Jack Birkinsha

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

Adrian Vincent

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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

Lenore Simon

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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

Jeff Kucharski

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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

Patricia Eames

Patricia Eames pic

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

Charles Casper

Charles Casper pic

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

Vielka Holness

Vielka Holness pic

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