Melissa Zicarelli

Melissa Zicarelli pic

October 9, 1990 – September 3, 2018

Born in Detroit, Melissa Silvia Zicarelli of Lansing earned her B.S. in Spanish and linguistics and her M.A. in teaching English to speakers of other languages from Central Michigan University.  She later worked as director of preschool enrichment at Okemos Public Montessori.  In November 2017, Zicarelli was united in marriage with Katherine VanArdsall.

Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes

Betty Martin

Betty Martin pic

March 29, 1948 – September 20, 2018

Betty Jane Martin, a lifelong Caledonia resident, graduated from Caledonia High School and earned her MSW from Grand Valley State University.  Her career encompassed worked with the YWCA, Pine Rest Christian Hospital, and her brother’s dairy farm.  Martin served as board president for Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church in Grand Rapids where she also played drums in the church band.

Grand Rapids Press, September 23, 2018

Gwen Sanford

Gwen Sanford pic

October 26, 1942 – January 15, 2018

Traverse City resident Gwen Sanford grew up in Grand Rapids, studied at Grand Rapids Junior College and Valparasio Technical Institute, and served as a trooper and diving instructor with the Michigan State Police from 1966 to 1992.  After retiring, the former Glenn transitioned to Gwen and later served on the board of Friends North.  Sanford was survived by her wife Carol Larson and three children.

Traverse City Record-Eagle, January 21, 2018

Suzanne Moore

Suzanne Moore pic

June 20, 1935 – November 17, 2018

Born in Detroit, Frances Suzanne Moore moved to California at age 22, served as a journalist in the U.S. Navy, and worked at the Jet Propulsion Lab of California Tech.  As an activist in San Diego, she cared for patients with AIDS and served as chair of the local Gay Academic Union.  Moore was preceded in death by her wife and partner of 27 years Charlynn Johnson.

Mad River Union, January 26, 2019

Gary Davis

Gary Davis pic

October 17, 1954 – December 11, 2018

Gary Scott Davis, a resident of Palm Springs, California since 2004, attended the Grand Rapids public schools and graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana.  He had a long career with the Blackmer division of Dover manufacturers in Grand Rapids.  Davis met his future husband Eric Duran in the early 1980s and the two were together more than 35 years.

Grand Rapids Press, April 24, 2019

Carrie Koonter

Carrie Koonter pic

December 24, 1959 – September 19, 2018

Lifelong Laingsburg resident Carrie Lynn Koonter played on the 1978 Michigan Class D High School Softball championship team and was co-founder of the Laingsburg Women’s Golf League.  She worked for 25 years at Meijer in East Lansing.  She and Mary McDougal were together more than 30 years and were married in 2015.  Koonter died at age 58 following an extended battle with multiple sclerosis.

Lansing State Journal, September 23, 2018

Betsy Boyette

Betsy Boyette pic

July 21, 1930 – March 13, 2018

Betsy Ann Boyette was born in rural North Carolina and served as a radio operator in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War before attending DeVry Technical Institute in Chicago as its first female graduate.  In the mid-1980s, she started her own interior decorator business, retiring to Saugatuck in 2002.  Boyette and her spouse Dianne Wendt were together 43 years and married in 2015.

Commercial Record, March 22, 2018