Ron Fracker

Ron Fracker pic

December 27, 1954 – July 8, 2002

Ronald Bradley Fracker of Ypsilanti was born in Jackson and graduated from Michigan Center High School in 1972 before earning his Bachelor’s from the University of Michigan.  Fracker became an accomplished pianist, taught on the music faculty of Washtenaw Community College, and helped found UM’s first gay and lesbian alumni group.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.

Ann Arbor News, July 10, 2002

WRAP newsletter, November 2002

Alma Goetsch

Alma Goetsch pic

May 9, 1901 – April 6, 1968

Alma Minna Goetsch was born in Milwaukee and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago before moving to East Lansing, where she taught as an art professor at Michigan State University for 37 years.  In the late 1930s, Goetsch and her partner Kathrine Winckler commissioned famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design a home for them in Okemos.  The couple moved to Arkansas upon retiring in 1965.

Lansing State Journal, April 8, 1968

Earle Parker

Earle Parker pic

May 10, 1882 – December 29, 1952

Born in the small community of LaGrange, Earle Milan Parker graduated from the University of Michigan in 1906 and taught high school Latin in Marquette before pursuing his Masters at the University of Chicago.  He went on to teach at Northern Michigan College of Education, later Northern Michigan University, where he was part of a discrete circle of gay friends.

Mining Journal, December 30, 1952

Monica Molinaro

Monica Molinaro pic

April 2, 1949 – April 9, 2022

Artist, educator, Detroit native, and Royal Oak resident Monica Mary Molinaro graduated from Troy High School in 1967.  She later attended the College for Creative Studies and earned a graduate degree at Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1983.  Her paintings and collages were showcased at such venues as Cade Gallery, CCS, Gallery 911, Flip, and posthumously as part of the Mighty Real/Queer Detroit exhibit.

Metro Times, April 27, 2022

Peggy Sauer

Peggy Sauer pic

March 2, 1925 – March 21, 1986

A 1944 graduate of Southeastern High School in Detroit, potter and sculptor Margaret Elizabeth “Peggy” Sauer earned her BFA at Cranbrook Academy and her Masters at Wayne State.  As one of the pioneering “Damsels of Design,” she worked as a designer of automobile interiors for General Motors from 1955 to 1962.  Sauer later taught and shared a home in Harper Woods with her partner Julie Sabit.

Detroit Free Press, March 24, 1986

How Margaret “Peg” Sauer Inspired the World

Erin Oyster

Erin Oyster pic 2

Erin Nicole Oyster was born in Cadillac and graduated from Reed City High School in 1997.  She attended Western Michigan University, where she was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority and where she earned her Bachelor’s in education in 2002.  After college Oyster taught high school English in Arizona.  She was survived by her life partner Heather Schonfeld.

Big Rapids Pioneer, January 15, 2021

David Hutchinson

David Hutchinson pic

July 9, 1992 – May 16, 2021

Born in Missouri, Ann Arbor resident David Lawrence Hutchinson grew up in Kansas City, Kansas and earned his B.A. from Truman State University.  He went on to pursue his doctorate in history at the University of Michigan where his research interests included the Black diaspora, African American intellectual history, and queer studied.  Hutchinson was killed in an automobile accident at age 28.

Thatcher’s Funeral Home

Barbara Edgecombe

Barbara Edgecombe pic

October 20, 1937 – February 26, 2003

The Rev. Dr. Barbara Edith Edgecombe, a Chicago native, graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School and studied piano at the University of Michigan.  While working as a piano teacher back in Chicago, she decided to train for the ministry.  Edgecombe came out after graduating theological seminary and in the late 1990s served as the openly lesbian pastor of the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Greater Lansing.

Chicago Tribune, March 2, 2003

Mary Linton

Mary Linton pic

July 23, 1954 – June 13, 2021

Mary Catherine Linton was valedictorian of the class of 1972 at Bullock Creek High School in Midland, earned her B.S. from Michigan State, Master’s from Michigan Tech, and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky.  She devoted her life to science and poetry, specializing in wetlands, and served an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin.  Linton was survived by her wife and partner Kathy Kauffman.

Midland Daily News, July 8, 2021

In Memory of Mary Linton

Beth Greenapple

Beth Greenapple pic

June 27, 1957 – March 2, 2020

Long Island, New York native Beth Sara Greenapple resided in Royal Oak and Southfield after moving to Metro Detroit in 1995 and taught music at Hillel Day School in Farmington Hills and the Roeper School in Bloomfield Hills.  She was a founding member of the Jewish Gay Network of Michigan and served as its early president.  Greenapple was survived by her partner Julia Pais and their son Nadav Pais-Greenapple.

Hebrew Memorial Chapel