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

Diane Collins

Diane Collins pic 2

November 29, 1957 – January 23, 2011

Royal Oak resident Diane Helen Collins graduated with the class of 1975 from Capac High School and went on to serve in the U.S. Navy.  She worked as a dental assistant was a member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit.  Collins was survived by her son.

Oakland Press, February 9, 2011

Karen Johnstone

Karen Johnstone pic

February 13, 1938 – May 6, 2020

Born in Ohio, Karen Sue Johnston graduated from Saginaw High School in 1956 and earned her B.S. in biology from Albion College in 1960.  After pursuing advanced degrees at Columbia and DePaul, she served as Director of Physical Therapy at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak from 1970 to 1996.  Johnstone represented in the U.S. at four Paralympics Games.  Her partner Dr. Jane C. Perrin survived her.

Detroit Free Press, May 12, 2020

Wendell Addington

May 28, 1925 – October 13, 1994

A resident of Indian Village in Detroit, Wendell Glynne Addington pursued racial justice in housing in two firms he founded, in helping establish the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and through a lifetime of activism.  A Dallas native, Addington served in the Pacific with the Army during World War II.  He was also a longtime member of the leather community and a regular face at the Detroit Eagle.

Cruise, October 19, 1994

Betty Long

Betty Long pic 2

January 24, 1943 – April 8, 2021

Stanwood resident Elizabeth “Betty” Long was born in Kalamazoo and graduated with the class of 1962 from Comstock High School.  She went on to work for Upjohn’s pharmaceuticals and later operated the Nature’s Treasures flower shop in the town of Evart in Osceola County.  Long was survived by Shirley Moore, her partner of more than 11 years.

Big Rapids Pioneer, April 9, 2021

Steven Swan

Steven Swan pic

October 28, 1971 – September 4, 2010

A native of Oxford, England, Steven William Swan graduated from Grosse Pointe North high School and as a teenager took part in the Youth Group at Affirmations.  He later attended Oakland Community College and held jobs at Bill Knapp’s restaurant, Jacobson’s department store, and Art Van Furniture.  From 2004 to 2005 Swan as a sale representative for Between The Lines.

Between The Lines, September 23, 2010

Grosse Pointe News, September 23, 2010

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

James Aquash

James Aquash pic 2

September 8, 1950 – April 5, 2019

Ecorse resident and beloved Chippewa and Pottawatomi artisan James Aquash was born into the Walpole Island First Nation in Ontario, Canada.  In the early 1970s, he became involved with the gay liberation movement on the Wayne State University campus.  As a longtime member of the local Native community, Aquash was noted for presenting his beadwork and basket weaving at area pow wows.

Wallaceburg Courier Press, April 18, 2019

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