April 17, 1933 – January 17, 2008
Gordon Toivo “Gordie” Moilanen graduated from Hancock High School in 1951 and went on to work for Detroit and Northern Savings and Loan. He later served as dean of financial aid at Soumi College, retiring in 1995. In the late 1950s, Moilanen subscribed to the pioneering homophile publication ONE magazine.
Daily Mining Gazette, January 19, 2008
Memorial Chapel Funeral Home
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
March 12, 1925 – January 11, 1980
Duane Andrew VanderYacht attended Holland Public Schools, graduated from Hope College, and lived most of his life in Holland before moving to Muskegon. He worked as a salesman, janitor, and later in life was self-employed as a consultant. During the 1950s, VanderYacht was a subscriber to ONE magazine.
Muskegon Chronicle, January 14, 1980
April 24, 1914 – June 21, 2000
Lifelong West Branch resident Eugene G. Gallop worked as a hotel clerk after high school and served in the Air Corps of the U.S. Army in World War II. Following the war, he attended Michigan State Normal School, served in the Air Force during the Korean War, and was later employed as an office worker. In the 1950s, Gallop subscribed to ONE magazine.
Ogema County Herald, July 6, 2000