History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Wisconsin - People - Bios

Ross Draegert


Primary Involvements:

Community Activist





Ross Draegert and Dr. Robert Starshak are two names that Milwaukee will likely never forget. Their community involvement spans decades, and includes both extensive community service roles, and significant financial support for gay and lesbian organizations and causes as well as political candidates supporting our causes.

Initially, Ross took the more active role in community involvement, while Robert concentrated more on his work as a physician. Ross was extremely active with the Cream City Foundation, serving in multiple roles over decades. He began on the Board of Directors, and was the liaison of CCF to the ACHOICE workplace-fundraising coalition when United Way did not recognize the needs of smaller community-based organizations.

But together Ross and Robert have always been extremely generous in making financial contributions to worthy GLBT causes- including $100,000 to defeat the amendment to ban gay marriage, the 2003 rescue of PrideFest after its financial crisis that year, and large annual contributions to the Cream City Foundation and other groups and causes.

Ross lives with his long-time partner, Robert Starshak (M.D.), in their handsome house, "Birch Lodge", in River Hills.


Robert and partner Ross appear in this Dec. 1990 photo
of the Board of Directors of the Cream City Foundation

Ross is recognized with 1997 Community Service Award
at PrideFest, 1997

Ross (on right)
with partner Robert in PrideFest Parade, 1997

Ross (on left) with partner Robert at
Fair Wisconsin event, 2006

Ross with Lena Taylor at
Fair Wisconsin event, 2006

Credits: web site concept, contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: March-2007.

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