June 27, 1957 – March 2, 2020
Long Island, New York native Beth Sara Greenapple resided in Royal Oak and Southfield after moving to Metro Detroit in 1995 and taught music at Hillel Day School in Farmington Hills and the Roeper School in Bloomfield Hills. She was a founding member of the Jewish Gay Network of Michigan and served as its early president. Greenapple was survived by her partner Julia Pais and their son Nadav Pais-Greenapple.
Hebrew Memorial Chapel
October 1, 1983 – February 21, 2003
Southfield resident Nikki Nicholas, an entertainer in Detroit gay bars, was found slain at age 19 in what the Triangle Foundation identified as an anti-trans hate crime in an abandoned house in Green Oak Township. The Washtenaw Rainbow Action Project held a candlelight vigil in her memory and the National Association for the Advancement of Transgender People later marched in Lansing in her honor.
Between The Lines, March 6, 2003
The Final Assault on Nikki
April 24, 1949 – October 19, 2019
Phyllis Terry Glanz was born in Detroit, was a member of the Southfield High School class of 1967, and earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1971. She later moved to New York and traveled the world in a global career in shipping and sales. Glanz and her life partner of 25 years Sara Mayes were married in 2013.
Detroit Free Press, October 20, 2019
January 5, 1946 – February 27, 1991
Garden City native Robert Joel Crane graduated from Cody High School in Detroit and earned his B.A. in art education at Eastern Michigan University. He went on to teach at the elementary level in the Southfield Public Schools. Crane and his lover James Anderson shared a home in Livonia. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.
Cruise, March 13, 1991
March 13, 1931 – April 20, 2015
Marvin Phillip Marks of Southfield started his own accounting firm in the early 1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s, he held leadership positions in numerous local gay organizations, including Dignity/Detroit, the Motor City Business Forum, the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Council, the Forum Foundation, and Wellness Networks. Marks received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Pride Banquet in 2009.
Between The Lines, April 23, 2015
Marvin P. Marks Papers at the Reuther Library
February 13, 1942 – March 31, 2013
Deloris Jean Riddlesprigger grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas and studied osteopathic medicine at Michigan State University, earning her doctor degree in 1980. She specialized in anesthesiology and practiced in Metro Detroit for more than three decades. Riddlesprigger and her beloved partner Barbara White shared a home in Southfield for 28 years.
Oakland Press, April 2, 2013
June 2, 1964 – July 2, 2018
Joseph Patrick Periard of Kalamazoo, formerly of Southfield, was born in Bay City and graduated from Bay City Western High School. He earned his Bachelor’s in computer science from Michigan Technological University and was later employed with Ford Credit in Detroit. In March 2017, Periard was united in marriage with Joseph Biron II, who survives him.
Kalamazoo Gazette, July 3, 2018
December 22, 1966 – January 25, 2003
Southfield activist, performance artist, and poet Oddis was born in Detroit as Otis Mitchell and regularly showcased his work at 1515 Broadway. In 1998, he took part in the group Detroit Noir as it won first-place in the DC Black Pride poetry slam. Oddis also worked as a professional model, worked as a promoter for Club One X, and participated in Detroit Black Gay Pride and Karibu House.
Between The Lines, January 30, 2003
May 28, 1969 – June 23, 1990
Diane Kotila was born in Southfield and graduated with the class of 1987 from Kimball High School in Royal Oak. She was a student at Oakland University and was employed by William Beaumont Hospital. After losing her life in an automobile accident, friends held a benefit at the Railroad Crossing for a fund in her name at Affirmations to help provide lesbian and gay youth with counseling and support.
Royal Oak Daily Tribune, June 24, 1990
Affirmations newsletter, September 1990
December 8, 1998 – February 16, 2019
Dani Som, also known as Dani Sommerville, was born in Southfield and was a 2017 graduate of Berkley High School. He received a Spirit of Detroit Award in 2015 for achievement and leadership, including his involvement in music and theater, as well as extensive volunteer work. As an out young trans man, Som was active with Affirmations and FtM Detroit. Months after moving to Oregon, he took his own life.
Between The Lines, April 11, 2019