February 3, 1962 – January 7, 2019
Barbara Faye Gessell was born in and spent much of her life in Ohio and held a J.D. and Bachelor’s in business administration. Her long career in human resources included managerial positions at Mercy Health Network, Toledo Edison, and the Toledo Blade. After she was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, Gessell retired to Saugatuck with her wife Jennifer Roe.
Toledo Blade, January 11, 2019
July 21, 1930 – March 13, 2018
Betsy Ann Boyette was born in rural North Carolina and served as a radio operator in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War before attending DeVry Technical Institute in Chicago as its first female graduate. In the mid-1980s, she started her own interior decorator business, retiring to Saugatuck in 2002. Boyette and her spouse Dianne Wendt were together 43 years and married in 2015.
Commercial Record, March 22, 2018
September 23, 1938 – February 3, 2019
Born in Lewiston, Idaho, Carl Ivan Jennings served in the U.S. Air Force before making his way to Michigan, where, in the late 1960s, he met his life partner and later husband Lawrence Gammons. In 1981, they opened Douglas Dunes Resort and in 2012 helped to found West Shore AWARE. The two were featured in the 2015 WGVU documentary Michigan Hometown Stories: Saugatuck/Douglas.
Holland Sentinel, February 6, 2019
May 21, 1948 – September 12, 2013
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Adrian Vincent practiced law in East Lansing and Chicago. As a longtime resident of Douglas, He was involved with the Saugatuck/Douglas Historical Society and enjoyed skiing, sailing, and cycling. Vincent was survived by his partner Thomas Staniszewski.
Lansing State Journal, September 18, 2013
September 26, 1941 – December 10, 2010
Allegan resident Dianna “Jo” Bortz and her husband Jay were active in the Holland/Lakeshore chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. She was a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Saugatuck. Prior to retirement, Bortz worked in senior care and protective services.
Kalamazoo Gazette, December 16, 2010
October 13, 1917 – December 6, 1985
Chicago puppeteer Franklin Burr Tillstrom, creator of Kukla and Ollie on the television kid’s show Kukla, Fran, and Ollie, owned a summer home in Saugatuck.
New York Times, December 8, 1985
Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame