BY BTL STAFF
DETROIT — In the 1960s, Marvin Marks worked as an accountant in the metro Detroit area. By the late 70s he was an out, gay, Jewish Detroiter meeting with a gay Catholic group called Dignity Detroit. Just a few years later, in 1980, he became their treasurer and later president.
Throughout the 80s Marks served as treasurer of Dignity International. He was president of the Wellness Network (later known as AIDS Partnership Michigan) from 1983-1986, president of the Detroit Area Gay Lesbian Council, founder and president of the Motor City Business Forum and the first president of the Forum Foundation.
Marks decided to put his accounting practice in the forefront and, in 1991, made the announcement to let younger leaders take the helm. “I said, ‘OK guys, it’s time for you younger people to get into the trenches. I’ve had my tour of duty,'” Marks said in an interview with BTL in 2009. “I felt very strongly about it — whatever they’re going to do, let them do it. We planted the seeds, let’s see what happens. When I said I’d step back and let them be in the trenches, I meant it.”
In 1990, 1991 and 2009 Marvin Marks was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Pride Banquet for his lifelong commitment as an LGBT activist.
Marks passed away April 20, 2015 after a lifetime of giving back to his community. He will be remembered for his selflessness and his vigilant efforts in expanding and strengthening the Detroit LGBT community.
A graveside service will be held at his parents’ plot at Machpelah Cemetery on Woodward between Eight and Nine Mile Roads, at a time and date yet to be determined. Arrangements are being handled by Ira Kaufman Chapel. Contact Robert G. Tighe at 586-552-5429 for more information.