Kathryn Norris

Kathryn Norris pic

September 17, 1962 – March 23, 2014

Kathryn Elizabeth Norris graduated from Charlotte High School, studied management science at the University of Maryland, served in the U.S. Army from 1983 to 1987, and from 1988 to 2006 operated several Mancino’s outlets in Lansing.  She later moved to Chicago, where she came to share her life with her partner Vivian Shelton.

Lansing State Journal, March 27, 2014

Louise Griffin

Frimmitte Griffin pic

July 29, 1937 – September 21, 2011

Miami native Frimmitte “Louise” Griffin attended the University of Michigan in the 1950s and went on to become a pioneering female voice on Black radio in South Florida.  She later served with a medical unit in the Women’s Army Corps during the Vietnam War.  Griffin and her life partner Maryanne Powers met in 1963.

Lesbian Connection, January/February 2012

D.J. Boos

DJ Boos pic

April 4, 1965 – March 14, 2014

Danny W. (D.J.) Boos Jr. grew up in Beaverton and graduated from the Beaverton Rural Schools in 1982.  After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps until 1989, he moved to Chicago where he worked in the hospitality industry.  Long active in the Windy City LGBT community, Boos was named Mr. Chicago Leather in 1997.

Windy City Times, March 19, 2014

Jessie Makaila Shipps

Jessie Shpps pic

April 7, 1984 – June 23, 2015

Birmingham native Jessie Makaila Shipps was a decorated veteran the U.S. Air Force, serving from 2003 to 2014.  She was active in SPARTA, an organization for trans military members, and produced a number of YouTube videos documenting her gender transition.  Shipps and her spouse Leeanna resided in Hampton, Virginia with their daughter Grace.

The Advocate, June 24, 2015

Detroit News, July 5, 2015

Dennis Komac

Dennis Komac pic

November 9, 1944 – November 7, 1994

A founder of the Lesbian and Gay Community Network of West Michigan, Dennis Komac served in Army from 1968 to 1970 and moved to Grand Rapids in 1984 to serve as executive director of the Grand Rapids Art Museum.  Komac and his life partner Jeff Swanson later operated Sons and Daughters bookstore.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 49.

Network newsletter, December 1994

Randy French

Randy French pic

September 2, 1943 – November 24, 2015

Born in Pontiac, Randell “Randy” French served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, worked at the GM V-8 Engine Plant in Flint, and belonged to the Masonic Lodge in Ortonville.  For a time, he also tended bar at the Interchange and other Detroit gay nightspots.

Flint Journal, May 15, 2016

Homer F___

August 8, 1908 – November 13, 1984

Autoworker Homer F___ was arrested in 1938 while cruising in the Strand Theater in downtown Flint.  The judge in his case asked if he should be sterilized, if that would solve his condition.  After completing probation, he served in U.S. Army during World War II, married, and later moved to Washington State, fathering five children.

Anacortes American, November 14, 1984