Joanne Rettke

Joanne Rettke pic

March 11, 1934 – December 14, 2009

Joanne Rettke earned her doctorate at Michigan State University, where she served as director of the Women’s Resource Center.  She helped found First Friday gatherings in the Lansing area in the mid-1970s and in 1977 played a key role in inaugurating Everywomen’s Weekend.  Rettke retired to Glen Arbor, where she ran the Duneswood retreat with Marge Ives, her partner of 34 years.

Glen Arbor Sun, January 10, 2010

Lesbian Connection, March/April 2010

Sherry Redding

Sherry Redding pic

May 22, 1936 – June 14, 2016

Born in Redding, Maine, Sherry Redding earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan and a Master’s from Michigan State University.  A longtime counselor, for many years she taught women’s studies at William James College at Grand Valley State University.  She was also a founding member in 1978 of the local lesbian organization Aradia.  Redding and her spouse Karen Clahassey shared 36 years together.

Grand Rapids Press, June 16, 2016

Vicki Arcaro

Vicki Arcaro pic

October 20, 1966 – May 19, 2014

Vicki Arcaro grew up in Jackson and graduated from Jackson High School.  She earned her Bachelor’s from Michigan State University and was employed as an imaging technician for Allegiance Health for 21 years.  She died at age 47 after a three-year battle with cancer.  Arcaro was survived by her wife Jaime Sabin and daughter Gabby.

Jackson Citizen-Patriot, May 22, 2014

Gilbert Whelden Jr.

Gilbert Whelden Jr pic

March 23, 1921 – June 12, 2018

Detroit native Gilbert Hart Whelden Jr. attended Cranbrook Academy and Olivet College before serving in the U.S. Army during World War II.  He later graduated from Michigan State University and worked as an interior designer for J.L. Hudson.  He was also a member of the Forum Foundation and Unlimited Seniors.  In retirement, Whelden shared a home in Leland with his partner Paul Kieren.

Leelanau Enterprise, June 21,2018

Dan-Michael Vigliarolo

Dan-Michael Vigliarolo pic

February 8, 1952 – February 15, 1993

Born in Dearborn, Dan-Michael Vigliarolo grew up in Livonia where he graduated from Franklin High School.  After studying at Michigan State University, he ran a beauty parlor on Detroit’s West Side before moving to Kew West.  Upon returning to Michigan, Vigliarolo became involved in Friends Alliance and worked as managing editor for Metra.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.

Metra, March 3, 1993

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