Lois Carmen D'Nominator
1954 - 2010
Mike Blizzard, 54, suffered a heart attack and passed away at his Munster, IN, home July 16, 2010. Blizzard was known to many in Chicago as Lois Carmen D’Nominator and was the International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs Honky Tonk Queen of 1995. He was one of the original She Devils who performed at early Northalsted Market Days events. The She Devils were the 1992 Gay Chicago Magazine Entertainers of the Year.
In 1997, Blizzard told Gay Chicago, “The concept was born in Vancouver. It was at a square dance convention. …So we were all sitting around in a hotel room, and I put on a black crinoline, and I said, ‘Oh, it makes you feel so Spanish,’ as it was like a mantilla, and I started singing ‘Carmen.’ Then someone said, ‘A fabulous drag name would be Carmen D’Nominator.’ And to be a She Devil, it had to begin with L, so I became Lois Carmen D’Nominator. Dana (Blizzard’s roommate, aka Lucy Ann Purchase) didn’t want me to be a She Devil – at all. He didn’t want two of us doing the same thing together in the same house, and he didn’t want me to steal any of his glory, because he knew that I would be a better She Devil than him…and I guess history has proven that. …She’ll never forgive me for saying that.”
Friends said he had been in poor health for several years due to complications from diabetes, but he had been well enough to appear at an IAGSDC gathering in Chicago [Chi-Town Shakedown] several weeks ago.
[Printed in the July 22, 2010 Gay Chicago Magazine.]
With the Good comes the Bad
As many of you may know by now, Mike Blizzard, 54, suffered a heart attack as a result of failing health and passed away at his Munster, Ind., home July 16. Mike was a long standing member of the Chi-Town Squares and a highly recognizable face in the Chicagoland area. For years, his unique brand of humor, honesty and biting wit spread smiles to the many people he had touched in his life. At the wishes of his relatives, a memorial service was held in Chicago on July 31 for family, work associates, fellow Chi- Town members and the Chicago Community at large. Mike’s good friend Dana Mee along with the family and close friends who had been helping Mike for the past few months put together a remarkable event at Ebenezer Lutheran Church auditorium to honor our dear friend, now gone. Mike’s sister Lisa and his Uncle Gary attended along with Mike’s Winston and Strawn associates where Mike was a legal secretary for 13 years.
In a related turn of events, it was discovered that prominent She-Devil and former HTQ Lois Carmen D’Nominator – not being one to share the spotlight – passed away several hours later in the same town where Mr. Blizzard had taken up residence. Still under investigation, Munster police are baffled by the colorful and disorderly state of the room Ms. D’Nominator sublet from Mr. Blizzard. An odd assortment of lipsticks, powders and paints were found along side several half empty bottles of glitter fixative and flesh-colored liquid latex adhesive. Strong Final Net fumes where also detected. Mounds of cheap jewelry, garish sunglasses, Lane Bryant close-out garments, empty candy dishes and multi-colored crinolines were strewn about the room. A flag pole was found in the absolute center of the room – apparently nothing had been rotated around it. After interviewing friends in the square dance community, Munster officials learned that Ms. D’Nominator and Mr. Blizzard were well acquainted with each other.
The She-Devils and other colorful characters from the IAGSDC family are planning an additional celebration gathering to remember both of these larger than life individuals. Friends from around the US and Canada who were unable to attend the family memorial are invited to share personal stories of Mike and Lois on Saturday, September 4th, at Ebenezer Lutheran Church auditorium starting around 4:30 PM. Wear something pretty. If you aren’t able to travel that weekend, messages to be read during the celebration may be sent to email@example.com
Mike had been in frail health for the last couple of years due to his diabetes. He faced an amputation of his lower right leg that never happened, had surgery on his thyroid, had his gall bladder removed and had a couple of surgeries on the leg they would have amputated. So I’m sad at the passing of a friend – someone who I’ve always admired. He was witty, fiendishly sarcastic, ready always with a joke or funny story and was always making people laugh. And he was generous and gave of his time and skill and helped whenever one of his friends needed anything. Mike was sui generis and he will be missed by many, many people.