January 16, 1952 – October 1, 2019
Arts supporter, benefactor, and retired attorney David Lyle Balas was born in Mt. Clemens, graduated from University Liggett High School, and attended universities in Ohio. He worked with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and served on the East Lansing City Council as an openly gay member from 1983 to 1995. Balas and his future husband Jim Sellman moved to Saugatuck in 2003 and wed in 2015.
Between The Lines, October 17, 2019
April 15, 1964 – July 23, 2018
Jenifer Anne Kohout grew up on Air Force bases throughout the U.S. and overseas. After finishing her Bachelor’s at Duke, she earned an M.S. in Natural Resource Policy from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from the UM Law School. In the 1990s, Kohout was an occasional columnist for Between The Lines. She later enjoyed a rich career in Alaska. Kohout was survived by her spouse Karen Komopacki.
Washington Post, August 7, 2018
January 22, 1940 – December 18, 2001
Jack Birkinsha of Byron Center was a Kansas native, earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and retired from the Great American Life Insurance Company. As an attorney in Detroit in the late 1970s, Birkinsha served as a trustee for the monthly paper Metro Gay News and, as a member of the Committee for Gay Rights, helped push for the city’s Omnibus Human Rights Ordinance.
St. Joseph News-Press, December 25, 2001
May 21, 1948 – September 12, 2013
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Adrian Vincent practiced law in East Lansing and Chicago. As a longtime resident of Douglas, He was involved with the Saugatuck/Douglas Historical Society and enjoyed skiing, sailing, and cycling. Vincent was survived by his partner Thomas Staniszewski.
Lansing State Journal, September 18, 2013
December 31, 1950 – October 26, 2011
Saginaw resident Lenore Simon was born in Chicago and earned her JD from Creighton University Law School in Omaha. Nebraska. In addition to practicing law as an attorney and mediator for more than 20 years, Simon co-founded a queer theater company Center in Monterey, California in the early 1990s and later continued the troupe in Las Vegas. She and her partner Connie Hoffman were married in 2009.
Lesbian Connection, March/April 2012
January 13, 1964 – October 25, 1995
Jeffry Florian Kucharski of Dearborn earned a piano scholarship to Wayne State University. He later received a B.A. in Russian Studies from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from the Wayne State Law School. Kucharski worked as helpline coordinator at Affirmations Community Center and enjoyed traveling with his partner of 12 years Tom Wilczak. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 31.
Between The Lines, December 1995
Between The Lines, December 1996
December 25, 1929 – February 7, 2017
Lawyer, professor, and labor activist Patricia Eames earned her BA. at Reed College, her M.A. from Columbia, and her J.D. from Yale Law School. In the 1980s, she served as general counsel for Wayne State University. While in Detroit she and her life partner Connie Hart were active with the Forum Foundation and SEMGLA, the South East Michigan Gay/Lesbian Association.
Reed Magazine, 2017
February 3, 1938 – June 28, 2011
At age 21, Charles Casper was among nearly three dozen men entrapped by police in a crackdown on homosexual activity at the University of Michigan in late 1959 and early 1960. He earned his B.A. at UM and went on to receive a J.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. As an attorney, Casper practiced law in his hometown of LaGrange, Illinois.
Chicago Tribune, July 21, 2011
August 27, 1965 – June 4, 2015
A graduate of Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx, Vielka Holness received her B.A. from New York University. She studied law at the University of Michigan Law School, clerked with the Michigan Court of Appeals, earned a Masters from Columbia, and received certification from Harvard’s Management Development Program in Higher Ed. She capped an esteemed career serving as director for Post-Graduate Opportunities and the Pre-Law Institute of John Jay College.
Journal News, June 6, 2015
August 18, 1960 – August 25, 1987
From Northbrook, Illinois, Scott Flack received his B.A. in political science from Michigan State University in 1982 and earned his law degree from Rutgers University Law School in Camden in 1985. He later worked as an AIDS lobbyist for a firm in Washington, DC. He died of complications from AIDS at age 27.
Washington Blade, October 28, 1987