January 24, 1959 – July 16, 2011
Thaddeus Allen Rusztowicz of East Lansing and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida was born in Detroit and earned his Bachelor’s in marketing in 1982 from Michigan State University. He enjoyed a long career in design, retiring as president of the auto supplier LPC Manufacturing to a new career in real estate. Rusztowicz was survived by Mark Clouse, his life partner of 21 years.
Lansing State Journal, July 19, 2011
June 15, 1953 – July 27, 2015
Vande Jane Grewer of Troy earned her B.S. in retail management in 1975 from Michigan State University. She was as a licensed real estate agent in Metro Detroit and attended the First United Methodist Church of Birmingham. Grewer’s life partner Tamara Dowd survived her.
Detroit News, July 31, 2015
August 7, 1952 – September 1, 2004
While pursuing his first undergraduate degree at Oakland University, Detroit native Homer Young-Kennedy III served as arts editor for the student newspaper. He went on to earn a B.A. in audiology and speech from Michigan State University and taught special education. Young-Kennedy moved to New York City in 1980.
In Tribute: Homer Young-Kennedy III: 1952-2004
April 18, 1925 – November 2, 2017
Erie, Pennsylvania native John DeCecco, a pioneering scholar of sexuality and longtime editor of the Journal of Homosexuality, taught at the University of Detroit from 1953 to 1955 and at Michigan State University from 1955 to 1960. Turning his interests to psychology, he moved on to an esteemed career at San Francisco State University until his retirement in 2003.
Windy City Times, November 12, 2017
San Francisco Chronicle, April 26, 2018
John DeCecco papers at the GLBT Historical Society
July 22, 1958 – July 1, 2015
Pamela Lee Chamberlain of Gaithersburg, Maryland earned her B.S. in animal husbandry from Michigan State University in 1982 and went on to graduate from the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. After working in small veterinary practice in Sturgis in St. Joseph County, she began an esteemed career with the Food and Drug Administration. Chamberlain was survived by her spouse Teri Gilger.
Grand Rapids Press, July 9, 2015
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