March 27, 1938 – September 21, 1994
Native Detroiter William John Thompson served in the Army, earned a Master’s from Wayne State, taught public school, and worked in advertising. He was active in multiple organizations, including ASP, MOHR, Dignity, BWMT, and MAPP. Thompson was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Detroit area Pride Banquet in 1993. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 56.
Between The Lines, November 1994
Cruise, November 9, 1994
April 12, 1938 – October 23, 2010
Huntington Woods resident Frank Gordon Martin was born in Detroit, graduated with the January 1957 class from Pershing High, and attended Wayne State University. Martin later operated a textbook store near campus and in the 1980s was president of the Association of Suburban People. He was survived by Al Vezza, his life partner of 54 years. The two met on a streetcar just before Martin’s 18th birthday.
Between The Lines, November 4, 2010
October 10, 1949 – January 15, 1995
Joseph Mattingley Zendell coordinated programs for the Michigan Council for the Arts in Detroit from 1974 to 1981. Active in the Association of Suburban People and the Motor City Business Forum, he also served as an early financial officer with the Michigan Organization for Human Rights. In 1982, Zendell moved to Illinois to lead the Evanston Arts Council. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.
Chicago Tribune, January 21, 1995
October 14, 1949 – August 6, 1994
Taylor resident Larry Thomas Gaynier taught high school English and communications in Brownstown Charter Township for 22 years. A member of the Association of Suburban People in the early 1980s, Gaynier later served on the boards of Affirmations and the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 44.
Detroit Free Press, August 9, 1994
Affirmations Newsletter, September 1994
November 30, 1926 – February 8, 2003
James Louis Limbacher, audio-visual librarian with the Dearborn Public Library for 35 years, was born in Ohio and moved to Michigan in 1955. He earned his Master’s in library science degree at Wayne State and also taught at Wayne as a world-renowned film historian. Limbacher was active with the Association of Suburban People and the Forum Foundation.
Detroit Free Press, February 13, 2003
December 19, 1952 – April 27, 2017
Detroit native Peter Cooper, Cody High School class of 1971, worked for National City Bank for 20 years and for a decade was employed with AIDS Partnership Michigan. While in college in the early 1970s, he became involved in the Wayne State Gay Liberation Front. He was subsequently active in MCC Detroit, ASP, Simcha, and Affirmations. Cooper was survived by his partner of 12 years Jonathan Quirk.
Between The Lines, May 4, 2017
January 28, 1925 – June 21, 2003
Hal Lawson, a graduate of Wayne State University, was founding chair from 1958 to 1960 of the Detroit Area Council of the Mattachine Society, the first known organization for homosexuals in Michigan. He was later involved in ONE in Detroit, the Association of Suburban People, the Michigan Organization for Human Rights, the Unitarian-Universalist Gay Caucus, and Dignity/Flint.
Between The Lines, July 17, 2003
August 9, 1926 – March 5, 2010
Longtime Utica resident Ernest Horne was born in Boston, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, graduated from Harvard University, and moved to Detroit in the late 1940s. From 1961 to 1992, he was a librarian at the GM Tech Center in Warren. Horne was active in numerous Detroit area organizations, including the Association of Suburban People, the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Council, the Forum Foundation, and Affirmations.
Between The Lines, March 11, 2010
Ernest L. Horne papers at the Walter P. Reuther Library
September 22, 1927 – February 18, 2014
From 1976 to 2014, Dearborn Heights neurosurgeon Dr. Henry Messer was a tireless advocate for gay rights in Michigan, active in the Association of Suburban People and the Michigan Organization for Human Rights. In 1991, Messer played an instrumental role in establishing the Triangle Foundation, which later became Equality Michigan.
Between The Lines, February 20, 2014
August 25, 1948 – January 19, 1993
A graduate of Farmington High School, Alan Redner was deployed to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, received a Bronze Star for his service, and rose to the rank of captain with the Michigan National Guard. Employed with Estate Motors in Birmingham and later with BMW, Redner was also active with the Association of Suburban People. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 44.
Cruise, January 27, 1993