April 17, 1933 – January 17, 2008
Gordon Toivo “Gordie” Moilanen graduated from Hancock High School in 1951 and went on to work for Detroit and Northern Savings and Loan. He later served as dean of financial aid at Soumi College, retiring in 1995. In the late 1950s, Moilanen subscribed to the pioneering homophile publication ONE magazine.
Daily Mining Gazette, January 19, 2008
August 8, 1948 – January 13, 2008
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, James Hendricks “Jim” Posante Jr. moved to Michigan at age 12 and attended Milford High School in Highland before moving to Ann Arbor in 1966. He taught at Greenhills School for 32 years and for four decades was driving force in local theater in the community and at the University of Michigan. Posante was survived by a daughter and by Charles Sutherland, his partner of 36 years.
Between The Lines, January 17, 2008
Detroit News, January 17, 2008
July 24, 1920 – February 12, 2008
Longtime Battle Creek resident Yvonne Phyllis Cushman graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School and was that city’s first female bus driver. Her other jobs included working as a machinist in an electronics factory, operating a grocery, and caring for residents at Fort Custer State Home and the Muskegon Regional Facility. A Harley rider in the 1950s, Cushman also owned and showed Great Danes.
Battle Creek Enquirer, February 14, 2008
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
January 25, 1957 – October 24, 2008
Born in Detroit, Cheryl Ann Marie Grout of Houston, Texas earned her B.S. from Central Michigan University in 1980. She worked as an in vitro fertilization technician at Hutzel Hospital in Detroit before moving to Texas, where she worked for Baylor College of Medicine. Grout was survived by her partner Mary Louise Sorensen.
Detroit News, October 26, 2008
June 13, 1958 – May 23, 2008
Ann Ellen Flescher of Lansing worked as a counselor and administrator for 16 years with the Counseling Center at Michigan State University. She and her life partner Dawn Mead were early benefactors when MSU extended domestic partnership benefits to faculty and staff in 1997. Flescher was a strong supporter of Allies for Change and the Leaven Center.
Lansing State Journal, May 25, 2008
August 17, 1948 – October 12, 2008
Detroit and Redford resident Dennis Andrew Lamparski was bartender and manager at a number of Detroit gay establishments back to the early 1970s, including the Town Pump, the Voyager Room, the Unicorn, and the Gas Station. He also worked for many years at the annual Metra Picnic.
Metra, October 22, 2008