Michele Janisse

Mickie Janisse pic

September 17, 1953 – April 4, 2006

Michele “Mickie” Janisse attended Utica High School, graduated from the Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science, and resided in Hazel Park and Ferndale.  A longtime and compassionate funeral director in Ontario and Michigan, Janisse also practiced a form of massage called myomassology.  She was survived by her beloved partner Lynne Rose.

Windsor Star, April 6, 2006

Donna Pomerance

Donna Pomerance pic

January 5, 1940 – June 16, 2013

Donna Pomerance, a homeowner with her life companion Bonnie Friend in Lakeside for two decades, was born in Chicago.  She and Friend operated the advertising firm DP Productions for 33 years, one of Chicago’s first women-owned businesses.  Pomerance was later a co-owner of Augie’s Booze & Schmooze and a strong contributor to the LGBT community.

Windy City Times, June 18, 2013

Bill Galligan

Bill Galligan pic 2

September 13, 1945 – November 26, 2019

William “Bill” Galligan Jr. grew up in a Chicago suburb and earned his Bachelor’s at Western Michigan University.  Following a career as an educator, Galligan moved to Saugatuck, where he became a beloved retailer, operating the Old Post Office Shop and later Spice Crazy Cottage.  He was active in efforts to  enact a gay rights ordinance in the late 1990s and was also a strong supporter of local arts.

Commercial Record, December 5, 2019

Micheal Koutz

Micheal Koutz pic

January 13, 1951 – July 17, 2019

Owosso native and world traveler Micheal Eugene Koutz graduated with the Hastings High School class of 1969 and went on to Central Michigan University.  Following two decades with Adventure Travel in Kalamazoo, Koutz and Michael LoPresto established Experts Travel in 1994.  The two were also husbands and life partners, together for 39 years.

Kalamazoo Gazette, July 21, 2019

Carolyn Fretz

Carolyn Fretz pic

November 17, 1932 – October 15, 2018

Born in Jackson, Carolyn Joan Fretz graduated with the 1950 high school class from Midland High School, attended Michigan State University and the earned her Bachelor’s in phys ed from Central Michigan University.  Following a long career as an elementary teacher with the Midland Public Schools, she operated her own pet care service.  Fretz was preceded in death by life partner Gwendolyn Bagley.

Midland Daily News, October 18, 2018

Paul Steczek

Paul Steczek pic

July 22, 1957 – April 17, 2013

Paul Edward Steczek of Royal Oak grew up in Detroit and was on the staff of the Backstage in the 1980s.  He later worked as manager for 24 Hour Video and then operated Blue Moon Video for 11 years.  Steczek was preceded in death by his partner Richard Shank in 1992 and survived by Daniel Christine, with whom he was joined in a civil union in 1995.

Between The Lines, May 2, 2013

Ralph O’Reilly

Ralph OReilly pic2

April 16, 1919 – April 19, 1995

Cleveland, Ohio native Ralph Anthony O’Reilly served as a Navy lieutenant in the Pacific during World War II and later landed in Detroit where he was employed as an engineer with General Motors and met his life partner of 43 years Ralph Stallings.  The couple moved to Davisburg in the early 1960s and operated a Japanese bonsai nursery until they retired to southern California.

Times-Advocate, April 25, 1995

Ralph Stallings

Ralph Stallings pic

March 11, 1910 – February 8, 1994

World War II vet Ralph Thompson Stallings began working as a bellhop while attending Saginaw High School and rose in the ranks of hotels in Flint and Detroit.  He met his life partner Ralph O’Reilly at a bridge party when neither played bridge.  They soon shared an apartment in Detroit and later a home in Davisburg, where they raised Japanese bonsai before moving to Escondido, California in the early 1980s.

Times-Advocate, February 11, 1994

Sandino Ciccarelli

Sandino Ciccarelli pic

March 18, 1943 – August 16, 1990

Born in Dearborn and a graduate of Fordson High School, Sandino “Sandy” Ciccarelli established Sandino’s Flowers in Redford with business partner Ron Huddleston in the mid-1960s.  Together with Keith Foster, Ciccarelli opened the Timesquare dance club in downtown Detroit in 1989.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.

Cruise. August 22, 1990

Ten Percent, September 1990

Brian Killian

Brian Killian pic

June 3, 1947 – March 9, 2005

Born in Detroit, Brian Joseph Killian earned his B.A. at Ferris State and MBA at Wayne State.  He taught at Grosse Pointe North High School before switching careers and becoming a celebrated interior designer.  Killian donated generously to the Triangle Foundation and served as co-chair of the 1993 Human Rights Campaign Michigan Dinner gala fundraiser.  A fire in his Birmingham home took his life.

Detroit Free Press, March 11, 2005

Between The Lines, March 17, 2005