Margaret Boes

Margaret Boes pic

August 19, 1948 – July 19, 2014

A mother and grandmother, Margaret Lillian Boes owned and operated Paper Moon Decorating in Grand Rapids for more than four decades.  She shared a home with Tami Groothuis, her life partner of 25 years, and enjoyed fishing and camping on Gun Lake in southwestern lower Michigan.

Grand Rapids Press, July 21, 2014

Christine Johnson

Christine Johnson pic

July 13, 1951 – January 23, 2015

Activist, artist, and entrepreneur owner Christine Johnson was born in Cincinnati and moved to Chicago, where she co-founded the Metis Press Collective, a lesbian feminist publisher.  She met her life partner of 34 years Nancy Poore in 1981 and the two later moved to west Michigan.  The couple rented vacation cottages and operated a kayak rental business.

Grand Rapids Press, January 27, 2015

Lesbian Connection, May/June 2015

Nancy Poore & Chris Johnson video interview at Chicago Gay History

Joanne Rettke

Joanne Rettke pic

March 11, 1934 – December 14, 2009

Joanne Rettke earned her doctorate at Michigan State University, where she served as director of the Women’s Resource Center.  She helped found First Friday gatherings in the Lansing area in the mid-1970s and in 1977 played a key role in inaugurating Everywomen’s Weekend.  Rettke retired to Glen Arbor, where she ran the Duneswood retreat with Marge Ives, her partner of 34 years.

Glen Arbor Sun, January 10, 2010

Lesbian Connection, March/April 2010

Bill Cornell

Bill Cornell pic

October 24, 1927 – July 6, 1961

Born in Detroit, William John Cornell attended Wayne University and, as one of city’s premier theatrical press agents in the 1950s, represented various stars when they visited the Motor City, including Ethel Merman and Marlena Dietrich.  Cornell and his partner Peter Prass were killed when a fire gutted their Chicago Boulevard apartment.

Detroit Free Press, July 7, 1961

Dan-Michael Vigliarolo

Dan-Michael Vigliarolo pic

February 8, 1952 – February 15, 1993

Born in Dearborn, Dan-Michael Vigliarolo grew up in Livonia where he graduated from Franklin High School.  After studying at Michigan State University, he ran a beauty parlor on Detroit’s West Side before moving to Kew West.  Upon returning to Michigan, Vigliarolo became involved in Friends Alliance and worked as managing editor for Metra.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.

Metra, March 3, 1993

Phyllis Erb

Phyllis Erb pic

January 19, 1932 – December 14, 2017

Grayling resident Phyllis Ann Erb worked for 24 years as a wound specialist with the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor.  She met her life partner Patricia Teal in the mid-1960s when both were heterosexually-married housewives and mothers.  Erb and Teal operated the Heritage House Bed and Breakfast in Gaylord from 1991 to 1996.

Ann Arbor News, December 24, 2017

Kathryn Norris

Kathryn Norris pic

September 17, 1962 – March 23, 2014

Kathryn Elizabeth Norris graduated from Charlotte High School, studied management science at the University of Maryland, served in the U.S. Army from 1983 to 1987, and from 1988 to 2006 operated several Mancino’s outlets in Lansing.  She later moved to Chicago, where she came to share her life with her partner Vivian Shelton.

Lansing State Journal, March 27, 2014