June 21, 1951 – February 13, 2018
Born in DeWitt, Juliana Daberkow attended DeWitt High School and Davenport University and later worked as an assembly line worker at Steelcase in Grand Rapids. She was survived by her life partner of more than 24 years Nancy Botsford.
Grand Rapids Press, February 18, 2018
July 13, 1951 – January 23, 2015
Activist, artist, and entrepreneur owner Christine Johnson was born in Cincinnati and moved to Chicago, where she co-founded the Metis Press Collective, a lesbian feminist publisher. She met her life partner of 34 years Nancy Poore in 1981 and the two later moved to west Michigan. The couple rented vacation cottages and operated a kayak rental business.
Grand Rapids Press, January 27, 2015
Lesbian Connection, May/June 2015
Nancy Poore & Chris Johnson video interview at Chicago Gay History
October 26, 1951 – October 26, 2009
A longtime HIV survivor, Douglas Pizzala was born and raised in Pontiac. He earned a B.A. in education from Central Michigan University and later worked for the AIDS Consortium of Southeast Michigan and AIDS Partnership Michigan. Pizzala and his life partner of 28 years Ken Pape shared a home in Pleasant Ridge. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 58.
Between The Lines, October 29, 2009
Sullivan & Son Funeral Directors
September 21, 1951 – August 9, 2016
Janet Thering played varsity basketball while a student at Sacred Heart Academy in Mt. Pleasant, graduated from Aquinas College, and taught physical education in the Grand Rapids Schools for 20 years. A founder of the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus, Thering attended every Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival from 1976 to 2015. She and her wife Ruth Allerton were together 16 years.
Grand Rapids Press. August 14, 2016
Morning Sun, August 17, 2016
November 29, 1951 – January 2, 2006
Northville resident Jan Pierce was born in Dearborn and served 25 years with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, retiring as a detective sergeant. She and her partner Marcia Patrick were strong supporters of the Triangle Foundation and attended golf outings sponsored by Affirmations. They lost their lives in a New Year’s Eve automobile accident.
Between The Lines, January 12, 2006
May 26, 1951 – November 24, 2010
Jackson resident Christine Lee Abshire went to Saranac High School and worked as a communications supervisor for Huron Valley Ambulance for nearly 30 years. She was survived by three sons and her life partner Debbie Oldenburg.
Ann Arbor News, November 28, 2010
May 31, 1951 – September 4, 1996
Detroit native Joe Elias graduated from Notre Dame High School in Harper Woods in 1969 and received his B.A. in sociology from the University of Detroit-Mercy in 1973. He worked in personnel at Chrysler and later relocated to Chicago and San Francisco.
Cruise, September 18, 1996