June 20, 1961 – December 12, 1992
William Harrison Ashley graduated with the class of 1979 from Pontiac Central High School. In 1983, Ashley was one of three partners who opened Chosen Books in its original location on McNichols in Detroit. Ashley left the business in 1987 and moved to Ohio, later settling in Washington, DC. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 31.
Cruise, February 3, 1993
July 21, 1930 – March 13, 2018
Betsy Ann Boyette was born in rural North Carolina and served as a radio operator in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War before attending DeVry Technical Institute in Chicago as its first female graduate. In the mid-1980s, she started her own interior decorator business, retiring to Saugatuck in 2002. Boyette and her spouse Dianne Wendt were together 43 years and married in 2015.
Commercial Record, March 22, 2018
February 4, 1938 – February 27, 2009
Portia June Fagan was born in Kalamazoo, attended Richland High School, graduated from Western Michigan University, and had a long career as a tax preparer and real estate broker. In 1994, she came out as lesbian in the Kalamazoo Gazette to “break down stereotypes.” Fagan and her life partner Janice O’Dell retired to Arizona in the early 2000s.
Kalamazoo Gazette, March 11, 2009
September 23, 1948 – August 7, 2012
Kalamazoo nutritionist Diana Zhenhua Artz-Iffland earned her B.S. from Western Michigan University and her M.S. from Michigan State University. She was a longtime member of the People’s Church and, with her life partner River Artz-Iffland, was active in the pioneering local lesbian organization Lavender Morning. For 18 years the couple operated Pandora’s Books for Open Minds.
February 22. 1938 – August 26, 1981
Douglas Lauren Niles graduated with the Flint Central High School class of 1956 and operated hair salons in downtown Flint for more than 20 years. He was long active in local community theater and civic ballet. Niles was found shot to death in his car.
Flint Journal, August 27, 1981
April 1, 1957 – January 4, 2015
Kevin James Rogers was born and grew up in Clinton Township in Macomb County. He resided in Lincoln Park and Detroit before moving to Ferndale, where he co-chaired Keep Our Human Rights, a group formed to combat a ballot campaign to rescind Ferndale’s newly enacted non-discrimination ordinance in 1999. Rogers owned and operated Just 4 Us in Ferndale from 2004 until his death.
Between The Lines, January 15, 2015
September 5, 1951 – August 3, 2009
Muskegon resident Daniel Chambers spent summers on Mackinac Island while growing up in Dearborn and earned his degree in fine arts from Wayne State University. As owner of his own design business, he created interiors for residential and commercial clients on Mackinac Island and in west Michigan. Chambers and his life partner Terry MacAllister were together 28 years.
Mackinac Island Town Crier, September 5, 2009
Clock Funeral Home