Reba Bodary

January 18, 1923 – August 18, 2008

Reba Bodary served as a tech corporal with the Women’s Army Corps during World War II and later worked at Flint’s AC Spark Plug Division.  A lifetime member of the NRA, in the late 1970s Bodary was co-owner of a short lived gay bar called the Lemon Tree.

Flint Journal, August 21, 2008

Bobby Duggins

Bobby Duggans pic

July 2, 1934 – April 28, 1991

North Carolina native and Army veteran Bobby Duggins joined the mass migration of southerners who moved north in the 1950s to work in the auto industry.  Employed for 30 years with General Motors, Duggins was a longtime patron of Flint’s State Bar.

Winston-Salem Journal, April 29, 1991

Alan Redner

Alan Redner pic

August 25, 1948 – January 19, 1993

A graduate of Farmington High School, Alan Redner was deployed to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, received a Bronze Star for his service, and rose to the rank of captain with the Michigan National Guard.  Employed with Estate Motors in Birmingham and later with BMW, Redner was also active with the Association of Suburban People.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 44.

Cruise, January 27, 1993

Alma Routsong

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November 26, 1924 – October 4, 1996

Born in Traverse City, Alma Routsong served in the WAVES during World War II and graduated from Michigan State University.  After moving to New York City, she authored the pioneering novel Patience and Sarah under the pen name Isabel Miller.

Gay Community News, Winter 1996

Lesbian Herstory Archives oral history of Alma Routsong

George Maurer

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January 10, 1931 – May 4, 2016

Outspoken Detroit attorney George Maurer served active duty in the U.S. Army from 1949 to 1955 and another 27 years in the Army Reserves.  A co-founder of Wellness House, he earned his B.A. and J.D. from Wayne State University and was also a longtime co-owner of Gigi’s nightclub.

Metra, June 1, 2016

OutPost, June 2016

Henry Van Dyke

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October 3, 1928 – December 22, 2011

Born in Allegan, Henry Lewis Van Dyke Jr. served in the U.S. Army and earned a B.A. and M.A. at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he developed lifelong gay friendships.  He later authored several novels and taught as a writer-in-residence at Kent State.

Akron Beacon Journal, January 8, 2012

Henry Van Dyke papers in the Labadie Collection

James Dressel

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October 14, 1943 – March 27, 1992

James Dressel flew combat missions for the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War before being elected from Holland to the Michigan Legislature, a seat he lost due to sponsoring a bill to include sexual orientation under the state’s civil rights protections.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 48.

Michigan Tribune, April 1992

A Different Angle: Jim Dressel

James K. Dressel papers at the Bentley Historical Library