April 18, 1934 – August 17, 2019
George Russell Francoeur of Bloomfield Township graduated from Highland Park High School, studied design at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and earned his MFA from the University of Michigan. He later taught art history at Henry Ford Community College for 30 years. Francoeur was preceded in death in 2007 by his life partner of 42 years Gerald “Jerry” Earls.
Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors
July 5, 1940 – April 2, 2019
Suzanne Cumberworth Gary was an Indiana native and graduated from Grosse Pointe High School. At the University of Michigan, she earned her B.A. and won the prestigious Hopwood Award for her poetry in 1960 and 1961. Following college, she drove to San Francisco and stayed, discovering lesbian feminism and teaching in Alameda, California. Gary was survived by her partner of 18 years Laura Bock.
Lesbian Connection, September/October 2019
April 16, 1950 – April 22, 2019
Battle Creek native Sue Ann Fitzgerald, known as “Drum Mama,” was a graduate of Lakeview High School and Central Michigan University, earning her M.S. in biology. At Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, she worked as a medical technologist for 34 years. Fitzgerald sang with the Sistrum chorus, was long active with the Girl Scouts, and regularly joined in MichFest and other womyn’s music gatherings.
Lesbian Connection September/October 2019
September 16, 1954 – February 23. 2019
Jeri Shupe of Pontiac grew up in Taylor and graduated with the class of 1972 from Taylor High School. She worked variously as a ballroom dance instructor, a law office manager, and a licensed cosmetologist. Shupe was active in the Flint-area group Transgender Connect and in 2016, according to her obituary, transitioned from male to female. Her life partner Diane Morin survived her.
Sparks-Griffin Funeral Home
July 27, 1933 – March 22, 2019
Margaret “Peg” Powell was born in Lansing and served as an MP with the Women’s Army Corps during the Korean War. She raised her younger sister and two children of her own and studied to become an LPN, specializing in hospice care. Powell was active in Lansing’s lesbian community in the 1970s and 1980s before moving to Wisconsin. She was survived by Mary Kay Schleiter, her partner of 32 years.
Lesbian Connection, November/December 2019
Casey Family Options
January 12, 1966 – October 25, 2019
Tara Louise Kelley was born in Flint, graduated from Bentley High School in Burton, and served six years in the U.S. Navy. She later earned her Bachelor’s at the University of Michigan-Flint, served in the National Guard, and for 19 years worked as a corrections officer with the State of Michigan. Kelley and her longtime partner Angelina Winn were found dead in their Kingsley home in a tragic murder-suicide.
Sharp Funeral Homes
Traverse City Record-Eagle, December 4, 2019
January 11, 1970 – October 25, 2019
Angelina Marie Winn graduated with the class of 1988 from St. Francis High School in Traverse City. After earning her Bachelor’s degree, she went on to have a 20-year career as a corrections officer with the Michigan Department of Corrections. Winn and her longtime partner Tara Kelley were found dead in their Kingsley home in a tragic murder-suicide.
Covell Funeral Home
Traverse City Record-Eagle, December 4, 2019
October 10, 1953 – December 15, 2019
Toledo, Ohio native Susan Sharon Bright graduated high school in 1971 and worked for Chrysler Motors for 30 years. A University of Michigan sports fan, she also enjoyed biking and fishing. Bright resided in Temperance with her loving wife Betty Jackson.
J. Gilbert Purse Funeral Home
January 9, 1940 – July 12, 2019
Farmington Hills resident Zan Alley attended high school and college in Birmingham, Alabama before moving to Michigan where she taught high school in Royal Oak for 17 years. She later worked as a director with the Michigan Education Association, negotiating more than three dozen union contracts. Alley was survived by her partner and wife Murphy Ayers.
Detroit Free Press, July 21, 2019
September 2, 1936 – December 26, 2019
Kentucky native Ann Sorrell moved to Detroit at age seven. She sold bakery goods, worked as a postal worker, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve before earning her B.A. and M.A. from Eastern Michigan University. She taught the hearing impaired in the Ann Arbor schools. Sorrell and her life partner Marge Elde were among the first lesbian couples married in Washtenaw County in June 2015.
Ann Arbor News, January 9, 2020
In Memory of Ann Sorrell