Atiba Cohen

Atiba Cohen pic

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

Aaron-Carl

Aaron-Carl pic

August 9, 1973 – September 30, 2010

Born in Detroit, Aaron-Carl attended Detroit schools and graduated from Harry S Truman High School in Taylor.  An electronic musical artist and DJ known for house, techno, and electro-funk, he received three Performers Awards of Detroit nominations and had a Top 40 hit on Billboard’s dance chart with “My House” in 1998.  He died at age 37 from lymphoma and was survived by his partner Mel Winders.

Between The Lines, October 7, 2010

Lawrence Burns

Lawrence Burns pic

April 9, 1958 – August 14, 1989

Lawrence Richard Burns was born in Detroit and for nine years worked at the Backstage restaurant, first as a waiter and later as assistant manager and bookkeeper.  A onetime resident of Palmer Park in Detroit, Burns lived in Westland.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 41.

Cruise, August 23, 1989

Al Brewer

Al Brewer pic

September 13, 1950 – December 19, 2011

Originally from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Al Brewer sang at such gay Detroit clubs as Bookie’s, My Fair Lady, and the Other Side in the 1970s.  He received multiple nominations for best live male vocalist from the Performers Awards of Detroit.  Toward the end of his life, Brewer served as Karaoke host at the Temple Bar.

No known obituary

Max Toy

Max Toy pic

August 3, 1925 – June 11, 2008

Max Edward Toy was schooled in Lansing and graduated from Albion College.  He served as a sonar operator in the U.S. Navy during World War II.  Before his retirement, Toy was employed at Michigan Employment Security Commission offices in Niles and Detroit.  Toy was a subscriber to ONE magazine in the 1950s.

Lansing State Journal, June 13, 2008

Ron Owens

ron owens pic

November 22, 1945 – December 30, 1999

Hairstylist Ronald Lorence Owens grew up in New Mexico and served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1970, honorably discharged as a Specialist 5 in the Air Defense Artillery.  He resided in Southern California before moving to Michigan, where he lived in Detroit and Rochester.  Owens was a member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit.

Cruise, February 2, 2000

Mable Stewart Merritt

mable stewart merritt pic

September 8, 1925 – December 19, 2017

Born in upstate New York, Mable Stewart Merritt moved with her family as a child to Grosse Pointe, where she graduated from high school.  She worked as a typesetter for the United Auto Workers union for 40 years.  Merritt was interviewed by Roey Thorpe in 1992 about her involvement in lesbian life in Detroit during the 1950s.

Kansas City Star, January 3, 2018