Peter Cooper

Peter Cooper pic

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

John Pierre Adams

John Pierre Adams pic 2

July 28, 1921 – January 9, 1994

Born in Detroit, John Pierre Adams served in the U.S. Army during World War II and, while living in New York City following his tour of duty, performed with the Katherine Dunham Dance Company.  He returned to Detroit in the 1950s and worked as a shipping clerk for an equipment company.  In the 1970s, Adams led the local gay organization ONE in Detroit as its president for three years.

No known obituary

Nancy Ledins

Nancy Ledins pic

July 27, 1932 – July 18, 2017

Nancy Ledins was born in Cleveland, Ohio as William Griglak, was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1959, and served as an assistant rector at St. Anthony parish in Detroit in the early 1960s.  After leaving the priesthood to marry a nun, William transitioned to Nancy in 1979 and was obliged to divorce.  In her last years, Rev. Ledins resumed ministering with a congregation in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Charlotte Observer, July 22, 2017

Nancy S. Ledins profile at LGBT Religious Archives Network

Malcolm Boyd

Malcolm Boyd pic

June 8, 1923 – February 27, 2015

Nationally renowned Episcopal priest, civil rights activist, and author Rev. Malcolm Boyd made headlines in the mid-1970s when he came out as gay.  During the early 1960s, he served as chaplain at Wayne State University in Detroit.  His many books included Take Off the Masks and Gay Priest: An Inner Journey.  Boyd was survived by his husband Mark Thompson.

New York Times, March 2, 2015

Between The Lines, March 12, 2015

Malcolm Boyd Papers at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center

Marguerite Hicks

Marguerite Hicks pic

October 19, 1891 – May 9, 1978

Dearborn native Marguerite Bieber Hicks attended the University of Michigan as an undergraduate from 1910 to 1911, finished her B.A. in English at Wayne State University while a housewife in 1935, and completed her M.A. in 1938.  During the 1930s and 1940s, with the help of her longtime partner Thelma James, Hicks amassed a rare collection of books by and about women from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Detroit Free Press, May 10, 1978

Marguerite Hicks Project at Oakland University

Thelma James

Thelma James pic

May 30, 1899 – January 23, 1988

Thelma Gray James graduated with high distinction from the University of Michigan in 1920.  She joined the faculty of the College of the City of Detroit, forerunner of Wayne State University, in 1923, retiring from Wayne in 1967 as a pioneering folklorist.  James shared various Detroit homes with her close partner of 40 years Marguerite Hicks.

Detroit Free Press, January 24, 1988

Eva McKinley West

Eva McKinley West pic

March 30, 1889 – August 25, 1970

Born in Hannibal, Missouri, Eva McKinley West earned her Bachelor’s degree at Wellesley College and Master’s at Columbia University.  From 1927 to 1964, she chaired the English Department at the University Liggett School.  West shared homes in Detroit and Grosse Pointe Woods for more than 35 years with Liggett headmistress Katharine Ogden.

Grosse Pointe News, August 27, 1970