July 7, 1940 – October 20, 2008
Nona Diane McKenna of Dexter was born in the Upper Peninsula town of Hermansville, graduated from Roosevelt High School in Ypsilanti, earned her B.A. in physical education from Eastern Michigan University, and served in the U.S. Marines from 1961 to 1966. In 1991, she and Sally Johnson became the first same-sex couple to register as domestic partners. They married in California in 2008.
Ann Arbor News, October 23, 2008
January 7, 1921 – January 18, 1975
Brooklyn-bred Chester Simon Kallman was a librettis, poet, and longtime companion to poet W.H. Auden. Kallman pursued graduate studies at the University of Michigan and while in Ann Arbor he and his roommate Strowan Robertson were the nuclei of a gay social circle. He went on to write three volumes of poetry and authored or co-authored librettos for several operas.
New York Times, January 19, 1975
December 5, 1934 – October 28, 2001
A native of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Cynthia Jane (Young) Wrentmore started as a public health nurse with the Washtenaw County Department of Public Health in 1958 and became as its communicable disease coordinator in 1981. She served on the board for Wellness Networks/Huron Valley, later known as the HIV/AIDS Resource Center, and was a pioneering AIDS educator in the Ann Arbor area.
Between The Lines, November 29, 2001
January 8, 1951 – May 1, 1991
Geoffrey Martin Fine grew up in Ann Arbor and moved to New York City following high school. He appeared in a number of Off-Broadway plays before moving back to Ann Arbor in 1975 to study choreography and dance at the University of Michigan. On returning on New York, Fine pursued stand-up and volunteered with Gay Men’s Health Crisis. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 40.
Outweek, June 12, 1991
July 7, 1940 – August 11, 2011
Born in Newport, Rhode Island, Marina Doukales moved with her mother to Ann Arbor in the 1960s. She later worked as a phlebotomist with the University of Michigan Hospital for 20 years. Doukales and her partner of 32 years Nora Forde resided in Whitmore Lake before retiring to Desert Hot Springs, California.
Desert Sun, August 20, 2011
June 23, 1945 – April 11, 2012
Longtime Wyandotte resident Susan Ann Christner graduated from Central High School in Flint in 1963 and earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint in 1976. She went on to get her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UM in Ann Arbor in 1998 and went into private practice. She was survived by two sons and her partner Linda Sprankle.
Flint Journal, April 15, 2012
December 12, 1958 – July 27, 2018
Dexter resident Michele Lee Donnelly was born in Detroit and graduated with the class of 1976 from Redford Union High School. She enjoyed camping on Lake Michigan and watching Tiger Baseball and was a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor. Donnelly and her wife Sherry Smith were together 30 years.
Ann Arbor News, August 1, 2018
May 1, 1923 – January 11, 1986
In the early 1940s, Frederick Strowan Robertson attended the University of Michigan, where he roomed with W.H. Auden’s lover Chester Kallman. Robertson finished his B.A. at the University of British Columbia then returned to Ann Arbor to earn his M.A. at UM. He was active in community theater and gay social circles there in the 1950s. In later life, he worked for the National Film Board of Canada.
Montreal Gazette, January 22, 1986
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
May 22, 1958 – February 23, 2010
Fenton resident Ellen Joan Mettler grew up in Ann Arbor and graduated from Pioneer High School in 1976. She later had a 20-year career as program director for the Fair Winds Council of the Girl Scouts. Mettler was survived by her life partner of 30 years Ann Anglim and their two adopted daughters.
Flint Journal, February 26, 2010