November 9, 1944 – November 7, 1994
A founder of the Lesbian and Gay Community Network of West Michigan, Dennis Komac served in Army from 1968 to 1970 and moved to Grand Rapids in 1984 to serve as executive director of the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Komac and his life partner Jeff Swanson later operated Sons and Daughters bookstore. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 49.
Network newsletter, December 1994
May 2, 1964 – December 14, 2014
Sharon Schnipke of Lowell graduated from Kenowa Hills High School in Grand Rapids and earned a degree in accounting from Davenport University in 1984. She was a claims administrator with Foremost Insurance. Schepke was preceded in death by her life partner Renee Grant.
Grand Rapids Press, December 21, 2014
December 16, 1958 – December 8, 2014
Lowell resident Renee Grant worked as an independent real estate agent in Grand Rapids. She received support from Pink Arrow fundraisers in her seven-year battle with cancer. She was active in various local causes and delivered Christmas boxes for the Santa Claus Girls. Grant’s life partner Sharon Schnepke survived her by eight days.
Grand Rapids Press, December 14, 2014
January 4, 1941 – January 9, 2018
A 1959 graduate of Holland High School, Ronald DeJonge attended Kendall School of Art and Design in Grand Rapids. A veteran of the National Guard, he later worked as a graphic designer and cabinet maker. At his death he shared a home in New Richmond with his partner Darris Chichock.
Holland Sentinel, January 11, 2018
March 29, 1987 – August 19, 2017
Grand Rapids native Regina DeVries attended Aquinas College and Grand Rapids Community College. She married Abigail Southworth in Connecticut in 2009, just months after the state legalized same-sex marriage.
Grand Rapids Press, August 24, 2017
February 20, 1931 – August 22, 2015
Grand Rapids resident Dorace “Dorie” Johnson graduated from the Blodgett Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1950 and had a long career as an RN. She and her life partner Cindy Gould were active in the Michigan Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Grand Rapids Press, August 25, 2015
October 21, 1916 – July 3, 2007
Born in Tawas City, Dorothy Hoogterp grew up in Grand Rapids, earned her nursing degree from St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing. She was a poet, feminist, an early supporter of Lesbian Connection and the Lansing Lesbian Center, and was considered the matriarch of the Grand Rapids lesbian community.
Lesbian Connection, September/October 2007