Muriel Van Patten

Muriel Van Patten pic

April 27, 1932 – May 28, 2013

Born in the small town of Quincy, Muriel Van Patten earned her B.A. and M.A. at Eastern Michigan University.  She taught visual arts at Fenton High School and served as an elementary art teacher and principal in the Wayne-Westland Schools.  She retired from the Michigan Department of Education.  Van Patten had her own art shown in numerous exhibitions.  She was survived by her partner Wanda Jubb.

Detroit News, June 2, 2013

Christine Johnson

Christine Johnson pic

July 13, 1951 – January 23, 2015

Activist, artist, and entrepreneur owner Christine Johnson was born in Cincinnati and moved to Chicago, where she co-founded the Metis Press Collective, a lesbian feminist publisher.  She met her life partner of 34 years Nancy Poore in 1981 and the two later moved to west Michigan.  The couple rented vacation cottages and operated a kayak rental business.

Grand Rapids Press, January 27, 2015

Lesbian Connection, May/June 2015

Nancy Poore & Chris Johnson video interview at Chicago Gay History

Joan Corbin

May 21, 1921 – March 4, 2004

Joan Jeanette Corbin was born in Armada, grew up in Richmond, and moved to Los Angeles in 1946.  With her then-partner Irma Wolf, Corbin was a founding member of the board for ONE Incorporated, publisher of ONE magazine.  She served as art director for ONE under the pseudonym Eve Everlee from 1953 to 1963.  Corbin continued to draw into her 70s, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

No known obituary

Joan Corbin papers at the ONE Archives

LeRoy Foster

Leroy Foster pic

May 8, 1925 – March 23, 1993

One of the most esteemed African American artists in Detroit history, LeRoy Foster was renowned for painting public murals in numerous buildings, including Cass Tech High School and the Frederick Douglass branch of the Detroit Public Library.  As with many gay men of his generation, Foster was arrested on charges of accosting undercover vice in the 1950s.

Detroit Free Press, March 26, 1993

Clifford Reynolds Jr.

Clifford Reynolds pic

January 25, 1921 – December 26, 1997

Actor and artist, Clifford Reynolds Jr. grew up in Highland Park and attended what was then called Wayne University in Detroit.  He married in 1945, moved with his wife to California in 1952, and they divorced in 1968.  A radio and television performer, Reynolds was survived by companion Lorne Gay.

Bay Area Reporter, January 1, 1998

Gordon Barnard

Gordon Barnard pic

February 27, 1936 – November 26, 2011

Gordon Barnard moved to Detroit when he was five and came out into Detroit’s gay world while in high school at Cass Tech.  A graphic artist, Barnard worked as a graphic designer for Michigan Consolidated Gas Company for 35 years.  His partner of 22 years, William Ownby, preceded him in death in 1994.

Between The Lines, April 22, 2011

Ronald DeJonge

Ronald DeJonge pic

January 4, 1941 – January 9, 2018

A 1959 graduate of Holland High School, Ronald DeJonge attended Kendall School of Art and Design in Grand Rapids.  A veteran of the National Guard, he later worked as a graphic designer and cabinet maker.  At his death he shared a home in New Richmond with his partner Darris Chichock.

Holland Sentinel, January 11, 2018