July 16, 1945 – February 18, 2017
Mary Barbara Virginia Banister, co-owner with her life partner Wendy Robertson of the Touch of Country Mall, was born in Detroit and later lived in Warren before moving to Howell in 1972. Before acquiring the antique mall, she worked for various lumber, hardware, and nursery stores. Banister was a devoted member of Hardy United Methodist Church.
Livingston Daily Press and Argus, February 21, 2017
December 19, 1944 – March 1, 2017
Cynthia “Diane” Miller was born in Flint attended Mott Community College and Eastern Michigan University, and worked for the Flint Community Schools. She and her partner Mary Hill shared 39 years together.
December 9, 1964 – August 26, 2017
Dana Meyer of Ann Arbor graduated from the Milan schools and received her B.S. in healthcare administration from Southern University of Illinois in Carbondale System. She served in the U.S. Navy from 1983 to 1989 and subsequently worked in patient services and as a billing manager. Meyer was survived by her partner Anne Spiegel and three children.
Ann Arbor News, August 31, 2017
September 8, 1925 – December 19, 2017
Born in upstate New York, Mable Stewart Merritt moved with her family as a child to Grosse Pointe, where she graduated from high school. She worked as a typesetter for the United Auto Workers union for 40 years. Merritt was interviewed by Roey Thorpe in 1992 about her involvement in lesbian life in Detroit during the 1950s.
Kansas City Star, January 3, 2018
June 14, 1949 – February 1, 2017
Lansing native and former resident Vicki “Vic” Fitzpatrick earned her Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and Master’s from Central Michigan. She was a social worker for Community Mental Health and prevention coordinator for Clinton County Substance Abuse Center in St. Johns. In 1991, Fitzpatrick relocated to Florida, where she lived with her spouse Sandra Hudson.
Lansing State Journal, February 7, 2017
June 19, 1933 – August 3, 2017
Silver Lee Garske, a Kalamazoo native and resident of the village of Mattawan, played fast pitch softball. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in education from Western Michigan University and went on to teach gym for 33 years, retiring from the Harper Creek Community Schools in 1987. Garske was preceded in death by her life companion of 65 years Betty Clark.
Kalamazoo Gazette, August 6, 2017
December 25, 1929 – February 7, 2017
Lawyer, professor, and labor activist Patricia Eames earned her BA. at Reed College, her M.A. from Columbia, and her J.D. from Yale Law School. In the 1980s, she served as general counsel for Wayne State University. While in Detroit she and her life partner Connie Hart were active with the Forum Foundation and SEMGLA, the South East Michigan Gay/Lesbian Association.
Reed Magazine, 2017