September 17, 1937 – May 15, 2017
Noted sexologist Sandra Cole founded the Comprehensive Gender Identity Program at the University of Michigan in 1993 and served as its director until retiring in 2000. She was also a longtime advocate for transgender legal and civil rights, and helped secure gender identity as a protected category in the UM bylaws and Ann Arbor’s human rights ordinance.
Ann Arbor News, June 23, 2017
Sandra S. Cole papers at the Bentley Historical Library
October 20, 1966 – May 19, 2014
Vicki Arcaro grew up in Jackson and graduated from Jackson High School. She earned her Bachelor’s from Michigan State University and was employed as an imaging technician for Allegiance Health for 21 years. She died at age 47 after a three-year battle with cancer. Arcaro was survived by her wife Jaime Sabin and daughter Gabby.
Jackson Citizen-Patriot, May 22, 2014
January 19, 1932 – December 14, 2017
Grayling resident Phyllis Ann Erb worked for 24 years as a wound specialist with the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor. She met her life partner Patricia Teal in the mid-1960s when both were heterosexually-married housewives and mothers. Erb and Teal operated the Heritage House Bed and Breakfast in Gaylord from 1991 to 1996.
Ann Arbor News, December 24, 2017
February 2, 1936 – January 24, 2015
Patricia Margaret Wootton worked in health care at Zieger Osteopathic Hospital in Detroit. In retirement, she participated in the Western Wayne County Senior Olympics, medaling in golf. Wootton and her life partner Patricia Fair shared a home together in Garden City.
Detroit Free Press, January 25, 2015
May 26, 1951 – November 24, 2010
Jackson resident Christine Lee Abshire went to Saranac High School and worked as a communications supervisor for Huron Valley Ambulance for nearly 30 years. She was survived by three sons and her life partner Debbie Oldenburg.
Ann Arbor News, November 28, 2010
September 12, 1945 – May 24, 2008
A Detroit native and a 1964 graduate of Livonia Bentley High School, Nancy Fitzgerald earned her Associate’s degree from Lansing Community College and her B.S. from Spring Arbor College in 1998. She worked as an LPN and held a number of management positions in health care and insurance. An avid motorcyclist, Fitzgerald and her partner Lisa Whitehead shared a home in Eaton Rapids.
Lesbian Connection, September/October 2008
February 20, 1931 – August 22, 2015
Grand Rapids resident Dorace “Dorie” Johnson graduated from the Blodgett Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1950 and had a long career as an RN. She and her life partner Cindy Gould were active in the Michigan Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Grand Rapids Press, August 25, 2015