April 6, 1949 – September 28, 2021
Lansing resident Ilona Rae Sabo-Shuler was born in Grand Rapids, graduated from South High School, attended Calvin College, and later studied at Garrett Theological Seminary in Illinois. After serving as pastor of Williamston United Methodist Church from 1982 to 1994, she became a real estate agent in East Lansing. Sabo-Schuler was preceded in death in 2020 by her partner of 42 years Jean Fillingham.
Palmer, Bush, & Jensen Family Funeral Home
February 21, 1942 – November 15, 2011
Grand Rapids resident Martha VanderEyk immigrated from the Netherlands at age six with her family. She graduated from Kalamazoo Christian High School in 1960, attended Calvin College, and earned her Bacherlor’s in Music from Grand Valley State University. VanderEyke was employed as a business manager and was a longtime member, with her partner Leslie Kohn, of the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus.
Grand Rapids Press, November 23, 2011
August 25, 1964 – January 3, 1997
Mount Clemens native Gerald Mark “Gerry” Crane graduated from Mount Clemens High School and attended Grand Rapids Baptist College and Calvin College. He taught high school music in Byron Center and was loved by his students, but officials hounded him from his job in 1996 when parents learned that he and his partner Randy Block held a commitment ceremony. Crane died from a heart attack at age 32.
Between The Lines, February 1997
Michigan Radio segment on Private Love, Public School: Gay Teacher Under Fire