June 21, 1971 – June 3, 2016
Ishpeming native Lee Allen LaForge grew up in Republic, was a 1989 graduate of Republic-Michigamme High School, and went on to earn his Master of Science from Northern Michigan University. He was active in the Marquette arts scene, directing and performing in local theater. At the time of his death, LaForge worked as an adjunct professor at NMU, as a tutor, and as manager of Book World.
Bjork & Zhulkie Funeral Home
January 23, 1947 – July 20, 2020
Marie Anne Hansen was born in Mt. Pleasant and earned her Bachelor’s in human ecology at Michigan State University. She later got her Masters and had a long career in student affairs in Colorado, Nebraska, and at MSU. She was a beloved part the Lansing area lesbian community and was longtime coordinator of the local women and arts festival. Hansen was survived by her wife Priscilla Feigenbaum.
Lansing State Journal, July 25, 2020
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
October 10, 1949 – January 15, 1995
Joseph Mattingley Zendell coordinated programs for the Michigan Council for the Arts in Detroit from 1974 to 1981. Active in the Association of Suburban People and the Motor City Business Forum, he also served as an early financial officer with the Michigan Organization for Human Rights. In 1982, Zendell moved to Illinois to lead the Evanston Arts Council. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 45.
Chicago Tribune, January 21, 1995
November 18, 1914 – January 27, 1988
William Hawkins Ferry grew up in Detroit and attended Cranbrook before studying at Harvard University. The grandson of a founder of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Ferry became a noted collector, patron, and champion of 20th century art. An expert of architectural history, as well, his modernist 1964 home in Grosse Pointe Shores was featured in House Beautiful and Interiors magazines.
New York Times, January 28, 1988
Hawkins Ferry: The Original A-Gay
January 18, 1925 – September 4, 2015
Kenneth Garnett grew up in Bay City and for many decades owned and operated the Art Shoppe in Flint. Toward the end of his life, he was a familiar face at the Pachyderm Pub. Garnett was preceded in death by his life partner of 47 years Beverley Dunnington Wayt Jr. in 1994.
Flint Journal, September 6, 2015
August 5, 1940 – May 2, 2017
Artist, athlete, and San Diego native Dale Muir earned degrees from Graceland University and the University of Michigan. She settled in Ann Arbor, working in recreation and early education. In 2006, she retired to Oregon with her partner Vicki Gardner.
Ann Arbor News, May 7, 2017
October 11, 1913 – August 20, 1997
Flint native Jack Pierson was a fierce Leftist. Employed by General Motors, following World War II, he and his longtime partner Robert Purcell moved to Long Island. After Purcell’s death in 1976, Pierson returned to Michigan where he became an avid supporter of the Flint Institute of Arts, donating dozens of photographs, etchings, and lithographs to the museum.
Flint Journal, August 22, 1997
September 30, 1963 – January 1, 2014
Novi resident Lino Vincent Lopez grew up in Holland and was general manager of Mitchell’s Fish Market restaurant in Livonia. He was a supporter and volunteer, with life partner Todd Patrick Kananen, of Art Road.
Detroit News, January 5, 2014
August 19, 1922 – May 18, 2016
Renowned art historian Marvin Eisenberg hosted discreet parties at the center of Ann Arbor’s gay social scene during the 1950s, a time when university and city officials frowned on any open homosexuality.
Ann Arbor News, June 12, 2016