December 20, 1922 – August 6, 2019
Lake Ann resident and Clare native Betty Jane Finout worked on the assembly line in Flint during World War II and earned her B.S. from Central Michigan University. She went on to coach and teach physical education at schools in Fenton, Holly, Lake Fenton, and Owosso. Finout enjoyed an active retirement into her 90s and was survived by two children and by longtime partner Samantha Niergarth.
Lesbian Connection, January/February 2020
April 16, 1950 – April 22, 2019
Battle Creek native Sue Ann Fitzgerald, known as “Drum Mama,” was a graduate of Lakeview High School and Central Michigan University, earning her M.S. in biology. At Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, she worked as a medical technologist for 34 years. Fitzgerald sang with the Sistrum chorus, was long active with the Girl Scouts, and regularly joined in MichFest and other womyn’s music gatherings.
Lesbian Connection September/October 2019
October 9, 1990 – September 3, 2018
Born in Detroit, Melissa Silvia Zicarelli of Lansing earned her B.S. in Spanish and linguistics and her M.A. in teaching English to speakers of other languages from Central Michigan University. She later worked as director of preschool enrichment at Okemos Public Montessori. In November 2017, Zicarelli was united in marriage with Katherine VanArdsall.
Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes
October 2, 1950 – October 15, 2017
A native of Traverse City and graduate of the Traverse City Schools, Bonnie Jean Purvis attended Central Michigan University and worked for more than three decades as a lab technician at Traverse City Osteopathic Hospital, later Munson Medical Center, retiring in 2013. An avid golfer, biker, and kayaker, Purvis was survived by Tammy Krentz, her spouse and loving partner of 36 years.
Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home
January 25, 1957 – October 24, 2008
Born in Detroit, Cheryl Ann Marie Grout of Houston, Texas earned her B.S. from Central Michigan University in 1980. She worked as an in vitro fertilization technician at Hutzel Hospital in Detroit before moving to Texas, where she worked for Baylor College of Medicine. Grout was survived by her partner Mary Louise Sorensen.
Detroit News, October 26, 2008
May 30, 1952 – November 6, 1999
Virgil Julius “Tony” Leone was born in Detroit and graduated with the class of 1970 from Mt. Pleasant High School. At Central Michigan University, he was an early member of Gay Liberation, serving as its president in the mid-1970s. Leone later moved to San Francisco where he worked as a Registered Nurse and became involved in local HIV/AIDS activism. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 47.
Bay Area Reporter, November 18, 1999
June 14, 1949 – February 1, 2017
Lansing native and former resident Vicki “Vic” Fitzpatrick earned her Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and Master’s from Central Michigan. She was a social worker for Community Mental Health and prevention coordinator for Clinton County Substance Abuse Center in St. Johns. In 1991, Fitzpatrick relocated to Florida, where she lived with her spouse Sandra Hudson.
Lansing State Journal, February 7, 2017
October 26, 1951 – October 26, 2009
A longtime HIV survivor, Douglas Pizzala was born and raised in Pontiac. He earned a B.A. in education from Central Michigan University and later worked for the AIDS Consortium of Southeast Michigan and AIDS Partnership Michigan. Pizzala and his life partner of 28 years Ken Pape shared a home in Pleasant Ridge. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 58.
Between The Lines, October 29, 2009
Sullivan & Son Funeral Directors
October 4, 1942 – September 26, 1987
Dean of the Wayne State University College of Lifelong Learning, Lawrence Murphy served as an institute director at Central Michigan University prior to moving to WSU. He was the author of the book Perverts by Official Order and was survived by his partner of 13 years Russell Len Griffin.
Detroit News, September 28, 1987
February 5, 1966 – June 9, 2017
Born in Pontiac, Duane Froelich was a 1984 graduate of Oscoda High School and a 1992 graduate of Central Michigan University. He was employed in the restaurant industry in Columbus, Ohio for 20 years before returning to Oscoda, where he worked for the auto supplier Cooper Standard.
Iosco County News-Herald, June 14, 2017