May 4, 1932 – October 19, 2012
In 1953 and 1954 Barbara Jean “Barb” Sowers played outfrield with Muskegon Belles and the Grand Rapids Chicks in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Born in Detroit, she grew up in Livonia and retired as a high school counselor with the Livonia schools, where she headed the teachers’ union in the mid-1970s. Sowers was preceded in death by Shirley Weaver, her companion of 45 years.
Roberson Funeral Home and Crematory
March 19, 1954 – January 29, 2014
Longtime HIV and AIDS educator and advocate Kaye Lourena McDuffie served as communicable disease coordinator and intervention prevention specialist for the Lansing Area AIDS Network. Born in Ferndale, she graduated from Cass Tech in Detroit before attending Lansing Community College and Michigan State University. A devoted wife and mother, McDuffie was also active in local theater.
Between The Lines, February 6, 2014
LAHR newsletter, March 2014
Riley Funeral Home
June 11, 1936 – May 4, 2005
Known as the “Worm Woman,” Kalamazoo resident Nary Arlene Appelhof became a world-renowned expert on using earthworms for composting. She was born in Detroit, grew up in Alma, and attended high school in Ohio. She earned a B.S. and two Masters from Michigan State and taught in Kalamazoo and at Interlochen. Appelhof was survived by her partner of 27 years Mary Frances Fenton.
Kalamazoo Gazette, May 5, 2005
Lesbian Connection, September/October 2006
April 9, 1959 – October 10, 2018
Known as “Auntie” to tribal youth in Michigan, Cindy Pigeon of Wayland led workshops on native culture and was active with the Grand Rapids Inter-Tribal Council and the Indian Workers Conference of the United Methodist Church. She was an avid sports enthusiast, kept score for Hopkins Public Schools, and pitched softball with the Salem Indian Mission team. She was survived by her wife Faith Pigeon.
Grand Rapids Press, October 14, 2018
December 19, 1944 – March 1, 2017
Cynthia “Diane” Miller was born in Flint attended Mott Community College and Eastern Michigan University, and worked for the Flint Community Schools. She and her partner Mary Hill shared 39 years together.
August 26, 1928 – April 12, 2013
Born in Escanaba, William James Hirn earned his Bachelor’s from Western Michigan University and did his graduate studies at the University of Michigan. After teaching in Muskegon and Ann Arbor, he moved to New York State, where he was on the early faculty of Rockland Community College. Hirn and his life partner of 48 years Joseph Rogers retired to Spain and later lived in Houston and Las Vegas.
Escanaba Daily Press, April 19, 2013
June 13, 1946 – January 25, 2018
Judith Altheo Bohms of Lansing was born in Ypsilanti, grew up in Adrian, and taught elementary school in Charlotte, retiring in 2009 after 40 years in the classroom. Bohms and her partner of 27 years Lisa Haston sang with Sistrum, the Lansing Women’s Chorus and were active with the Lansing Association for Human Rights.
Lansing State Journal, January 28, 2018