Sylvia Robinson

Sylvia Robinson pic

October 28, 1941 – June 15, 2001

Sylvia Robinson moved to Detroit at age 10, attended Northwestern High School, and earned her MSW from Wayne State.  In 1977, she was appointed liaison to the gay community for the city’s Human Rights Department.  Robinson also co-founded the Detroit Coalition of Black Gays in 1979, served as education officer for the Michigan Organization for Human Rights, and later attended Full Truth Fellowship Church.

No known obituary

Marc Loveless

Marc Loveless pic

March 23, 1960 – March 8, 2020

Longtime African American LGBTQ activist and Chicago resident Marcus Zohntell Loveless graduated from Redford High School in 1978 and earned his Bachelor’s from Wayne State University.  In 1988, he helped form the Michigan Lesbian/Gay Democratic Caucus.  Loveless was later an instrumental force with the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Anti-Violence Project and active in the founding of Affirmations.

Windy City Times, March 9, 2020

Hyde Park Herald, March 10, 2020

Brian Sullivan

Brian Sullivan pic

February 3, 1938 – April 4, 2015

Brian Vincent Michael Sullivan of Dearborn was born in the Bronx and lived in New York through high school.  He earned his Bachelor’s from Mercy College, served three years in the U.S. Army, and later pursued a Master’s in counseling from Wayne State University to become an addiction therapist.  Sullivan was survived by Robert Curtis, his life partner of 48 years.

Howe-Peterson Funeral Home

James Limbacher

James Limbacher pic

November 30, 1926 – February 8, 2003

James Louis Limbacher, audio-visual librarian with the Dearborn Public Library for 35 years, was born in Ohio and moved to Michigan in 1955.  He earned his Master’s in library science degree at Wayne State and also taught at Wayne as a world-renowned film historian.  Limbacher was active with the Association of Suburban People and the Forum Foundation.

Detroit Free Press, February 13, 2003

Marjorie Lyda

Marj Lyda pic

July 20, 1930 – January 21, 2009

Marjorie Ann Lyda earned her MSW from Wayne State and in 1967 became the first African-American woman to open a psychotherapy practice in Birmingham.  She was one of the earliest therapists in Metro Detroit to provide positive counseling to gay clients and offered pioneering treatment for people now termed transgender.  Lyda also served as pastor for churches in Ferndale and Detroit.

Detroit News, January 28, 2009

Marjorie Chamberlain

Marjorie Chamberlain pic

February 19, 1938 – April 4, 2017

Detroit native Marjorie Kate Chamberlain earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in speech pathology from Wayne State University and helped treat stroke patients at Sinai Hospital.  She later taught at Eastern Michigan University, where she also directed the Speech and Hearing Clinic.  Chamberlain and her life partner Charlotte Wixom retired to Gladwin before relocating to Fort Meyers, Florida.

Ann Arbor News, June 30, 2017

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

Stuart Itzkowitz

Stuart Itzkowitz pic

May 3, 1948 – November 5, 2019

Grosse Pointe Park resident Stuart George Itzkowitz moved Detroit in 1974 after earning his Masters at the University of Michigan.  He became active with the Wayne State University GLF, was a founder of MOHR, and served on the board of Wellness Networks.  He went on to get his Ph.D. from Wayne State, where he later taught.  Itzkowitz was preceded in death by his husband and partner of 38 years Larry Zimmerman.

Between The Lines, November 21, 2019

Peter Cooper

Peter Cooper pic

December 19, 1952 – April 27, 2017

Detroit native Peter Cooper, Cody High School class of 1971, worked for National City Bank for 20 years and for a decade was employed with AIDS Partnership Michigan.  While in college in the early 1970s, he became involved in the Wayne State Gay Liberation Front.  He was subsequently active in MCC Detroit, ASP, Simcha, and Affirmations.  Cooper was survived by his partner of 12 years Jonathan Quirk.

Between The Lines, May 4, 2017

Malcolm Boyd

Malcolm Boyd pic

June 8, 1923 – February 27, 2015

Nationally renowned Episcopal priest, civil rights activist, and author Rev. Malcolm Boyd made headlines in the mid-1970s when he came out as gay.  During the early 1960s, he served as chaplain at Wayne State University in Detroit.  His many books included Take Off the Masks and Gay Priest: An Inner Journey.  Boyd was survived by his husband Mark Thompson.

New York Times, March 2, 2015

Between The Lines, March 12, 2015

Malcolm Boyd Papers at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center