April 8, 1913 – January 22, 2008
Lucile “Porty” Portwood was a native of Fort Worth, Texas and studied microbiology at Michigan State University, where she discovered a vaccine for whooping cough. She later oversaw vaccine production for the State of Michigan. Long active in the Lansing lesbian community, she was also a litigant in court challenge of Michigan’s sodomy law. Portwood was survived by her life partner Alixandra Summitt.
Lesbian Connection, May/June 2008
July 8, 1942 – March 11, 2019
Frankfort resident Kathleen June Blake was a native of Massachusetts and earned her Bachelor’s from the New Bedford Institute of Technology. A longtime Lansing resident, she spent much of her career in state government as an economic development officer. Blake served on the board for the Lesbian Connection and was survived by her partner Julann McFarlane.
Lansing State Journal, March 16, 2019
Lesbian Connection, July/August 2019
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 13, 1958 – May 23, 2008
Ann Ellen Flescher of Lansing worked as a counselor and administrator for 16 years with the Counseling Center at Michigan State University. She and her life partner Dawn Mead were early benefactors when MSU extended domestic partnership benefits to faculty and staff in 1997. Flescher was a strong supporter of Allies for Change and the Leaven Center.
Lansing State Journal, May 25, 2008
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
November 28, 1931 – April 16, 2012
Dolores Jan Harris was active with the Genesee County chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Born in Lansing, she married in 1950, worked as a paraprofessional with Brandon Schools, served as a Girl Scout leader, and sang in the choir of Ortonville United Methodist Church.
Oakland Press, April 18, 2012
August 3, 1925 – June 11, 2008
Max Edward Toy was schooled in Lansing and graduated from Albion College. He served as a sonar operator in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Before his retirement, Toy was employed at Michigan Employment Security Commission offices in Niles and Detroit. Toy was a subscriber to ONE magazine in the 1950s.
Lansing State Journal, June 13, 2008