Bryan Borchardt

Bryan John Borchardt

August 17, 1963 – October 1, 2017

Glen Arbor resident Bryan John Borchardt earned his B.A. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985.  He was employed in banking with JP Morgan Chase in Traverse City.  He also raised and showed champion Shetland sheepdogs and operated Solstice Shelties.  Borchardt and his husband Brandt Waldenmyer were together 27 years.

Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home

Wausau Daily Herald, October 13, 2017

Patricia Cutshaw

Patricia Cutshaw pic

May 28, 1937 – July 13, 2014

Kalamazoo resident Patricia Ann Cutshaw was known as “Sport” at Richland High School, where she played on the basketball team all four years.  She later worked for Gibson Guitar until Multiple Sclerosis forced her into retirement.  Cutshaw was preceded in death by her life partner Nydia Nichols.

Betzler Funeral Homes

Gerry Crane

Gerry Crane pic 2

August 25, 1964 – January 3, 1997

Mount Clemens native Gerald Mark “Gerry” Crane graduated from Mount Clemens High School and attended Grand Rapids Baptist College and Calvin College.  He taught high school music in Byron Center and was loved by his students, but officials hounded him from his job in 1996 when parents learned that he and his partner Randy Block held a commitment ceremony.  Crane died from a heart attack at age 32.

Between The Lines, February 1997

Michigan Radio segment on Private Love, Public School: Gay Teacher Under Fire

Yvonne Cushman

July 24, 1920 – February 12, 2008

Longtime Battle Creek resident Yvonne Phyllis Cushman graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School and was that city’s first female bus driver.  Her other jobs included working as a machinist in an electronics factory, operating a grocery, and caring for residents at Fort Custer State Home and the Muskegon Regional Facility.  A Harley rider in the 1950s, Cushman also owned and showed Great Danes.

Battle Creek Enquirer, February 14, 2008

Bill Ashley

Bill Ashley pic

June 20, 1961 – December 12, 1992

William Harrison Ashley graduated with the class of 1979 from Pontiac Central High School.  In 1983, Ashley was one of three partners who opened Chosen Books in its original location on McNichols in Detroit.  Ashley left the business in 1987 and moved to Ohio, later settling in Washington, DC.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 31.

Cruise, February 3, 1993

Alice Anderson

Alice Anderson pic

September 4, 1993 – June 11, 2019

Grand Rapids resident Alice Joy Anderson was born in Holland.  Anderson’s creativity drew her to mythology, literature, music, architecture, history, and photography, and a passion for LEGO building blocks.  Her studies took her to India and Iceland.  At age 16, Anderson entered Hope College, where she worked as a set carpenter in the Theater Department and earned her B.A. in studio art in 2016.

Holland Sentinel, June 21, 2019

James Brown II

James Brown II pic

August 2, 1960 – February 11, 2019

James Osmond Brown II, known to customers and leather community members as Diamond Jim, grew up in Highland Park and graduated from Detroit’s Cass Tech High School.  Over the years, he held such titles as Mr. R&R, Mr. Leather Detroit, and Mr. Michigan Leather and in 1994 helped form the Michigan International Gay Rodeo Association.  From 2001 to 2010, Brown operated Diamond Jim’s Saloon.

Between The Lines, March 7, 2019