August 26, 1933 – September 19, 2005
Born in Chicago, Barbara Lee Christiansen graduated from Baldwin High School in Birmingham and earned her degree in dental hygiene from the University of Michigan. A resident of Huntington Woods, she was active with the local library, the garden club, the Detroit Zoo, and other causes. With her involvement with Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Christiansen was also a PFLAG mom.
Detroit News, September 21, 2005
September 2, 1954 – February 22, 2018
Wilbert Anthony “Billi” Gordon Jr. graduated from Union High School in Dowagiac, class of 1972. He left seminary to attend the University of Michigan, where he became involved in gay activism, including as spokesperson for the Ann Arbor Black Gay Caucus. Gordon went on to become a celebrated model, entertainer, writer, and neuroscientist. He was survived by his spouse of 30 years Robert Schallert.
Los Angeles Times, March 10, 2018
November 17, 1947 – July 9, 2019
Clifford Alan “Clif” Levin graduated with the class of 1965 from Oak Park High School, earned his B.A. at Wayne State, and went on to receive his law degree there. In 1973 he began a 30-year career with the Wayne County Friend of the Court. Lemon served on the boards of the Triangle Foundation and the Detroit Together Men’s Chorus. He was also active in community theater in Grosse Pointe.
Between The Lines, July 25, 2019
May 15, 1944 – December 6, 2020
Pontiac native Barbara Jean Ziegler of Waterford attended Michigan State and Wayne State University and earned her Master’s at Oakland University. She taught every grade from K through 8th in the Pontiac schools and later became an elementary and junior high principal. After a heterosexual marriage and raising her family, Ziegler united with her life partner Jo Nebeker, who survived her.
Oakland Press, December 9, 2020
September 17, 1953 – April 4, 2006
Michele “Mickie” Janisse attended Utica High School, graduated from the Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science, and resided in Hazel Park and Ferndale. A longtime and compassionate funeral director in Ontario and Michigan, Janisse also practiced a form of massage called myomassology. She was survived by her beloved partner Lynne Rose.
Windsor Star, April 6, 2006
September 20. 1953 – December 12, 1992
Detroit native Allen Wallace majored in art history at Wayne State University and led protests in the 1970s to save the MacKenzie House, an effort that gave birth to Preservation Wayne. Wallace later worked with the Martha Graham Center in New York and as a publicity agent in Los Angeles, where he resided with his companion Michael Lombardo. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 39.
Detroit Free Press, December 17, 1992
WSU Alumni News, Winter 1993
January 5, 1940 – June 16, 2013
Donna Pomerance, a homeowner with her life companion Bonnie Friend in Lakeside for two decades, was born in Chicago. She and Friend operated the advertising firm DP Productions for 33 years, one of Chicago’s first women-owned businesses. Pomerance was later a co-owner of Augie’s Booze & Schmooze and a strong contributor to the LGBT community.
Windy City Times, June 18, 2013
September 13, 1945 – November 26, 2019
William “Bill” Galligan Jr. grew up in a Chicago suburb and earned his Bachelor’s at Western Michigan University. Following a career as an educator, Galligan moved to Saugatuck, where he became a beloved retailer, operating the Old Post Office Shop and later Spice Crazy Cottage. He was active in efforts to enact a gay rights ordinance in the late 1990s and was also a strong supporter of local arts.
Commercial Record, December 5, 2019
January 23, 1993 – June 28, 2013
A native of the state of Wyoming, Krisen Grace Lison of Charlotte graduated from Manchester High School in Manchester in 2011. She went on to attend Michigan State University, where she was involved with the campus LGBT community. Lison was studying writing and authored three books of poetry and short stories. Her fiancé Dalton Strong was among her survivors.
Lansing State Journal, June 30, 2013
April 5, 1944 – December 10, 1985
Born in Elmhurst, Illinois, James Martin earned his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Illinois before earning his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1969. After a year clerking for a federal appeals judge, Martin joined the UM Law School and had a distinguished 15-year career there while living a discreet gay life in Ann Arbor. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.
Ann Arbor News, December 22, 1985