Ann Sorrell

Ann Sorrell pic

September 2, 1936 – December 26, 2019

Kentucky native Ann Sorrell moved to Detroit at age seven.  She sold bakery goods, worked as a postal worker, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve before earning her B.A. and M.A. from Eastern Michigan University.  She taught the hearing impaired in the Ann Arbor schools.  Sorrell and her life partner Marge Elde were among the first lesbian couples married in Washtenaw County in June 2015.

Ann Arbor News, January 9, 2020

In Memory of Ann Sorrell

Betsy Boyette

Betsy Boyette pic

July 21, 1930 – March 13, 2018

Betsy Ann Boyette was born in rural North Carolina and served as a radio operator in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War before attending DeVry Technical Institute in Chicago as its first female graduate.  In the mid-1980s, she started her own interior decorator business, retiring to Saugatuck in 2002.  Boyette and her spouse Dianne Wendt were together 43 years and married in 2015.

Commercial Record, March 22, 2018

Stanley Jankiewicz

Don Cherry pic

July 15, 1930 – June 21, 1993

Stanley Raymond Jankiewicz, better known in Detroit’s gay bar world as Don Cherry, graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1949 and attended Wayne State University.  He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and later managed four city golf courses until retiring in 1987.  For 27 years he tended bar at such establishments as the Woodward Lounge, the Gas Station, and Menjo’s.

Cruise, June 30, 1993

Mark Chittle

Mark Chittle pic

January 25, 1951 – November 19, 1994

Flint native Mark Douglas Chittle graduated from St. John Vianney High School and served a year in the Army in the early 1970s.  He lived for a time in Key West, Florida and for much of his life Chittle worked as an accountant in San Francisco.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 43.

Bay Area Reporter, December 22, 1994

Mitch Thomas

November 17, 1956 – February 21, 1995

Mitch Thomas, also known as Thomas Robert White, was born in Flint, graduated in the Carman High School class of 1974, and served in the U.S. Air Force.  White was employed for many years by Abbott’s Meats but was better known as a painter, sculptor, and regular performer at the Michigan Renaissance Festival.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 38.

Flint Journal, February 23, 1995

Howard Yoder Jr.

Howard Yoder Jr pic

August 12, 1957 – May 15, 1992

A resident of Burton, Howard Wesley Yoder Jr. served in the U.S. Army from 1976 to 1979 and later earned a Bachelor’s in computer science from Baker College.  For the last seven years of his life, Yoder worked at Kmart in Flint.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 34.

Flint Journal, May 17, 1992

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