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
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
July 9, 1903 – July 18, 1995
Born in Menominee in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Leo Adams moved in his 20s to Chicago, where he managed the Chicago Theatre. He moved to New York City in 1928 and oversaw the shift from silent to sound for Fox movie houses. Adams later worked as an executive with Macy’s flagship department store. He bequeathed his extensive correspondence with other gay men to the New York Public Library.
New York Times, July 23, 1995
Leo Adams: A Gay Life in Letters, 1928-1952 at OutHistory
Leo Adams Papers at the New York Public Library
July 25, 1967 – May 30, 2017
Timothy Richard Liupakka graduated in 1986 from Marquette Senior High School and attended Northern Michigan University before moving to Milwaukee to pursue a degree in interior design. Liupakka performed under the drag name Tabitha Stephens in Wisconsin and later in annual shows at NMU. In 2015, he moved to Florida where he worked in hotel housekeeping and married Peter Williamson.
Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral Home
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
August 26, 1928 – April 12, 2013
Born in Escanaba, William James Hirn earned his Bachelor’s from Western Michigan University and did his graduate studies at the University of Michigan. After teaching in Muskegon and Ann Arbor, he moved to New York State, where he was on the early faculty of Rockland Community College. Hirn and his life partner of 48 years Joseph Rogers retired to Spain and later lived in Houston and Las Vegas.
Escanaba Daily Press, April 19, 2013
May 13. 1983 – July 31, 2009
A native of Engadine in Mackinac County, Jonel Kathryn Hoogterp was valedictorian of her high school class and part of the All-UP Girls Basketball Team in 2001. She earned her Bachelor’s at Aquinas College and later moved to Durham, North Carolina. Hoogterp and her partner Julie Hatch were killed in an automobile crash.
Beaulieu Funeral Home
April 26, 1946 – September 17, 2014
Jean Kinnear grew up near Lexington, Virginia, earned her B.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University and her M.S. and Ph.D. at Penn State. As a professor at Northern Michigan University, she taught outdoor recreation for 30 distinguished years. Kinnear lived in Marquette with life partner Joanna Mitchell.
February 14, 1996 – February 12, 2016
Born in Tecumseh, Saja Mykel Nieto graduated in 2014 from Adrian High School, where he was active in the LGBT Club and the Color Guard. In addition to studying zoology at Northern Michigan University, Nieto worked at Pet Supplies Plus, as a supervisor at Adrian Image Center, and as a manager at B Fit.
Adrian Daily Telegram, February 15, 2016
July 17, 1959 – December 11, 2016
Brian “Scott” Warren of Ironwood graduated from Wakefield High School and attended Northern Michigan University. He was active in local theater and music as a performer, director, and board member. Warren and his life partner of 35 years George Henkel were the first same-sex couple to be legally married in Gogebic County.
Ironwood Daily Globe, December 13, 2016