April 8, 1913 – January 22, 2008
Lucile “Porty” Portwood was a native of Fort Worth, Texas and studied microbiology at Michigan State University, where she discovered a vaccine for whooping cough. She later oversaw vaccine production for the State of Michigan. Long active in the Lansing lesbian community, she was also a litigant in court challenge of Michigan’s sodomy law. Portwood was survived by her life partner Alixandra Summitt.
Lesbian Connection, May/June 2008
October 11, 1913 – August 20, 1997
Flint native Jack Pierson was a fierce Leftist. Employed by General Motors, following World War II, he and his longtime partner Robert Purcell moved to Long Island. After Purcell’s death in 1976, Pierson returned to Michigan where he became an avid supporter of the Flint Institute of Arts, donating dozens of photographs, etchings, and lithographs to the museum.
Flint Journal, August 22, 1997
October 19, 1913 – January 16, 1985
Originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Melva Earhart operated the State Bar in Flint from 1948 until her death at age 71 in 1985.
Metra, January 23, 1985