October 20, 1937 – February 26, 2003
The Rev. Dr. Barbara Edith Edgecombe, a Chicago native, graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School and studied piano at the University of Michigan. While working as a piano teacher back in Chicago, she decided to train for the ministry. Edgecombe came out after graduating theological seminary and in the late 1990s served as the openly lesbian pastor of the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Greater Lansing.
Chicago Tribune, March 2, 2003
July 23, 1954 – June 13, 2021
Mary Catherine Linton was valedictorian of the class of 1972 at Bullock Creek High School in Midland, earned her B.S. from Michigan State, Master’s from Michigan Tech, and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. She devoted her life to science and poetry, specializing in wetlands, and served an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin. Linton was survived by her wife and partner Kathy Kauffman.
Midland Daily News, July 8, 2021
In Memory of Mary Linton
June 27, 1957 – March 2, 2020
Long Island, New York native Beth Sara Greenapple resided in Royal Oak and Southfield after moving to Metro Detroit in 1995 and taught music at Hillel Day School in Farmington Hills and the Roeper School in Bloomfield Hills. She was a founding member of the Jewish Gay Network of Michigan and served as its early president. Greenapple was survived by her partner Julia Pais and their son Nadav Pais-Greenapple.
Hebrew Memorial Chapel
October 15, 1918 – April 28, 1994
Ruth Evelyn Sanders moved from Texas to Michigan in the early 1940s to pursue her doctorate at Michigan State University. After earning her Ph.D. in 1947, she taught microbiology at MSU as a lecturer, assistant professor, and associate professor, retiring in 1982. Sanders shared a home in Okemos for many decades with her longtime companion Lucile Portwood.
Lansing State Journal, May 1, 1994
August 19, 1950 – February 9, 2021
Patricia Ann Boudrie was born in Monroe, graduated with the Monroe High School class of 1968, and earned a certificate of early childhood development at Monroe County Community College. She worked as a secretary at Jefferson High School and at MCCC and also spent a total of 11 years as a teacher’s aide. Boudrie and her partner Tracey Moran shared homes in Monroe and Newport.
Monroe News, February 12, 2021
May 15, 1944 – December 6, 2020
Pontiac native Barbara Jean Ziegler of Waterford attended Michigan State and Wayne State University and earned her Master’s at Oakland University. She taught every grade from K through 8th in the Pontiac schools and later became an elementary and junior high principal. After a heterosexual marriage and raising her family, Ziegler united with her life partner Jo Nebeker, who survived her.
Oakland Press, December 9, 2020
April 5, 1944 – December 10, 1985
Born in Elmhurst, Illinois, James Martin earned his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Illinois before earning his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1969. After a year clerking for a federal appeals judge, Martin joined the UM Law School and had a distinguished 15-year career there while living a discreet gay life in Ann Arbor. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.
Ann Arbor News, December 22, 1985
August 24, 1942 – September 30, 2013
Linda Ann Reuther, the daughter of UAW founder Walter P. Reuther, grew up in Detroit and Rochester and earned her Bachelor’s in education from the University of Michigan in 1965. She taught head start for several years, operated a quilt store in Marin County, California, and later created a meditation retreat center to the north in Albion. Reuther was survived by her life companion Michele Tellier.
Fort Bragg Advocate-News, October 10, 2013
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
October 8, 1922 – December 17, 2011
Gwendolyn Mae Bagley was born in the Upper Peninsula town of Wilson and graduated from Powers-Spalding High School. She earned her B.S. in physical education at Northern Michigan Teachers College, later NMU, and taught in Marquette for two years before moving to Midland to teach. Bagley retired in 1986. She was survvived by Carolyn Fretz, her life partner of more than 50 years.
Midland Daily News, December 20, 2011