Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Longtime activist Vernon Huls dies
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2016-07-23

This article shared 429 times since Sat Jul 23, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Vernon Huls, 67, a longtime Chicago-area LGBTQ activist and accountant, died July 21 at Northwestern Hospital of heart failure.

Lori Cannon—herself a longtime community HIV/AIDS activist and founder of Open Hand Chicago ( now a division of the Heartland Health Outreach )—relayed Huls' death to Windy City Times.

At the time of his death, Huls was a resident of Town Hall Apartments, the new facility for LGBTQ seniors just south of Center on Halsted. He previously lived in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Huls was born Sept. 12, 1948, in Champaign, Illinois, and grew up on a farm in Flatville, Illinois, before moving to Chicago. He graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, with a bachelor's degree in accounting.

He worked as an accountant at various firms until his retirement.

Huls is survived by his mother, Margie L. nee Olson, his sisters Velma and Vera, his brother Virgil, two nieces ( Amy Hennigh and Angela McCabe ), a nephew ( Brandon Boastick ), two great-nephews, two great-nieces, two great-great-nephews and one great-great-niece.

His father, Ernest J. Huls, preceded him in death.

Huls was a member of the now-defunct Illinois Gay and Lesbian Task Force ( IGLTF ), in which he served as treasurer for many years. He also spent most of his non-working hours on LGBTQ activism.

"We got to know each other when Vernon moved into Town Hall Apartments about two years ago," said former LGBTQ activist and friend Pat Cummings. "I was already living there and when he arrived we became fast friends. We spent time hanging out together talking about mutual friends and politics in what we call the Rainbow Room. I'll miss seeing him and talking to him about today's political climate. He will be greatly missed among the Town Hall community."

"Long before we had six-figure salaried CEOs of LGBTQ organizations, Vernon lobbied City Hall and Springfield as an advocate for the community," said LGBTQ-rights activist Rick Garcia. "I knew him during the days when he did this work on his own time and his own dime. We would travel to Springfield in his car on day trips to do this work when it wasn't popular. The work he did was cutting edge and laid the foundation for the successes we've had today. We stand on his shoulders and owe him a debt of gratitude for fighting for us when few did."

"Vernon was a stalwart in the LGBTQ community before that type of activism was fashionable," said Cannon. "People like Vernon, Joanne Trapani and the late Bill Verrick set a gold standard for community activism which would morph into organizations we've come to know as IMPACT, the Federation for Human Rights now known as Equality Illinois and various local gay rights organizations that blossomed during the early days of organizing for LGBTQ human rights. It was these early efforts that set the foundation from which human rights legislation eventually passed to protect the day-to-day lives within the LGBTQ community of those who had no voice. We must never forget the early heroes like Vernon who decided to do the right thing despite overwhelming odds. Vernon leaves a remarkable legacy that we will all remember."

"Vernon was really proud of where he came from and had a tremendous love for his family," said Trapani. "We first met each other while working for the IGLTF. Everyone who knew him thought of him as an unselfish person who dug in and got the work done. He was great man and he'll be missed by the community."

Sidetrack co-owner and activist Art Johnston added, "Vernon was a longtime volunteer and leader of the IGLTF, which took on much of the civil rights work for our community in Springfield in the '80s. Committed, soft-spoken and intelligent, Vernon was one of the most reliable activists in Chicago. He was especially known for his thorough analyses of vote counts on LGBT bills."

"He was an active member of Town Hall the entire time he lived there including planning events such as the monthly potlucks in the Rainbow Room as well as hanging out with friends," said friend and fellow Town Hall resident George Garcia. "He'll be missed by myself and everyone else at Town Hall."

A private cremation ceremony will take place at Ewald-Barlock Funeral Home in Chicago. His ashes will be spread at the family farm in Flatville at a later date.

Town Hall Apartments will be holding a memorial service Saturday, July 30, at 3 p.m. Contact George Garcia for more information and to confirm attendance at 773-732-4897.


This article shared 429 times since Sat Jul 23, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

PASSAGES Renowned author, professor, LGBTQ+-rights activist Arnie Kantrowitz 2022-01-25
- Renowned author, professor and LGBTQ activist Arnie Kantrowitz died Jan. 21 in New York City's Upper East Side Rehabilitation Center due to complications from COVID-19. He was 81. Kantrowitz was born Nov. 26, 1940, in Newark, ...


Gay News

Fashion designer Thierry Mugler dies at 73 2022-01-24
- Openly gay French fashion designer Thierry Mugler (full name: Manfred Thierry Mugler) has passed away at age 73, according to media reports. Madonna, Lady Gaga and Cardi B are among those who have worn his designs. ...


Gay News

Former Iowa Mr. Leather and computer programmer Ken Ballard dies at 43 2022-01-21
- Former Iowa Mr. Leather, computer programmer and gay Chicagoan Ken Meverick Ballard died Jan. 11 in his Lake View home at the age of 43. The cause of death is currently unknown. Ballard was born July ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Pansy Kings performance artist, education advocate Murray McKay 2022-01-20
- Pansy Kings performance artist, education advocate, curator, designer and LGBTQ activist Edward Murray McKay died Jan. 4 of cancer. He was 53. McKay was born Oct. 2, 1968, in Brussels, Belgium. The family moved to Toronto ...


Gay News

Fashion icon Andre Leon Talley dies at 73 2022-01-19
- Andre Leon Talley—the fashion icon and former creative director of Vogue magazine—died Jan. 18 at age 73. Details were not immediately revealed. In addition to his agent, Talley's Instagram account confirmed Talley's passing, noting that ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Allen Anthony Schuh 2022-01-17
- Allen Schuh loved Christmas, so as a final gift he got to see his beloved lights and ornaments one last time before passing quietly away Dec. 28, 2021. Born July 9, 1940, in Chicago's South Side, ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Veronica Drake 2022-01-13
- Veronica Drake—a onetime Chicago resident and longtime LGBTQ+-rights activist—recently passed away in October. She was 58. She last resided in Florida. According to an obituary at Marvin C. Zanders Funeral Home, Inc., Drake was born Sept. 15 ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Jeffrey Wayne ("Jef") Morgan 2022-01-11
- Jeffrey Wayne "Jef" Morgan, of Chicago's West Rogers Park neighborhood, passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack while shoveling snow on Jan. 2. He was 58. Jef was the well-loved manager at Little Jim's on ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Black trans activist Ke'Yahonna Stone, victim of gun violence, dies 2022-01-11
- Ke'Yahonna Stone was shot at Castle Run Shopping Center's Epic Ultra Lounge parking lot in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the early morning hours of Dec. 26. She was taken to the hospital and died Dec. 28 after ...


Gay News

LGBTQ Illinois police sergeant to be laid to rest Jan. 7 2022-01-06
- Bradley, Illinois, Police Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic—who was killed in the line of duty on Dec. 30, 2021—will be laid to rest Friday, Jan. 7, NewsChannel20.com reported. A visitation will be held for Rittmanic at 2-7 p.m. ...


Gay News

Michigan's first out gay man dies at 91 2022-01-04
- Jim Toy—the person widely considered to be Michigan's first openly gay man and one of its most prominent LGBTQ activists—passed away at age 91, MLive.com reported. Toy died on New Year's Day, said Washtenaw County Commissioner ...


Gay News

WORLD Trans model dies, museum exhibit, Tunisia case 2022-01-02
- April Ashley—reportedly the first Briton to undergo gender-confirmation surgery—has died at 86, according to an Out item that cited The Liverpool Echo. Ashley, who was born in Liverpool, was the first known trans model to appear ...


Gay News

LGBTQ travel expert Jeff Guaracino dies at 48 2021-12-30
- Philadelphia native, author and Visit Philadelphia President/CEO Jeff Guaracino died Dec. 28, following a long battle with cancer. He was 48. Guaracino worked to boost the economies of both his hometown and Atlantic City as head ...


Gay News

Former Democratic leader Harry Reid dies at 82 2021-12-29
- Harry Reid, the former Democratic Senate leader who spearheaded epic legislative battles through three decades in Congress, has died at age 82 following a long battle with pancreatic cancer, according to media reports. Reid rose from ...


Gay News

Human-rights champion Archbishop Desmond Tutu dies at 90 2021-12-26
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu—a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was known for his stances for human rights and against South Africa's white minority rule—died Dec. 26 at age 90. According to Reuters, the presidency conveyed news of ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.