March 14, 1939 – January 5, 2017
The supportive mother of her gay son, Dorothy Lee Lawrence was born in Albion and spent much of her life in Battle Creek. She worked as a secretary and transcriptionist before enjoying a 24-year career with the Kellogg Company, all while raising a family. After retiring to Florida, she became active with the local chapter of Parents, Friends, and Families of Lesbians and Gays.
Battle Creek Enquirer, May 9, 2017
June 18, 1929 – April 28, 2016
Gobles High School graduate Ruth Evonne Ketchum attended Western Michigan University and worked for many years at Upjohn pharmaceuticals. She played on the Brodys competitive fast-pitch softball team as catcher. Ketchum also took part in Kalamazoo’s annual Pride parade, attended Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, and belonged to Phoenix Community Church.
Kalamazoo Gazette, May 1, 2016
November 28, 1931 – April 16, 2012
Dolores Jan Harris was active with the Genesee County chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Born in Lansing, she married in 1950, worked as a paraprofessional with Brandon Schools, served as a Girl Scout leader, and sang in the choir of Ortonville United Methodist Church.
Oakland Press, April 18, 2012
November 17, 1971 – November 1, 2010
Quinn Collins came out as a transman to his mother in 2002 and inspired her to form Chicago’s first chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays specifically devoted to parents of transgender offspring. Months before his death, Collins moved to New Buffalo, where police questioning about the gender on his driver’s license during a traffic stop made him feel unsafe in the small Michigan town.
Windy City Times, November 10, 2010
September 26, 1941 – December 10, 2010
Allegan resident Dianna “Jo” Bortz and her husband Jay were active in the Holland/Lakeshore chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. She was a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Saugatuck. Prior to retirement, Bortz worked in senior care and protective services.
Kalamazoo Gazette, December 16, 2010
March 2, 1953 – June 7, 2006
Detroit native and Center Line resident Jamie Marie Phillips-Fox was a pioneering transgender volunteer and activist in South East Michigan. With her future wife Michelle Fox-Phillips, she founded what was then known as Transgender Detroit. Phillips-Fox was also involved in Crossroads, Transgender Michigan, Affirmations, and PFLAG Detroit.
Detroit News, June 10, 2006
Between The Lines, June 15, 2006
June 18, 1962 – July 12, 2012
A native of Flint, Kelly Miller moved to Kalamazoo in 1998 and worked with State Farm Insurance. As a tireless “PFLAG mom,” she volunteered for various local LGBT causes, including the Kalamazoo Gay and Lesbian Resource Center, the annual Pride celebration, and an anti-bullying campaign through her job.
Between The Lines, July 26, 2012
August 2, 1934 – June 26, 2006
A graduate of Michigan State University, Clinton Township resident James Johnstone taught math with the Fraser Schools for 30 years. He served as a union leader with the Michigan Education Association, was long active in Democratic politics, and was an ardent supporter of the ACLU, NOW, and PFLAG.
Detroit News, July 9, 2006
December 19, 1928 – April 15, 2005
An accounting clerk in local radio before her retirement in 1983, Helen King was active in the Cub Scouts, Little League, Dolphin Swim Team, Alliance of Mental Health, and Salvation Army in Midland. In the late 1980s, King co-founded the local chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
Midland Daily News, April 17, 2005
March 17, 1924 – June 11, 2010
Retired school teacher Jean Ross in 1981 founded the Lansing chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. She was also active in the Lansing Association for Human Rights and the Lansing Area AIDS Network.
Between The Lines, June 24, 2010