John Pierre Adams

John Pierre Adams pic 2

July 28, 1921 – January 9, 1994

Born in Detroit, John Pierre Adams served in the U.S. Army during World War II and, while living in New York City following his tour of duty, performed with the Katherine Dunham Dance Company.  He returned to Detroit in the 1950s and worked as a shipping clerk for an equipment company.  In the 1970s, Adams led the local gay organization ONE in Detroit as its president for three years.

No known obituary

Dickson Steele

May 26. 1912 – May 1, 1989

Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Charles Dickson Steele immigrated to the U.S. during the 1950s and was employed in the plastics division of the Budd Company in Detroit.  He faced accosting and soliciting charges in 1957.  Steele later became active with the organization ONE in Detroit.

Detroit Free Press, May 5, 1989

Chet Sampson

Chet Sampson pic

October 15, 1916 – October 2, 2010

Chester James “Chet” Sampson of Los Angeles was born in Hubbell and attended Michigan Tech before transferring to the University of Michigan.  During World War II he produced variety shows in the U.S. Navy.  He later taught high school in Grosse Pointe before opening his own travel agency.  In 1965, he founded ONE in Detroit, only the second formal homosexual organization in Michigan.

Grosse Pointe News, November 4, 2010

Gerald Hillert

November 5, 1928 – January 3, 2009

Born in Saginaw, Gerald Laverne Hillert was a draftsman for Consumers Power in Saginaw in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and later worked as an interior designer for Sears-Roebuck in Detroit.  Hillert was also an early subscriber to ONE magazine.  He and his companion of 56 years Robert Costa retired to Vero Beach, Florida.

TC Palm, January 8, 2009

Hal Lawson

Hal Lawson pic

January 28, 1925 – June 21, 2003

Hal Lawson, a graduate of Wayne State University, was founding chair from 1958 to 1960 of the Detroit Area Council of the Mattachine Society, the first known organization for homosexuals in Michigan.  He was later involved in ONE in Detroit, the Association of Suburban People, the Michigan Organization for Human Rights, the Unitarian-Universalist Gay Caucus, and Dignity/Flint.

Between The Lines, July 17, 2003

Floyd Spikings

April 16, 1916 – February 17, 1991

Kalamazoo resident Floyd James “Jim” Spikings was born in Lawton, worked for the railroad in Chicago, and served in the Army during World War II.  He later worked as an assembler for the Kozy Coach Company in Kalamazoo and for many years was employed by Musselman’s apple orchards cooperative in Paw Paw. Spikings was also a correspondent with the homophile organization ONE.

Paw Paw Courier-Leader, February 22, 1991

Max Toy

Max Toy pic

August 3, 1925 – June 11, 2008

Max Edward Toy was schooled in Lansing and graduated from Albion College.  He served as a sonar operator in the U.S. Navy during World War II.  Before his retirement, Toy was employed at Michigan Employment Security Commission offices in Niles and Detroit.  Toy was a subscriber to ONE magazine in the 1950s.

Lansing State Journal, June 13, 2008