Mitzi Joy Lichtman was born on July 23, 1949, in New York and grew up in the Bronx. She came to Maine in the 1970’s and stayed, to our great benefit, settling in the Belfast area. Mitzi passed away at the age of 67 on January 17, 2017, amid a loving circle of friends, following a diagnosis of lung cancer and metastatic bone disease.

For 30 years until her retirement in 2014, Mitzi was a Human Services Caseworker for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, specializing in case management of Public Wards and Protected Persons. She put in endless hours for her clients and received a Dedicated Service Award.

Her previous jobs included driving a New York taxicab; cutting, splitting, and stacking wood with her friends; and direct service work with autistic children.

Mitzi’s life was full of adventure. She spent time on a kibbutz in Israel, attended City College in New York by bicycle, and loved to wear her clown costume to juggle and entertain.

Mitzi was an incredible force working tirelessly towards human rights for all, especially for the gay, lesbian, and transgender community. She started Common Circle for Human Rights in Waldo County and worked on all of the Maine Won’t Discriminate campaigns.

She helped start Camp Chrysalis, a camp for children and families affected by HIV/AIDS, in 1990 and continued to support and entertain families with face painting and clowning for 17 years.

Mitzi received the Maine Lesbian/Gay Political Alliance Community Service Award for outstanding work in her community.

Her prior board work included the Maine AIDS Alliance.

At the time of her passing, she was a member of the Board of Directors of SAGE Maine, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for older LGBT adults living in Maine through advocacy, education, and social support.

Mitzi’s activist papers have been archived at the University of Southern Maine as part of their Gay and Lesbian Collection.

Mitzi was one of the most loving, playful, and fun human beings any of us have ever known. Her presence brightened all of our lives and brought together a community of caring to help during her illness.

She loved playing and watching sports. She also loved kayaking, camping, clowning, hiking, dancing, Motown, animals, political activism, organic gardening, and dark chocolate.

Mitzi’s friends and relatives marched in her memory at the Women’s March on January 21, 2017 in many cities nationwide. She showed us that there is nothing wrong with hoping for something that seems unlikely and nearly impossible.

In addition to her many dear and devoted friends, Mitzi is survived by her much-loved sister Janice Plung; nephew Benjamin Plung; his wife Brittany; their two children Donovan and Bennett; her niece Darshana Avila; her cousins, including Natan Vaisman, Riva Danzig, Mindy Lichtman, Steve Sunshine, Charlie Lichtman, Burt Schall, Judy Fisher, Marc Slutzky, and Marian Rothenberg; as well as other relatives around the world. She was predeceased by her sister Kay Lichtman and her parents Benjamin and Charlotte.

There will be a celebration of Mitzi’s life in the spring. Arrangements are under the care of Riposta Funeral Home, Belfast. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.ripostafh.com. Donations in Mitzi’s memory can be sent to: SAGE Maine, PO Box 466, Hancock, ME 04640 or www.sagemaine.org.