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
April 3, 1936 – September 10, 2010
Born in Detroit, poet, activist, and educator Judy Freespirit studied drama and speech at Michigan State University. After being heterosexually married, she came out in the feminist movement in California. In 1973, Freespirit coauthored the Fat Liberation Manifesto and in 1978 helped defeat the Briggs’ Initiative. Among her other publications was the 1982 chapbook Daddy’s Girl: An Incest Survivor’s Story.
The Reporter, December 2010
In Memory: Poet, Essayist, Activist Judy Freespirit
Judy Freespirit papers at the GLBT Historical Society
September 16, 1950 – November 14, 2010
Longtime Bloomfield Hills resident and advertising executive Lois Anne Yeagley graduated from Marian High School in 1968 and earned her Bachelors and Masters in advertising from Michigan State University in 1972 and 1973. Yeagley was co-founder in 1999 of the Godmothers, a Metro Detroit social and charitable group.
Between The Lines, December 2, 2010
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
September 25, 1941 – September 8, 2007
A 1960 graduate of Jackson High School and 1982 graduate of Michigan State University, Suzanne Klinko worked with the AWARE Shelter and the Community Action Agency before taking a job as substance abuse counselor for Chelsea Community Hospital. She was preceded in death by her life partner Susan Roark.
Midland Daily News, September 11, 2007
June 11, 1936 – May 4, 2005
Known as the “Worm Woman,” Kalamazoo resident Nary Arlene Appelhof became a world-renowned expert on using earthworms for composting. She was born in Detroit, grew up in Alma, and attended high school in Ohio. She earned a B.S. and two Masters from Michigan State and taught in Kalamazoo and at Interlochen. Appelhof was survived by her partner of 27 years Mary Frances Fenton.
Kalamazoo Gazette, May 5, 2005
Lesbian Connection, September/October 2006