JoAnn Westrick

JoAnn Westrick pic

October 17, 1930 – July 31, 2010

JoAnn Westrick grew up in Toledo, Ohio and earned her B.S. in Nursing from Wayne State in Detroit in 1969.  From 1975 to 1993 she taught on the faculty of Michigan State University college of Nursing, specializing in psychiatric mental-health nursing.  She was survived by her partner of 27 years Donna Hardenberg.

Lansing State Journal, August 2, 2010

Betsy Lou Robson

Betsy Lou Robson pic

April 14, 1942 – June 26, 2010

Betsy Lou Robson of Lansing worked as a bus driver for the Capital Area Transit Authority from 1973 to 2001.  Following her death, her family established a scholarship in her name for LGBT students at Lansing Community College.

Lansing State Journal, August 15, 2010

LAHR newsletter, March 2011

Annette Berkobien

Annette Berkobien pic

December 9, 1972 – March 31, 2006

Born in Saginaw, Annette Berkobien graduated from Michigan State University in 1996 with a B.A. with a degree in interdisciplinary studies.  A poet, artist, and playwright, she worked for women’s shelters in Detroit and Lansing before moving to Oakland, California to attend the New College of California.

Lesbian Connection, July/August 2006

Steve Franklin

Steve Franklin pic

Dates of birth and death uncertain

Stephen Franklin held retail jobs at Silverman’s and National T-Shirt.  As manager of Bonnie and Clyde’s disco, he testified before the Lansing City Council in 1980 about police harassment of gay men at the nightclub.  He later migrated to Texas.  He died of complications from AIDS.

No known obituary.

Rick Rapaport

Rick Rapaport pic

February 25, 1954 – May 4, 1985

Rick Rapaport worked as a janitor, gas station attendant, cab driver, waiter, cook, bus driver, and for two years as wrestling coach at the Michigan School for the Blind.  After dropping out of the University of Michigan in 1974, he visited 45 states and crossed the U.S. fifteen times, returning to school to finish his B.A. at Michigan State University in 1982 with a degree in journalism.  He died of complications from AIDS at age 31.

Lansing State Journal, May 6, 1985

State News, May 7, 1985

LAHR newsletter, June 1985

Dorothy Hoogterp

Dorothy Hoogterp pic

October 21, 1916 – July 3, 2007

Born in Tawas City, Dorothy Hoogterp grew up in Grand Rapids, earned her nursing degree from St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing.  She was a poet, feminist, an early supporter of Lesbian Connection and the Lansing Lesbian Center, and was considered the matriarch of the Grand Rapids lesbian community.

Lesbian Connection, September/October 2007