September 7, 1973 – March 31, 2020
Denison resident Rebecca Pauline Dunn was born in Lansing and attended Grand Valley State University and Aquinas College. She worked as a beloved bilingual education elementary teacher with the Grand Rapids Public Schools for more than two decades. Dunn and her partner of 22 years Melanie Auzins were married in the summer of 2019.
Grand Rapids Press, April 7, 2020
February 21, 1942 – November 15, 2011
Grand Rapids resident Martha VanderEyk immigrated from the Netherlands at age six with her family. She graduated from Kalamazoo Christian High School in 1960, attended Calvin College, and earned her Bacherlor’s in Music from Grand Valley State University. VanderEyke was employed as a business manager and was a longtime member, with her partner Leslie Kohn, of the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus.
Grand Rapids Press, November 23, 2011
March 29, 1948 – September 20, 2018
Betty Jane Martin, a lifelong Caledonia resident, graduated from Caledonia High School and earned her MSW from Grand Valley State University. Her career encompassed worked with the YWCA, Pine Rest Christian Hospital, and her brother’s dairy farm. Martin served as board president for Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church in Grand Rapids where she also played drums in the church band.
Grand Rapids Press, September 23, 2018
May 22, 1936 – June 14, 2016
Born in Redding, Maine, Sherry Redding earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan and a Master’s from Michigan State University. A longtime counselor, for many years she taught women’s studies at William James College at Grand Valley State University. She was also a founding member in 1978 of the local lesbian organization Aradia. Redding and her spouse Karen Clahassey shared 36 years together.
Grand Rapids Press, June 16, 2016
July 15, 1946 – April 21, 2014
Frances Kelleher grew up on Long Island, received her B.A. from the College of New Rochelle, and earned her Ph.D. from New York University. She served as professor of European history at Grand Valley State, where she taught for 25 years.
Grand Rapids Press, May 4, 2014
May 12, 1941 – March 19, 2014
Milton Ford taught liberal studies at Grand Valley State University and served as founding director of the campus LGBT Resource Center from 2008 to 2010. He authored the book Playing It Straight: Gay Men and Heterosexual Marriage.
Courier-Journal, March 23, 2014