November 30, 1955 – January 19, 2005
William Arthur Popps was born in the small Upper Peninsula town of Ewen, graduated with the class of 1973 from Marquette Senior High School, and earned a degree in theater from Northern Michigan University. Popps was co-owner with Brian Thorsen of Club Xpress in Escanaba, the only gay bar in the UP, from 1992 to 2002.
Canale-Gwinn Funeral Home and Cremation Services
October 8, 1922 – December 17, 2011
Gwendolyn Mae Bagley was born in the Upper Peninsula town of Wilson and graduated from Powers-Spalding High School. She earned her B.S. in physical education at Northern Michigan Teachers College, later NMU, and taught in Marquette for two years before moving to Midland to teach. Bagley retired in 1986. She was survvived by Carolyn Fretz, her life partner of more than 50 years.
Midland Daily News, December 20, 2011
July 7, 1940 – October 20, 2008
Nona Diane McKenna of Dexter was born in the Upper Peninsula town of Hermansville, graduated from Roosevelt High School in Ypsilanti, earned her B.A. in physical education from Eastern Michigan University, and served in the U.S. Marines from 1961 to 1966. In 1991, she and Sally Johnson became the first same-sex couple to register as domestic partners. They married in California in 2008.
Ann Arbor News, October 23, 2008
February 6, 1948 – October 5, 1986
Eugene Carlpeter Forrest was born in Sault Ste. Marie, graduated from Sault Ste. Marie High School in 1966, and went on to graduate from Western Michigan University. Forrest moved to San Francisco in his mid-20s where he was later president of the Barbary Coasters motorcycle club. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 38.
Bay Area Reporter, October 30, 1986
February 2, 1957 – October 27, 2017
Karen Lynn Biehl graduated from Iron Mountain High School in 1975 and earned degrees in graphic design from Ferris State University and Northern Michigan University. She was a champion body builder and her titles included Miss U.P. 1985. She later worked for the Bureau of Printing, the Government Printing Office, and the Department of Homeland Security. Biehl was survived by her wife Lori Harvot.
Iron Mountain Daily News, November 3, 2017
June 21, 1971 – June 3, 2016
Ishpeming native Lee Allen LaForge grew up in Republic, was a 1989 graduate of Republic-Michigamme High School, and went on to earn his Master of Science from Northern Michigan University. He was active in the Marquette arts scene, directing and performing in local theater. At the time of his death, LaForge worked as an adjunct professor at NMU, as a tutor, and as manager of Book World.
Bjork & Zhulkie Funeral Home
April 5, 1957 – September 28, 2004
Francine Louise Malindzak was a star athlete at Gaylord High School and Northern Michigan University in hockey and skiing. She was later employed with plant operations at the NMU library and in the 1990s was co-publisher of the Aurora newsletter, which connected lesbian and gay residents across the Upper Peninsula. Malindzak was murdered at age 47 by a jealous male neighbor of the woman she was dating.
Gaylord Herald Times, October 2, 2004
Francine Malindzak at Le Chrysalis Remembers
September 21, 1925 – July 20, 2018
Longtime Ironwood resident Carl Mathew Kinnunen grew up in Wisconsin and attended college at the University of Wisconsin. During World War II, Kinnunen served in the U.S. Navy as a Yeoman First Class in the Pacific. He later worked as an accountant in the construction industry and in retirement was active in his church choir and with charitable causes in Gogebic and Iron counties.
McDevitt-Patrick Funeral Home & Crematory
April 17, 1933 – January 17, 2008
Gordon Toivo “Gordie” Moilanen graduated from Hancock High School in 1951 and went on to work for Detroit and Northern Savings and Loan. He later served as dean of financial aid at Soumi College, retiring in 1995. In the late 1950s, Moilanen subscribed to the pioneering homophile publication ONE magazine.
Daily Mining Gazette, January 19, 2008
Memorial Chapel Funeral Home
June 2, 1964 – July 2, 2018
Joseph Patrick Periard of Kalamazoo, formerly of Southfield, was born in Bay City and graduated from Bay City Western High School. He earned his Bachelor’s in computer science from Michigan Technological University and was later employed with Ford Credit in Detroit. In March 2017, Periard was united in marriage with Joseph Biron II, who survives him.
Kalamazoo Gazette, July 3, 2018