Michael J. Deets
September 12, 1965 - March 2, 2011
Square dancing was a major interest in Michael’s life. He began square dancing as a high school freshman in Columbia, Md, where he grew up, and where he also danced with a family square dance club. In Baltimore, Mike was involved as Chesapeake Squares was forming in the latter 1980‘s. Along with help from the DC Lamda Squares Club, in the spring of 1988, Mike angeled in a large Mainstream Class that brought many new dancers into Chesapeake Squares. This was at a time of strong interest in Country Western dance. In 1994, Mike was elected Vice President of Chesapeake Squares. He then began managing the Pass the Ocean, Hon! fly-in that is held at Rehoboth Beach, DE, annually in early May, a task he performed for 12 years.
In 1996, Mike became club Secretary, serving until 2000. That year at the IAGSDC annual convention, Crack the Crab, which Chesapeake Squares was hosting in Baltimore, Mike was elected national Secretary, a post he held for 3 years. In 2004, he was elected to the Chesapeake Squares Board as a Member-at-Large, serving 3 terms until 2010, when he was elected club President.
Square Dance Evangelist
In the mid to late 1990’s, Mike made a special personal effort to help the York, PA, square dance club, Susquehanna Squares, organize and sustain operations. Dancers were drawn both from York and Harrisburg, with the dance venue shifting between both cities. The complicated schedule coordination required was troublesome. Despite hard work, and sometime angels from Baltimore assisting, to Mike’s dismay, the York effort eventually did not succeed.
Photos were taken at the Baltimore Pride Parade on June 19, 2010.
Rich "Fluffy" Widener
May 4, 1951 - March 4, 2016
Memories of Louie Blank, Chesapeake Squares member
as presented at Fluffy's memorial quilt pinning at the
2016 IAGSDC Convention, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Time has a way of changing your perspective on things.
Fluffy was a very dear friend and I owe a lot to him. He talked me into:
Going on to C-1 and C-2; and
Multiple theater subscriptions
He was a very unique person in my life because he always knew what to say. We would talk, and talk, and talk. And he would have these pearls of wisdom that would give me these ah-ha moments … constantly.
If I wanted to share something good or bad, needed advice, or anything in between, I could always talk to Fluffy. In fact, when we first started going to C-1 in 1994, Fluffy would always drive because he loooooooooooooved to drive.
I can remember more than a few times when we would drive all the way to Calverton and we’d have such an intense conversation that we would stop at the Giant to finish talking and we’d talk so long that we’d miss the dance. It didn’t happen often, but it happened.
Since 1990, I always felt like he:
Cared very deeply,
Listened to me with his heart; and
If I ever needed something, he’d do what he could
Friends like that are few and far between. If you ever have them, tell them and show them that you love them as often as you can because friendship and love like this is precious. And my love for Rich is something that I’ll cherish and carry with me for the rest of my life. Heaven has another square dance angel.
February 23, 1943 - January 8, 2023
Fran Hunt was known and loved by thousands of square dancers both in the straight and gay communities. She danced for almost 50 years and she’d go anywhere to dance. In airports, trains, and while on buses she would wear square dance shirts and people would constantly ask about dancing.
She encouraged anyone and everyone she met to dance. She danced from mainstream to C3A and angeled at least 30 classes. She cherished each and every friendship she made with dancers all around the world. Her absolute favorite dance was the annual IAGSDC convention. She especially loved the Honky Tonk Queen contest and would look forward to it every year.
Fran was a woman who said “yes”. Yes I’ll go to the dance, yes I’d love to carpool, yes I’ll try something new, yes I’ll go pick blueberries or go to the theater, or come over to play games, and yes of course I’ll dance the next one with you. No matter who you are.
Despite living in northern VT, she was a member of Times Squares about 30 years, and attended about 30 IAGSDC conventions, and while not a member of Chesapeake Squares, she attended nearly every PTOH! She will be sorely missed by her friends, her family, and her large family of dancers.