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
October 13, 1950 – August 14, 2007
Betty Jo “Stormie” Parham grew up in Grand Rapids and lived in Phoenix and Chicago before settling with her partner Gail Goldstein in Placitas, New Mexico. She worked variously as a builder, chef, clown, firefighter, handy-woman, and innkeeper. Parham died at age 56 after a long battle with lung cancer.
Lesbian Connection, May/June 2008
August 19, 1948 – July 19, 2014
A mother and grandmother, Margaret Lillian Boes owned and operated Paper Moon Decorating in Grand Rapids for more than four decades. She shared a home with Tami Groothuis, her life partner of 25 years, and enjoyed fishing and camping on Gun Lake in southwestern lower Michigan.
Grand Rapids Press, July 21, 2014
July 17, 1905 – December 11, 1980
Born in Italy, Joseph Accardi immigrated to the U.S., married in 1937, and worked as a storekeeper and an autoworker in Detroit before moving to Grand Rapids. He owned and operated Papa Joe’s Show Bar from the late 1950s until his death.
Grand Rapids Press, December 13, 1980
Metra, December 18, 1980
May 22, 1936 – June 14, 2016
Born in Redding, Maine, Sherry Redding earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan and a Master’s from Michigan State University. A longtime counselor, for many years she taught women’s studies at William James College at Grand Valley State University. She was also a founding member in 1978 of the local lesbian organization Aradia. Redding and her spouse Karen Clahassey shared 36 years together.
Grand Rapids Press, June 16, 2016
July 23, 1937 – April 12, 2006
A native of Kansas, Mary Frances Fenton earned her B.F.A. at the University of Oklahoma. She later earned her M.A. at Western Michigan University, where she served a professor of graphic arts for nearly three decades. Fenton and her partner of 24 years Mary Appelhof participated in the lesbian group Aradia in Grand Rapids and were long active in the women’s community in Kalamazoo.
Lesbian Connection, September/October 2006
July 11, 1937 – April 9, 2014
Longtime Grand Rapids resident Myra Elizabeth Marshall was employed by City Water Repair and belonged to Reconciliation Metropolitan Community Church. She was preceded in death by her life partner Marcella Robinson.
Grand Rapids Press, April 23, 2014