September 2, 1936 – December 26, 2019
Kentucky native Ann Sorrell moved to Detroit at age seven. She sold bakery goods, worked as a postal worker, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve before earning her B.A. and M.A. from Eastern Michigan University. She taught the hearing impaired in the Ann Arbor schools. Sorrell and her life partner Marge Elde were among the first lesbian couples married in Washtenaw County in June 2015.
Ann Arbor News, January 9, 2020
In Memory of Ann Sorrell
February 19, 1938 – April 4, 2017
Detroit native Marjorie Kate Chamberlain earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in speech pathology from Wayne State University and helped treat stroke patients at Sinai Hospital. She later taught at Eastern Michigan University, where she also directed the Speech and Hearing Clinic. Chamberlain and her life partner Charlotte Wixom retired to Gladwin before relocating to Fort Meyers, Florida.
Ann Arbor News, June 30, 2017
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
June 2, 1966 – February 21, 2019
Lisa Maria Rodriguez Ortiz was born in Chicago and as a teenager moved to Michigan, where she graduated from Okemos High School and attended the University of Michigan and Boston College. For 26 years she taught Spanish at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor. Ortiz resided in Ypsilanti with her daughters and wife Julia Marvin.
Ann Arbor News, February 28, 2019
October 25, 1968 – August 7, 2013
Detroit native Sean Franklin Sasser graduated from Cass Technical High School and attended the University of Chicago for a year. He gained national celebrity a few years later as the HIV-positive AIDS educator boyfriend of Pedro Zamora on MTV’s The Real World in San Francisco. Sasser went on to become a pastry chef and was survived by husband and longtime partner Michael Kaplan.
Washington Blade, August 8, 2013
CNN, August 8, 2013
October 3, 1970 – November 27, 2017
Jacqueline Maurier of Livonia earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan and an Associate degree from Henry Ford Community College. She worked as a surgical technologist at Garden City Hospital and taught as a surgical instructor. The mother of two, Maurier was survived by her significant other Cristi Dikeou.
Detroit Free Press, November 30, 2017
Griffin Funeral Home
February 20, 1941 – May 19, 1993
Flint native and Swartz Creek resident John Rex Brooks was a graduate of Michigan State University with a B.A. and M.A. specializing in counseling and psychology. He was a teacher and counselor at Longfellow Junior High, later Longfellow Middle School, for 29 years, and was long active in the Flint teacher’s union. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 52.
Flint Journal, May 20, 1993