Michelle Hughson

Michelle Hughson pic

June 19, 1966 – September 17, 2001

Jackson resident Michelle Marie “Mitch” Hughson was born in Lansing and graduated with the class of 1985 from Charlotte High School.  For 12 years, Hughson worked as a radiologist technician at Hayes Green Beach Hospital in Charlotte.

Legacy.com

Linda Gesterling

November 4, 1951 – November 23, 2015

Linda Eileen Gesterling was born in Bixby Knolls, California and resided in Glendale, Arizona when she passed away.  In the 1980s she lived in Lansing, where she was employed with the Social Security Administration and was a 1990 graduate of Michigan State University.  Gesterling was survived by her spouse Lisa Howell.

Kalamazoo Gazette, December 1, 2015

Senia Taipale

Senia Taipale pic

April 29, 1949 – January 25, 2018

A native of Warren, Ohio, Rev. Senia Taipale attended Wittenberg University and earned her Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.  After moving to Michigan, she became Director of Pastoral Care at Sparrow Hospital in 1992, a position she held for 18 years.  She and Jo Hartwell, her life partner of 31 years, were married in December 2015.

Lansing State Journal, January 28, 2018

Ferd Eggan

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October 1, 1946 – July 15, 2007

Born in Lansing, Frederick Irving Eggan, later known as Ferd, grew up in Alpena and graduated from Alpena High School.  In the mid-1960s, Eggan dropped out of college to register black voters in South Carolina, later took part in the Chicago Gay Liberation Front, and in the late 1990s served as the AIDS coordinator for the City of Los Angeles.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 60.

Windy City Times, July 11, 2007

Los Angeles Times, July 12, 2007

Lucile Portwood

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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

Kathleen Blake

Kathleen Blake pic

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

Kaye McDuffie

Kaye McDuffie pic

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