning to Michigan. During his 40-year career in public health, Pope was at the forefront of steering state governmental response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Pope was preceded in death by his wife and survived by two sons and two stepsons.
Lansing State Journal, December 11, 2018
December 5, 1934 – October 28, 2001
A native of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Cynthia Jane (Young) Wrentmore started as a public health nurse with the Washtenaw County Department of Public Health in 1958 and became as its communicable disease coordinator in 1981. She served on the board for Wellness Networks/Huron Valley, later known as the HIV/AIDS Resource Center, and was a pioneering AIDS educator in the Ann Arbor area.
Between The Lines, November 29, 2001
March 14, 1939 – January 5, 2017
The supportive mother of her gay son, Dorothy Lee Lawrence was born in Albion and spent much of her life in Battle Creek. She worked as a secretary and transcriptionist before enjoying a 24-year career with the Kellogg Company, all while raising a family. After retiring to Florida, she became active with the local chapter of Parents, Friends, and Families of Lesbians and Gays.
Battle Creek Enquirer, May 9, 2017
January 9, 1956 – March 1, 2003
Detroit native Veronica Perryman Mitchell attended Mumford High School. In a 1995 Detroit Free Press feature, she revealed how HIV helped her turn from a life of addiction. Among her achievements, Mitchell served as AIDS ombudsperson for the City of Detroit, began a women with AIDS support group in C-HAG, and sat on the board of Men of Color. She died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.
Detroit Free Press, March 6, 2003
Between The Lines, March 13, 2003
July 20, 1930 – January 21, 2009
Marjorie Ann Lyda earned her MSW from Wayne State and in 1967 became the first African-American woman to open a psychotherapy practice in Birmingham. She was one of the earliest therapists in Metro Detroit to provide positive counseling to gay clients and offered pioneering treatment for people now termed transgender. Lyda also served as pastor for churches in Ferndale and Detroit.
Detroit News, January 28, 2009
June 9, 1962 – June 29, 2016
Redford pharmacist Darnell Demorris Jones was as an advocate and activist for transgender people in transition. He served as vice president of the Gender Identity Network Alliance and co-founded the group Transcend the Binary. For his outreach work, Jones received the Outstanding Ally Award from Affirmations in 2014.
Oakland County Times, June 30, 2016
September 10, 1925 – December 20, 2014
Longtime Farmington Hills psychologist Howard Norton Baver began his career in Hartford, Connecticut before moving to Metro Detroit. As a straight therapist with a number of gay and bisexual clients, he founded The Gay Connection as a monthly discussion group in 1985 when many of them told him the only places they would meet were gay bars. Haver was also a key supporter of the Jewish Gay Network.
Between The Lines, January 8, 2015