Bill Kain

Bill Kain pic

August 7, 1943 – February 28, 1991

Flint native William James Kain was a school teacher before entering the gay bar business.  Kain worked as a manager at Stober’s Disco in Lansing and Sylvia’s Club Oasis in Flint in the mid-1970s before opening his own Flint bar the Downtowner’s Club, later renamed the Copa.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.

Flint Journal, March 2, 1991

Cruise, March 6, 1991

Peresephone Reynolds

September 1, 1944 – May 2, 2018

Born in Pontiac, Peresephone Reynolds grew up in Lake Orion and, in 1971, moved to Harrisville where she lived with her life partner Gloria Laurette.  She taught with the Oscoda Area Schools and Alpena Community College, earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1993, and retired in 2007.  Reynolds and Laurette moved downstate to Clinton Township in 2016.

Oscoda Press, May 2, 2018

Pearl Berlin

Pearl Berlin pic

January 6, 1925 – May 17. 2018

Born in New York, Pearl Berlin earned her Ph.D. from Penn State and from 1959 to 1971 was professor of health and physical education at Wayne State University.  She then took a faculty position at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.  She and her life partner Ellen Gerber were plaintiffs in a court challenge of North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage.   The couple legally wed in 2013.

Greensboro News & Record, May 19, 2018

Sally Mae McCoy

Sally Mae McCoy pic

January 16, 1927 – March 31, 2002

Born in Royston, Georgia, Sally Mae McCoy moved to Detroit following World War II and attended Fleming Beauty School in the 1950s.  In addition to teaching cosmetology and operating a hair care business, she worked for 20 years as a custodian with the Detroit Public Schools.  Rev. Renee McCoy was among her five children.

Between The Lines, April 11, 2002

Del Thusius

Del Thusius pic

May 23, 1927 – March 26, 2013

Dolore “Del” Thusius earned his Bachelor’s in music from Valaraiso University and his Master’s in education from Western Michigan University.  Thusius taught choir at Portage Central High School from 1955 to 1983 and directed annual musicals.  He shared a home in Kalamazoo with his partner of 48 years David Reichard.

Kalamazoo Gazette, March 23, 2013

Mary Ellen Raleigh

Mary Ellen Raleigh pic

June 2, 1940 – January 29, 2012

A graduate of Mott Community College and the University of Michigan, Mary Ellen Raleigh taught English and business writing at UM-Flint from 1975 to 1995.  She served on the campus Task Force on Sexual Orientation, played competitive Scrabble, and authored a longtime column for East Village Magazine.

Flint Journal, January 31, 2012