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

Henry Bertschinger

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

Jerry Palmer

Jerry Palmer pic

October 11, 1925 – Jun 19, 2012

Jerry Mae Palmer served as a role model for masculine-identified lesbians in Detroit’s African American LGBTQ community.  Born in Alabama, she later moved to Michigan where she worked on the line as an assembler for one the automobile manufacturers.  Before her death at age 86, Palmer and her friends provided vital safe spaces for people to proudly be themselves through a variety of social events.

Stinson Funeral Home

Ed Walker

Ed Walker pic

October 24, 1944 – August 24, 1993

Detroit resident and Highland Park native Edward Walker grew up in Dearborn Township.  He joined the U.S. Army following high school and was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds he received while serving in Vietnam.  During the 1970s, he worked as an assembler at Ford Motor Company.  From 1980 until his death, Walker operated the Hayloft Saloon with his lover Len Lippert.

Cruise, September 22, 1993

Floyd Spikings

April 16, 1916 – February 17, 1991

Kalamazoo resident Floyd James “Jim” Spikings was born in Lawton, worked for the railroad in Chicago, and served in the Army during World War II.  He later worked as an assembler for the Kozy Coach Company in Kalamazoo and for many years was employed by Musselman’s apple orchards cooperative in Paw Paw. Spikings was also a correspondent with the homophile organization ONE.

Paw Paw Courier-Leader, February 22, 1991

Juliana Daberkow

Juliana Daberkow pic

June 21, 1951 – February 13, 2018

Born in DeWitt, Juliana Daberkow attended DeWitt High School and Davenport University and later worked as an assembly line worker at Steelcase in Grand Rapids.  She was survived by her life partner of more than 24 years Nancy Botsford.

Grand Rapids Press, February 18, 2018

Sharon Beck

Sharon Beck pic

August 1, 1944 – September 13, 2011

Born in Battle Creek, Sharon Kay Beck resided in Mount Morris and retired after 30 years from Saginaw Steering Gear-Delphi in 2002.  She enjoyed running, her poodles, and traveling in northern Michigan with Hope, her partner of 27 years.

Flint Journal, September 18, 2011