July 24, 1920 – February 12, 2008
Longtime Battle Creek resident Yvonne Phyllis Cushman graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School and was that city’s first female bus driver. Her other jobs included working as a machinist in an electronics factory, operating a grocery, and caring for residents at Fort Custer State Home and the Muskegon Regional Facility. A Harley rider in the 1950s, Cushman also owned and showed Great Danes.
Battle Creek Enquirer, February 14, 2008
May 9, 1964 – April 1, 2003
Craig Edwin Case was born in Jackson and grew up in Battle Creek. After graduating from Battle Creek Central High School in 1982, he managed Custer Party Store and was later operations manager for the Battle Creek Flower Exchange. Case was united with his life partner Martin Burgess in a commitment ceremony in 1998.
Battle Creek Enquirer, April 3, 2003
August 1, 1944 – September 13, 2011
Born in Battle Creek, Sharon Kay Beck resided in Mount Morris and retired after 30 years from Saginaw Steering Gear-Delphi in 2002. She enjoyed running, her poodles, and traveling in northern Michigan with Hope, her partner of 27 years.
Flint Journal, September 18, 2011
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
June 14, 1932 – September 5, 2015
Battle Creek resident Betty Clark graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1950 and earned her B.A. and M.A. in education from Western Michigan University. She taught elementary and junior high in the Harper Creek Community Schools from 1960 to 1986. Clark was survived by her life companion of 65 years Silver Lee Garske.
Battle Creek Enquirer, September 7, 2015
August 28, 1945 – October 17, 2014
Marvil Thomas Shaw III was born in Battle Creek, grew up in Coldwater, and attended Alma College. A celibate gay monk ordained into the priesthood in 1971, Shaw became Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts in 1995. Throughout his tenure, he advocated for minority rights, for allowing women, gay men, and lesbians to be ordained, and for other causes of social justice.
Bay Windows, October 23, 2014
February 14, 1973 – June 3, 2015
Self-described tech nerd, scuba diver, traveler, musician, artist, photographer, cook, and gardener, Heather Moana spent her early years in Frankenmuth before moving to Battle Creek, where she graduated from Lakeview High School in 1991. Following high school, she worked for the Battle Creek Enquirer and, in 2005, relocated to California.
Battle Creek Enquirer, June 15, 2015