October 2, 1950 – October 15, 2017
A native of Traverse City and graduate of the Traverse City Schools, Bonnie Jean Purvis attended Central Michigan University and worked for more than three decades as a lab technician at Traverse City Osteopathic Hospital, later Munson Medical Center, retiring in 2013. An avid golfer, biker, and kayaker, Purvis was survived by Tammy Krentz, her spouse and loving partner of 36 years.
Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home
April 17, 1934 – January 31, 2010
A native of Parkersburg, West Virginia, Suzanne “Suzie” Dowden majored in physical education at Miami University of Ohio and earned her Master’s from the University of Michigan in 1966. She taught at Eastern Michigan University and had a varied career of teaching, counseling, and coaching in Detroit, Ferndale, and Kalkaska. Dowden lived in Traverse City with her partner of 42 years Connie Riopelle.
Traverse City Record-Eagle, February 4, 2010
December 19, 1983 – April 28, 2016
Kalamazoo resident Esmeralda Bermudez graduated from Traverse City High School in 2005, earned her associates degree from Northern Michigan College, and worked as a dental technician. She was survived by two daughters and her wife Jade Austin Morgan.
Dignity Memorial obituary
November 26, 1924 – October 4, 1996
Born in Traverse City, Alma Routsong served in the WAVES during World War II and graduated from Michigan State University. After moving to New York City, she authored the pioneering novel Patience and Sarah under the pen name Isabel Miller.
Gay Community News, Winter 1996
Lesbian Herstory Archives oral history of Alma Routsong
August 17, 1937 – September 2, 2014
From 1974 to 1979, Donna Chartier, her then partner Diane Bono, and their friend June Reynolds operated the Casbah, the first lesbian-owned lesbian bar in Metro Detroit.
Traverse City Record-Eagle, September 7, 2014
June 4, 1948 – October 6, 1993
Attorney and Traverse City native Elaine Milliken devoted her life to human rights, women’s issues, and the environment. She was the daughter of former Michigan governor William Milliken.
Cruise, October 1, 1993