By Shelby Clark Petkus
The founder of the Gay Connection and Jewish Gay Network activist, Howard N. Baver, has passed away at the age of 89. Baver died on Dec. 20 in Farmington Hills. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Ruth, and children Elihugh Baver and Beth Baver-Neff, along with many grandchildren.
Baver, a straight psychotherapist, founded the Gay Connection in 1985 after being told by LGBT patients that they had no place to meet each other except for bars. Gay Connection would go on to host programs that fostered LGBT socializing and discussion.
“Self-esteem is a mental picture you have about yourself and how you feel about yourself,” he said in a 2006 BTL piece. “You have to do some soul-searching and self-acceptance (to instill gay pride).”
Baver was interned at Adat Shalom Memorial Park Cemetery in Livonia.
The family asks that those who wish to further honor Baver’s memory may do so by means of contribution to Hadassah and American Friends of Magen David Adom. The women’s zionist charity, Hadassah, can receive contributions at 5030 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48323, 248-683-5030 or through http://www.hadassah.org. The American Friends of Magen David Adom, Dr. John J. Mames Chapter-Michigan Region, is located at 23215 Commerce Park Road Suite 306, Beachwood, OH 44122. The organization, which works to provide medical and disaster relief to people in Israel, can be reached at 877-405-3913 or http://www.afmda.org.