Billie Hill

Billie Hill pic

April 22, 1925 – January 27, 2002

A native of Pennsylvania, Mabel “Billie” Hill moved to Detroit in her youth and discovered Detroit’s gay bar scene while working in an auto factory during World War II.  She later owned an antiques business with her then-partner Rose Bonham.  A longtime member of the Metropolitan Church of Detroit, Hill tended the door at the Underground and, as a lesbian senior, was profiled in the Detroit News.

Between The Lines, January 30, 2002

Randy French

Randy French pic

September 2, 1943 – November 24, 2015

Born in Pontiac, Randell “Randy” French served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, worked at the GM V-8 Engine Plant in Flint, and belonged to the Masonic Lodge in Ortonville.  For a time, he also tended bar at the Interchange and other Detroit gay nightspots.

Flint Journal, May 15, 2016

Homer F___

August 8, 1908 – November 13, 1984

Autoworker Homer F___ was arrested in 1938 while cruising in the Strand Theater in downtown Flint.  The judge in his case asked if he should be sterilized, if that would solve his condition.  After completing probation, he served in U.S. Army during World War II, married, and later moved to Washington State, fathering five children.

Anacortes American, November 14, 1984

Jack Pierson

Jack Pierson pic

October 11, 1913 – August 20, 1997

Flint native Jack Pierson was a fierce Leftist.  Employed by General Motors, following World War II, he and his longtime partner Robert Purcell moved to Long Island.  After Purcell’s death in 1976, Pierson returned to Michigan where he became an avid supporter of the Flint Institute of Arts, donating dozens of photographs, etchings, and lithographs to the museum.

Flint Journal, August 22, 1997

Donna Haskell

Donna Haskell pic

August 14, 1958 – September 28, 2015

Hillsdale native Donna Darlene Haskell graduated from Waldron High School and worked for 36 years with Universal Industrial Products.  She enjoyed country music, traveling by RV, relaxing at the beach, and spending time with friends over cold beverages.  Haskell shared a home in Camden with her partner Donna Wannemacher.

Hillsdale Daily News, September 29, 2015

Margaret Lorick

Margaret Lorick pic

July 10, 1926 – June 22, 2010

Margaret Lorick of Flint was employed as a cafeteria worker, a machine operator, and an office secretary before earning her degree to become a teacher.  Lorick described attending gay house parties hosted by Ruth Ellis in Detroit during the 1950s for an essay in the collection Inventing Lesbian Cultures in America.

Lawrence Moon Funeral Home

Duane Froelich

Duane Froelich pic

February 5, 1966 – June 9, 2017

Born in Pontiac, Duane Froelich was a 1984 graduate of Oscoda High School and a 1992 graduate of Central Michigan University.  He was employed in the restaurant industry in Columbus, Ohio for 20 years before returning to Oscoda, where he worked for the auto supplier Cooper Standard.

Iosco County News-Herald, June 14, 2017