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
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
December 9, 1972 – March 31, 2006
Born in Saginaw, Annette Berkobien graduated from Michigan State University in 1996 with a B.A. with a degree in interdisciplinary studies. A poet, artist, and playwright, she worked for women’s shelters in Detroit and Lansing before moving to Oakland, California to attend the New College of California.
Lesbian Connection, July/August 2006
February 14, 1973 – June 3, 2015
Self-described tech nerd, scuba diver, traveler, musician, artist, photographer, cook, and gardener, Heather Moana spent her early years in Frankenmuth before moving to Battle Creek, where she graduated from Lakeview High School in 1991. Following high school, she worked for the Battle Creek Enquirer and, in 2005, relocated to California.
Battle Creek Enquirer, June 15, 2015
November 7, 1955 – January 7, 2009
A community producer with the Flint radio program “Face the Music” and organizer of the LGBT arts celebration Out ‘N About, Joann Downing attended Grand Blanc High School and graduated from Michigan State University. Her long career with non-profits included 22 years with the Girl Scouts.
Flint Journal, January 12, 2009
Lesbian Connection, May/June 2009
November 23, 1948 – September 29, 1994
Artist Jay Manning designed the Christopher Street Detroit ’72 pride celebration logo, which showed a butterfly with sweeping wings and a clenched fist for a body. The image also graced the window of the Green Carnation, the city’s first gay community center. Manning died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.
Bay Area Reporter, October 10, 1994
September 5, 1958 – August 18, 1992
Birmingham resident Michael Connelly attended the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit and worked as a portrait artist. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 33.
Cruise, September 9, 1992