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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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