October 7, 1957 – September 13, 1992
James Klinesteker was a zookeeper at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids and a prominent leader in the city’s gay and lesbian community. After attending the 1987 March on Washington, he became one of the founders of The Network and as its president helped open its community center in 1991. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 35.
Network newsletter, October 1992
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
January 22, 1935 – September 29, 2015
A pioneer in the Grand Rapids LGBTQ community, Milton Lennox was longtime owner of the Apartment Lounge with his life partner Edward Ladner. Together they provided financial support for the Network, now known as the Grand Rapids Pride Center, and the Red Project. Months before Lennox’s death, he and Ladner celebrated their 50th anniversary as a couple.
Grand Rapids Press, October 4, 2015
Metra, October 14, 2015