October 20, 1937 – February 26, 2003
The Rev. Dr. Barbara Edith Edgecombe, a Chicago native, graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School and studied piano at the University of Michigan. While working as a piano teacher back in Chicago, she decided to train for the ministry. Edgecombe came out after graduating theological seminary and in the late 1990s served as the openly lesbian pastor of the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Greater Lansing.
Chicago Tribune, March 2, 2003
June 27, 1957 – March 2, 2020
Long Island, New York native Beth Sara Greenapple resided in Royal Oak and Southfield after moving to Metro Detroit in 1995 and taught music at Hillel Day School in Farmington Hills and the Roeper School in Bloomfield Hills. She was a founding member of the Jewish Gay Network of Michigan and served as its early president. Greenapple was survived by her partner Julia Pais and their son Nadav Pais-Greenapple.
Hebrew Memorial Chapel
May 13, 1930 – June 28, 2002
Born in Kalamazoo, Frederick Allen Lake graduated with the high school class of 1949 from Bay City Central. We went on to apprenticed in the craft of organ building in Hamburg, Germany and was employed by pipe organ firms in Saginaw and Illinois before moving to San Francisco to work as a voicer for Schoenstein & Company. Lake corresponded with ONE magazine from Bay City in the mid-1960s.
The Diapason, February 12, 2003
May 10, 1967 – September 27, 2000
Kenneth Ian “Kenny” Heron was a lifelong Detroit resident and worked for the Michigan Humane Society. He also served for nearly five years as the popular Wednesday night DJ at Off Broadway East. At age 33, Heron was shot and killed in an attempted carjacking on the city’s west side.
Between The Lines, October 5, 2000
October 4, 1955 – November 4, 1990
Detroit native William Robert “Bill” Corby II attended Ferris State University and was employed with the Chrysler Corporation. Active in the leather community, he was DJ at the R&R Saloon and the Detroit Eagle. For a time in the mid-1980s, Corby and his lover Chuck Turza worked as stewards and waiters for a Hawaiian cruise line. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 35.
Cruise, November 28, 1990
February 16, 1953 – February 14, 2011
Originally from Florida, Steve Nader got his start as a gay dance club DJ in Atlanta, Georgia. After moving to Michigan in the 1970s, he helped found the Disco Pool Detroit record pool and went on to spin discs at such bars as Five West, the Gas Station, Menjo’s, the Detroit Eagle, and Off Broadway East. He lost his life to prostate cancer at age 58.
Between The Lines [online only], May 7, 2015
May 10, 1965 – March 4, 2020
A noted figure in Detroit’s electronic music scene, James Joseph Stone Jr. was born in Royal Oak and graduated from Seaholm High School in Birmingham in 1984. He attended Eastern Michigan University and came out as a young gay man on the dance floors of Todd’s and Heaven. A musician and DJ, Stone became an important distributor and promoter of house and techno throughout the metro area.
Potere-Modetz Funeral Home
The Advocate: Jim Stone, 1965-2020
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
January 20, 1957 – November 18, 1999
Pontiac resident Kraig Marlon Knorr was born in Alpena and attended Hillman Community High School. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1977 to 1979 and later earned his B.A. at the University of Michigan-Flint, where he worked as a tutor in the writing center. In the 1990s, Knorr worked as DJ at the State Bar in Flint and at Popper’s in Pontiac.
Alpena News, November 21, 1999
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