May 6, 1943 – March 20, 2016
Roseville resident Atiba Nosakhere Cohen, formerly of Inkster, supported the Forum Foundation, served on the board of directors of Karibu House, and was active in the formation of SAGE Detroit. Cohen was posthumously awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 6th annual LGBT Older Adult Summit in Detroit in 2016.
No known obituary
June 18, 1929 – April 28, 2016
Gobles High School graduate Ruth Evonne Ketchum attended Western Michigan University and worked for many years at Upjohn pharmaceuticals. She played on the Brodys competitive fast-pitch softball team as catcher. Ketchum also took part in Kalamazoo’s annual Pride parade, attended Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, and belonged to Phoenix Community Church.
Kalamazoo Gazette, May 1, 2016
December 7, 1957 – January 3, 2016
Born in Milan, Colleen Brewer attended Northville High School and worked at Northville Labs, before she moved to Virginia in 1982. She was employed for 33 years as accounts receivable manager for CACI International. Brewer was survived by Kim Memeger, her partner of 17 years and wife of 45 days.
Detroit News, January 14, 2016
August 10, 1939 – January 9, 2016
Northville resident Carolee Moss earned a Bachelor’s in speech pathology, taught elementary school, and raised her family in New Jersey, Maine, and New York before landing in Ann Arbor. She earned a Master’s at Wayne State University and retired from Detroit Medical Center. Moss was an early member of Suburban Women Together and was active with the Senior Koffee Klatch at Affirmations.
Carolee Moss Memorial Video
May 22, 1936 – June 14, 2016
Born in Redding, Maine, Sherry Redding earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan and a Master’s from Michigan State University. A longtime counselor, for many years she taught women’s studies at William James College at Grand Valley State University. She was also a founding member in 1978 of the local lesbian organization Aradia. Redding and her spouse Karen Clahassey shared 36 years together.
Grand Rapids Press, June 16, 2016
January 30, 1939 – September 1, 2016
Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Deborah Ann Mortimer graduated from Grosse Pointe South High School, attended Albion College, and earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Oakland University. An avid golfer and artist, she taught elementary school from 1974 to 2004. Mortimer and her life partner of 40 years Liana Holton shared a home in Bloomfield Hills.
Detroit Free Press, September 11, 2016
May 3, 1952 – November 23, 2016
Born in Byron Center, Portage resident Sheila Fortuin graduated from Byron Center High School in 1970, and attended Ferris State University for a short time before taking a job with the city of East Grand Rapids. She later worked at the Rock-Tenn paper plant in Otsego until its closure in 2004. Fortuin and her life partner Trish Breithaupt shared 21 years together.