Gwendolyn Bagley

Gwendolyn Bagley pic

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

Nona McKenna

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

Eugene Forrest

 

Eugene Forrest pic

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

Karen Biehl

Karen Biehl pic

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

Lee LaForge

Lee LaForge pic

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

Francine Malindzak

Francine Malindzak pic

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

Carl Kinnunen

Carl Kinnunen pic

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

Gordon Moilanen

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

Joe Periard

Joe Periard pic

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

Leo Adams

Leo Adams pic

July 9, 1903 – July 18, 1995

Born in Menominee in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Leo Adams moved in his 20s to Chicago, where he managed the Chicago Theatre.  He moved to New York City in 1928 and oversaw the shift from silent to sound for Fox movie houses.  Adams later worked as an executive with Macy’s flagship department store.  He bequeathed his extensive correspondence with other gay men to the New York Public Library.

New York Times, July 23, 1995

Leo Adams: A Gay Life in Letters, 1928-1952 at OutHistory

Leo Adams Papers at the New York Public Library