Social Services and the Marquette Women's Center

Dedicated to capturing the stories and spirit of the region, one way the Center for Upper Peninsula Studies achieves this goal is recording the oral histories of the area's residents. Each interview is done in person, recorded and then transcribed for ease of use. On this page, find interviews discussing the Marquette Women's Center. 




Diane Betts

No Date Given 

Diane Betts discusses her personal experience with domestic violence; how she know about Women’s Center; Call from pastor; personal protection order; Michigan law; move to Marquette; Women’s Center Harbor House; the support she got; her parent’s visit; sharing her detailed experience with attorney; court date; meeting her husband at the court; advocacy supported services; team effort; Harbor House programs; being a positive model to other survivors; going to school at 43; how other people’s belief in her positively affected to her; the Sunshine Lady Foundation scholarship; judge’s approval of moving to Ohio; NMU women’s program’s reputation; history and impact of Marquette Women’s Center; important value of sustaining Women’s Center.

Priscilla Burnham

No Date Given 

Priscilla Burnham discusses her background; her law school experience; transcribing their own experience of being women at law school; her involvement with Women’s Center; the cycle of domestic violence; modeling jobs programs for women; how the board worked; different background of the Founding Mothers; community’s support; displaced homemaker program; the impact of the Women’s Center; volunteer lawyers; needs for the education about women’s issues;

James Collins

September 10, 2009

James Collins discusses the Rotary Club, their role in Marquette and abroad, and some of his experiences volunteering with them.

Jacqueline Dalt

No Date Given 

Jacqueline Dalt gives an overview of her experience as a client of the Marquette Women’s Center.  She came in contact with the Center as she began attended NMU in order to complete a degree program in Social Services.  She explains the importance of education, workshops, assertiveness training, and active listening.  She briefly discusses her twenty-eight career with the Department of Social Services, her involvement on the Pathways Board, and the infancy of the Spouse Abuse program.

Rosa Dittims

No Date Given 

Rosa Dittims discusses about her personal background; taking CPA class at Northern; what drew her to the Women’s Center; personal connection from her work to the mission and what the Women's Center are doing; the role she’s currently playing in there; financial challenges; their endeavors to deal with cut grants by grant writing; the philosophy of the board; their current priority; difficulties to make younger people interested in women's issues; their network principles to connect staffs with board.

Pryse Duerfeldt

January 27, 2010

Pryse Duerfeldt discusses his experiences with Rotary Club both in the Upper Peninsula and on the West coast.

June Easton

No Date Given 

June Easton discusses her background as a limited licensed psychologist; the consciousness raising groups; paraprofessional program; assertiveness training; her actual involvement as a counselor; how people notice and participate in those programs; to create the sense of community with the paraprofessionals through ongoing training; where does her source of teaching others come from; promoting and marketing programs such as radio interview, local paper articles; strength weld activity; the positive impacts of workshops and counseling to women; resistance and support from others; displaced homemaker program; the changes that have taken place in women’s lives; an ongoing issue related to women.

Norma Greenwood

May 6, 2014


Norma Greenwood discusses her personal background; death of her husband in young age; Women's Center's programs to help building her self-esteem; assertiveness training and other workshops; remarriage; graduation from Northern; instructor's suggestion to take off her women's center career from her resume; 25-year-working experience in CPA firm; her family member's lifestyle and features; daughter's effect to make her husband a voluntary feminist; story of first women working in mines; North Country, a film whose main theme is women’s movement; financial challenges of Women's Center; her hope for the Women's Center's future.

Holly Greer

January 14, 1981

Holly Greer discusses her role in founding the Women's Center. Also discussed are her teaching career and her time as mayor of Marquette.

Holly Greer

No Date Given 

Marquette Women’s Center Founding Mother Holly Greer describes the formation of the Women’s center as well as her experience as an early Director.  She discusses the importance and role of the Center’s training programs and education.  She describes the changes undergone following the Women’s Center leaving the campus of Northern Michigan University.

Gail Griffith

No Date Given 

Gail Griffith discusses her life, career, and involvement in the Marquette Women’s Center. Gail moved to Marquette after earning a PhD in Chemistry from Michigan State University in the early 1960’s. She worked as an adjunct professor at NMU for a number of years before becoming a tenured professor and ultimately retiring in 1989. As an advocate for women’s equality, Gail was a founding mother of the Women’s Center of Marquette and remained on its board through its departure from university affiliation.  Among her roles at the Women’s Center, Gail served as the first interim director.

Carol Huntoon March 21, 1989 Former Recreation Director for the Marquette Job Corps, Carol Huntoon gives detail of the program that took place on NMU's campus for 3 years in the 1960s. She talks about the programs offered, the goals of the program, and gives her opinion on the successes that it had. 

Jean Louise Jakkola

November 18, 1987

Jean Louise Jakkola discusses her life at Holy Family Home Orphanage in Marquette, MI. She recollects her day-to-day experiences, the nuns, making friends, and how it has affected her life since.

Sue Kensington

No Date Given 

Women's Center Director during 90s, talks about development of Center, programs. Discusses career with UPS, return to Marquette, and involvement with Women's Center.

Heidi Kurz  February 2, 1989 A social work student at NMU, Heidi Kurz discusses her role at the Harbor House and Parent Aid as well as her general views on social work and services in Marquette. 
Raymond Henry Lakenen November 23, 1987 Raymond discusses the time in his childhood where he grew up at the Holy Family Orphanage and gave insight into his experiences while living there. 

Mary Pat Linck

No Date Given 

Mary Pat Linck discusses about her personal background; being a single mother; moving the Marquette; the Detroit Women’s coalition; first meeting with women from the Women’s Center; the consciousness raising group; sharing their story at high school; goal setting workshops; outreach and education to other communities; Marquette Food Co-op; young women’s roles; food issues; women’s movement.

Phyllis Loonsfoot

No Date Given 

Phyllis Loonsfoot discusses history of the Women's Center of Marquette and her role as director; Women's Center funding; social and legal issues attached to domestic violence; feminism and its connotations; recruiting young women for the cause.

Sally May

No Date Given 

Sally May discussed the process of establishing Women's Center in Marquette; how she decided to participate in all the processes; consciousness raising groups as a origin; the start of Women's Center as a volunteer organization at NMU campus; their various endeavors to raise funds; their own programs and some model program examples run by other Women's Centers; endeavors to transform Women's Center to a community-based organization; financial supports gotten by holding weekly bingo games; The spouse abuse shelter; their other movements to increase awareness about women's issues; current gender issues that women still suffer from; ‘How to Say No’ program for young people; some challenges and difficulties caused by change of funding structure; Equal Rights Amendment; Actual results that Women’s Center has achieved.

Sally May

July 6, 2010

Sally May discusses the life of Dorothy Lewis. Topics include Dorothy's early life and service in World War Two, her time spent living in Japan, her family, her work in Marquette on the Commission on Aging and with the Women's Center, her donation to the DeVos Art Museum, and her later life.

Carolyn McDonald

March 10, 2014

Carolyn McDonald discusses her works to protect women’s right; the origin of Women’s Center; the struggle against wearing mini-skirts as a waitress at Northland Hotel; what led her to consciousness-raising groups; a film project to argue women’s educational rights; a cleaner woman’s story; her involvement in the women’s center; vision for the women’s center; a gender issue she faced at Washington D.C.; supports from her family; passing petitions to allow pregnancy termination; personal talents and trainings for managing women’s center

Patricia Micklow

No Date Given 

Patricia Micklow discussed her childhood memories and background before she came to Marquette; consciousness-raising group; how they involve women outside the Marquette through word of mouth; a march with feminine sign; using political info got by standard-bearer Jenny; how she was interested in education through heroin issue; State board of education experience; her passion to protect feminism through literature and law degree; people's response when she decided to go to law school; death of her first husband; necessity of shelters for women who suffer from domestic violence; the first legal article that was published in United States on domestic violence; how Women's Center have tried to empower women; some men who help women's movements; domestic violence prevention and treatment board; shelters’ services; pilot programs for training judges with Maryland; resistance they faced with; conflicts about bringing strippers at annual bar banquet; difficulties as a women judge who works for women's organization; her endeavors to protect civil side as a judge; sexual assault between people who know each other; progress process of Women's Center with new board; Marquette community's help; her vision to develop center by drawing young dynamic board members.

Martha Parks

No Date Given 

Martha Parks describes becoming involved in the Women’s Center Displaced Homemaker program, her career as a Counselor, director, and social services technical assistant through various local agencies.  Various programs and agencies, training programs and employment programs and their connection to the Women’s Center are discussed.  How the Displaced Homemaker Program left the Intermediate School District and became a Women’s Center program.  Women in Work Department, Department of Social Services, Displaced Homemaker Program, Call to Action Conference, CETA program.  In closing mentions stigma regarding single-parent households.

Kathy Peters

No Date Given 

Kathy Peters describes coming to Marquette in 1963 and her later involvement with the Women’s Center’s Displaced Homemakers Program at Northern Michigan University.  She describes her roles in youth outreach and education, and the importance of Assertiveness Training.

Karlyn Rapport

No Date Given 

Karlyn Rapport discusses her background as a speech language pathologist; job shadowing and developing rehabilitation program; consciousness raising groups; holding conference on Women’s issues; her effort to help survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault; American Association University Women's support; connection with Women's Center; bingo game as a revenue source; the march for women's right; her view about the vision and mission of the Women’s Center; advocating legislation to protect vulnerable minority; constant connection with Northern; broad community support; law enforcement training; Women’s Center’s new building

Fred Rydholm No Date Given Fred Rydholm discusses his mother's involvement in Brook Ridge nursing home adn other early Marquette relationships she had. Fred describes how Brooke Ridge has changed over the years and how some early investments by Peter White kept Brooke Ridge around. For the second half of the tape Fred talks about the Air Force base and seeing and hearing the planes outside of his house. He discusses some of the missions he was involved in and provides some insight to how things were run on the base. He also mentions a tornado that occurred shortly before the interview was conducted. 

Peggy Schwemin

No Date Given 

Peggy Schwemin discusses her background; first contact with Women’s Center; starting volunteer work; works as a board; major shift in philosophy; coffee shop management; the uniqueness of the community; sports and women; media’s negative image of women; her ideas and visions for new generation; fundraising ways; PakRatz program.

Mary Selden March 27, 2010  L'Anse resident and ISD social worker shares her life story and the impact that she and Dorothy Lewis had on school psychology and social work in the area. 
Nick Smaby  November 22, 2009  President of the Rotary Club from 1999-2000, Nick Smaby discusses his duties, the accomplishments and mission of the club, medical programs, exchange programs, 

Mary Soper

No Date Given 

Mary Soper discusses her role in the women's rights movement both in Marquette and abroad, as well as specific issues and her opinions on them.

Rosanne Taylor November 15, 1987 Rosanne Taylor discuses the year she spent at the Marquette Holy Family Home Orphanage. Rosanne describes mostly the daily routine and chores she had to do during her stay as well as what the kids did for fun. She also mentions camp that she attended one week during the summer and some of the responsibilities she had with some of the younger kids.

Gary Walker

No Date Given 

Gary Walker, former Marquette County Prosecutor describes how the Prosecutor’s Office worked alongside with the Marquette Women’s Shelter-Harbor House.  He discusses his career as County Prosecutor, with a focus on how the Prosecutor’s Office assisted victims of domestic violence and modified how the office prosecuted these offenses.

Matt Weise

No Date Given 

Matt Weise discusses his role as the Marquette prosecuting attorney with relations to the Women's Center of Marquette; applying for grants; working with the Women's Center directors; Women's Center victim services; domestic violence and sexual assault legislation; and The Blueprint for Safety.