May 4, 1932 – October 19, 2012
In 1953 and 1954 Barbara Jean “Barb” Sowers played outfrield with Muskegon Belles and the Grand Rapids Chicks in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Born in Detroit, she grew up in Livonia and retired as a high school counselor with the Livonia schools, where she headed the teachers’ union in the mid-1970s. Sowers was preceded in death by Shirley Weaver, her companion of 45 years.
Roberson Funeral Home and Crematory
April 9, 1959 – October 10, 2018
Known as “Auntie” to tribal youth in Michigan, Cindy Pigeon of Wayland led workshops on native culture and was active with the Grand Rapids Inter-Tribal Council and the Indian Workers Conference of the United Methodist Church. She was an avid sports enthusiast, kept score for Hopkins Public Schools, and pitched softball with the Salem Indian Mission team. She was survived by her wife Faith Pigeon.
Grand Rapids Press, October 14, 2018
June 18, 1929 – April 28, 2016
Gobles High School graduate Ruth Evonne Ketchum attended Western Michigan University and worked for many years at Upjohn pharmaceuticals. She played on the Brodys competitive fast-pitch softball team as catcher. Ketchum also took part in Kalamazoo’s annual Pride parade, attended Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, and belonged to Phoenix Community Church.
Kalamazoo Gazette, May 1, 2016
May 13. 1983 – July 31, 2009
A native of Engadine in Mackinac County, Jonel Kathryn Hoogterp was valedictorian of her high school class and part of the All-UP Girls Basketball Team in 2001. She earned her Bachelor’s at Aquinas College and later moved to Durham, North Carolina. Hoogterp and her partner Julie Hatch were killed in an automobile crash.
Beaulieu Funeral Home
June 19, 1933 – August 3, 2017
Silver Lee Garske, a Kalamazoo native and resident of the village of Mattawan, played fast pitch softball. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in education from Western Michigan University and went on to teach gym for 33 years, retiring from the Harper Creek Community Schools in 1987. Garske was preceded in death by her life companion of 65 years Betty Clark.
Kalamazoo Gazette, August 6, 2017
January 27, 1948 – May 16, 2015
Kathleen Canteen was born in Jackson and earned for B.A. in political science from Eastern Michigan University. As a resident of Royal Oak and Lansing, she played fast-pitch softball. Canteen worked as a supervisor with the Center For Forensics Psychiatry for the State of Michigan before moving to Los Angeles, where she was employed in the motion picture industry.
Lesbian Connection, November/December 2015
August 5, 1940 – May 2, 2017
Artist, athlete, and San Diego native Dale Muir earned degrees from Graceland University and the University of Michigan. She settled in Ann Arbor, working in recreation and early education. In 2006, she retired to Oregon with her partner Vicki Gardner.
Ann Arbor News, May 7, 2017