October 2, 1910 – August 26, 1972
Henry Bernard Bertschinger was born in Detroit and later resided in Roseville and Mount Clemens. Prior to World War II, he worked as a baker and in the late 1950s he held a factory job at Bundy Tubing in Warren. In 1947, Bertschinger was arrested for accosting an undercover Detroit police officer.
No known obituary
September 23, 1948 – August 7, 2012
Kalamazoo nutritionist Diana Zhenhua Artz-Iffland earned her B.S. from Western Michigan University and her M.S. from Michigan State University. She was a longtime member of the People’s Church and, with her life partner River Artz-Iffland, was active in the pioneering local lesbian organization Lavender Morning. For 18 years the couple operated Pandora’s Books for Open Minds.
October 21, 1949 – May 28, 2007
Born in Detroit, Kathye Jo Langstaff of Dexter attended Belleville High School and went on to work with developmentally disabled adults. An avid sports fan, Langstaff played third-base on several Ann Arbor area lesbian softball teams and later served as base coach.
Lesbian Connection September/October 2007
January 22, 1940 – December 18, 2001
Jack Birkinsha of Byron Center was a Kansas native, earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and retired from the Great American Life Insurance Company. As an attorney in Detroit in the late 1970s, Birkinsha served as a trustee for the monthly paper Metro Gay News and, as a member of the Committee for Gay Rights, helped push for the city’s Omnibus Human Rights Ordinance.
St. Joseph News-Press, December 25, 2001
February 22. 1938 – August 26, 1981
Douglas Lauren Niles graduated with the Flint Central High School class of 1956 and operated hair salons in downtown Flint for more than 20 years. He was long active in local community theater and civic ballet. Niles was found shot to death in his car.
Flint Journal, August 27, 1981
August 1, 1952 – August 3, 2019
Originally from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Diane Boulais resided in Ludington with her wife Ann Schrader, who she met in 2001 while attending People’s Church. Her worked variously as a surgical technician, an organic farmer, and a dune buggy tour guide. Boulais also volunteered with West Michigan Community Mental Health, speaking against stigma and lobbying the Michigan legislature and the U.S. Congress.
Beacon Cremation & Funeral Service
June 9, 1962 – June 29, 2016
Redford pharmacist Darnell Demorris Jones was as an advocate and activist for transgender people in transition. He served as vice president of the Gender Identity Network Alliance and co-founded the group Transcend the Binary. For his outreach work, Jones received the Outstanding Ally Award from Affirmations in 2014.
Oakland County Times, June 30, 2016