October 9, 1990 – September 3, 2018
Born in Detroit, Melissa Silvia Zicarelli of Lansing earned her B.S. in Spanish and linguistics and her M.A. in teaching English to speakers of other languages from Central Michigan University. She later worked as director of preschool enrichment at Okemos Public Montessori. In November 2017, Zicarelli was united in marriage with Katherine VanArdsall.
Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes
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.
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
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
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
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