Southgate Historical Foundation

Umbrella of Events

Southgate Historical Museum: Staffed by volunteers from the community, the museum is the former home of the Grahl family. It was moved to its current location on Dix and Windemere in September of 1993. The Museum is open on the first week-end of every month or by appointment.

Archive Room: In 2013, the Foundation established an Archive Room at the Southgate Veterans Memorial Library for the purpose of preserving historical documents and providing a venue for those interested in researching the history of Southgate and Ecorse Township.

F.I.S.H. Support Group: This year, the Foundation created a member support group known as F.I.S.H. - Friends Into Southgate History. This group is intended to promote awareness of the Foundation, increase generational involvement and support local family-oriented activities.

Board of Directors

Jim Dallos

James Dallos Sr - Chair
Mr. Dallos is the current elected Treasurer for the City of Southgate. He has held this position since 2010. He was elected to the position of Chairman of the Southgate Historical Foundation since its inception in 2011. He is a former president of the once prominent Southgate Lions Club. He is a former Board of Education Trustee and President in the Southgate Community School District. Before retiring as a Purchasing Manager from AT&T in 2000, he held positions in Sales Supervision and Marketing, and in Product Management and Development. He was a long time member of the company’s public Speakers Bureau. Upon retirement from AT&T, Mr. Dallos was selected as the initial Executive Director of the newly formed Eastern Market Advancement Coalition, or EMAC. This non-profit organization was formed with funding from the City of Detroit to bring about a greater public awareness of one of the largest premier public Wholesale and Produce markets in the nation, with a major objective of privatizing its operations. Mr. Dallos later assisted in the merging of EMAC with the Eastern Market Corporation, the private corporation now responsible for the overall management and operation of Eastern Market. Mr. Dallos received his Batchelor of Science degree in Social Sciences from Eastern Michigan University, and a Master of Arts in Business Management and Supervision from Central Michigan University.

Jerry Pesci

Jerry Pesci - Vice Chair
The Pesci family moved to Southgate (then Ecorse Township) in 1954. Jerry is a graduate of Southgate Community High School and E.M.U. He was chairman of the Southgate Historical Commission and vice president of the Southgate Historical Society. For the last decade he has volunteered at the Southgate Christmas Celebration. He is the current curator of the Southgate Historical Museum and is the official city Historian.

Sandy Dillaha

Sandy Dillaha - Recording Secretary
I have lived in Southgate since 1977. I grew up in Detroit and graduated from Mackenzie High School. My husband Phil and I have 3 children: Jill, Scott, and Ryan. We have 4 grandchildren: Abby, Olivia, Aidan, and Brazy and 2 in-law children: Randy and Kelly. Our children graduated from Gabriel Richard High School where I served as PTG Secretary and was involved in many fund-raising activities. I was a legal assistant for 50 years and retired from the law firm of Howard & Howard, PLLC in Royale Oak. I have served on the Civil Service Commission, Cable Commission, City Beautiful Commission, Compensation Commission, and Ethics Commission. I organized the parade for Heritage Days for several years as well as being on the Heritage Days committee. I am a member of the Order of Eastern Star and served as Worthy Matron for my local chapter and as a Grand Representative to British Columbia and the Yukon for the State of Michigan.

Kim Kuspas

Kim Kuspas - Correspondance Secretary
Kim has been Southgate resident since 1961. She grew up in Southgate and graduated from Schafer High School in 1980. As an avid community volunteer, Kim has served on numerous City Commissions and Boards. She was appointed to the Southgate Historical Foundation in 2015 and currently serves as Correspondence Secretary. Kim is married to Mayor Joseph Kuspa and has the distinction of being the longest serving “First Lady” in Southgate’s history.

Dale Zamecki

Dale Zamecki - Treasurer
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Tom Lewis

Tom Lewis - Building Historian
I have lived in Southgate from 1958-1971 and from 1977 to the present and am a proud graduate of Southgate High, class of 1964. I was appointed to the Southgate Historical Commission in 2008 and became an original member of the Historical Foundation in 2011. My 40 years in retail have given me much interest in the history of Southgate's businesses, how they flourish and, sadly, sometimes, how they fail. I also run the Official Southgate Historical Foundation Facebook Page.

Jennifer Ferencz

Jennifer Ferencz - Director
Ms. Ferencz has been a member of the Historical Foundation since it's creation in 2012. Pior to serving on the board of directors, she was a long standing member of the Wyandotte Historical Society. Ms. Ferencz has been a resident of Downriver for over 40 years; spending the last 15 years in Southgate. She is a teacher in the Lincoln Park school district and has worked there for over 18 years. On top of work and various projects with the Foundation, she spends time caring for her young son, Wayne.

Maria Graziani

Maria Graziani - Director
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Barb Keresztury - Director
Barb Keresztury has been a member of the Historical Society since 2019 and has worked at the Southgate Veterans Memorial Library since 2013. She is an avid fan of the history of the city, specifically the library since its time as the Township of Ecorse's Northline branch.

Tom Lee

Tom Lee - Director
I grew up in Ecorse and have lived in Southgate since 1972. My wif Dianne and I have two children, Michele and Aaron; both are graduates of the Southgate school system. I am now retired from BASF after 37 years as a Research Technician Specialist and spend my time doing woodworking, golfing, and genealogy. I've been a member of the Southgate Historical Foundation for the last six years my biggest contribution is using my woodworking skills to refurbish some of the items in the museum.

Marianne McCann-Grahama

Marianne McCann-Graham - Director
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Cheryl Pesci

Cheryl Pesci - Director
Cheryl has been a Southgate Resident since 1971. She is a graduate of Roosevelt High School-Wyandotte and Grace Hospital School of Nursing-Detroit. She has served on the Southgate Historical Commission and was a member of the Southgate Historical Society. She is current vice chair of the Southgate Commission on aging.

Darlene Pomponio

Darlene Pomponio - Director
My name is Dr. Darlene Pomponio. I grew up in Southgate and continue to reside here with my children and grandchildren. I hold several degrees and positions on a few boards throughout Michigan but the one thing that would describe me is that I am dedicated. I love to give back to the community and schools.

Bob Tarabula

Bob Tarabula - Director
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Terry Towell

Terry Towell - Web Coordinator
Terry Towell is the Southgate Historical Foundation's dedicated web coordinator. Terry is also a student at Southgate High School and will be graduating in July of 2020. Terry also enjoys running Cross Country and Track for the high school.