January 30, 1939 – September 1, 2016
Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Deborah Ann Mortimer graduated from Grosse Pointe South High School, attended Albion College, and earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Oakland University. An avid golfer and artist, she taught elementary school from 1974 to 2004. Mortimer and her life partner of 40 years Liana Holton shared a home in Bloomfield Hills.
Detroit Free Press, September 11, 2016
December 21, 1947 – September 24, 2009
Raised in Highland Park, Leslie Leonelli attended Oakland University and worked in local theater in Rochester and beyond Michigan before moving to New York City in 1973. Following a career off-Broadway, she worked as a massage therapist and helped found the women’s production company Ars Pro Femina. Later in life she operated Pearl’s Rainbow, a renowned resort for women.
Lesbian Connection, January/February 2010
August 12, 1993 – December 26, 2014
Cody Petzold was valedictorian of his class at Holly High School in 2011 and went on to become a student leader and LGBT activist at Oakland University. In addition to studying human resources, he served as the vice president of the campus Gay Straight Alliance and interned with the Chrysler Corporation.
Daily Tribune, December 30, 2014
Oakland Post, January 8, 2015
April 20, 1976 – April 8, 2013
Detroit native Edward Johnson studied dance at Oakland University, Marygrove College, and Wayne State University. His LGBTQ activism included work with the Horizons Project and Men of Color. Johnson also won a number of Detroit area female impersonation titles performing as Tokyo Reign.
Between The Lines, April 18, 2013
June 10, 1952 – August 30, 2007
A native of Mason, Elizabeth Ann Kendall grew up in Mio, received her Bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University, and earned an MBA from Oakland University, enjoying a long career in budget and finance. Her involvement in the Detroit area LGBTQ community included support for Affirmations and the Ruth Ellis Center. She and her partner Torii Hamilton married in Canada in 2003.
Between The Lines, September 13, 2007
January 13, 1949 – November 24, 2015
A graduate of Oakland University, Rev. Rod Reinhart left teaching to attend divinity school and became one of the nation’s first openly gay priests ordained in the Episcopal Church. He helped found the annual ecumenical worship service People Who Care About People with AIDS.
Windy City Times, December 2, 2015
Between The Lines, December 3, 2015
July 4, 1950 – March 20, 1997
Thomas Gamble earned his B.A. from Oakland University and his M.S. from Michigan State University before moving to San Francisco here he worked in health care. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 46.
Bay Area Reporter, April 3, 1997