J. Dallas Egbert III

James Dallas Egbert III pic

October 29, 1962 – August 16, 1980

James Dallas Egbert III was a gay 16-year-old computer science prodigy and Dungeons and Dragons fan who disappeared from his Michigan State University dorm room in August 1979, prompting a month-long search of steam tunnels beneath the university.  He took his own life at age 17.

New York Times, August 25, 1980

Susan Rae Crispin

Susan Rae Crispin pic

June 19, 1956 – November 15, 2009

Susan Rae Crispin of Clancy, Montana was born in the village of Sparta and earned degrees in biology from Michigan State University.  She spent her career with the Nature Conservancy, moving from botanist to director of its Great Lakes Program, dedicated to conserving biodiversity.  Crispin was survived by her Randi Levin.

Lesbian Connection, March/April 2010

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

Robert Harper

Robert Harper pic

April 7, 1921 – June 15, 2014

As a fighter pilot in World War II, Pontiac native and Rochester Hills resident Robert Harper survived weeks in the jungles of the Philippines after his plane was shot down.  With degrees from Albion and Michigan State University, he taught in the Waterford Schools for twenty-five years.  Harper was of a generation that never told their parents they were gay.

Oakland Press, June 22, 2014

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

Kraig Debus

Kraig Debus pic

February 23, 1958 – August 11, 1990

Kraig Debus grew up in Warren and earned his B.A. in advertising in 1981 from Michigan State University, where he served on the staff of the State News.  After graduation, Debus moved to Chicago.  He died of complications from AIDS at age 32.

Chicago Tribune, August 14, 1990