John Pierre Adams

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July 28, 1921 – January 9, 1994

Born in Detroit, John Pierre Adams served in the U.S. Army during World War II and, while living in New York City following his tour of duty, performed with the Katherine Dunham Dance Company.  He returned to Detroit in the 1950s and worked as a shipping clerk for an equipment company.  In the 1970s, Adams led the local gay organization ONE in Detroit as its president for three years.

No known obituary

Columbus Howard

July 9. 1924 – February 19, 1999

Born in Detroit, Columbus Howard spent much of his life in Inkster and served in the U.S. Army during World War II.  In 1958, while employed as a 33-year-old stockroom worker at Montgomery Ward in Dearborn, Howard was prosecuted for gross indecency after being caught with another man in Detroit’s Rouge Park.

No known obituary

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

Diane Bono

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July 19, 1941 – May 30, 2016

Taylor resident and Detroit native Diane Mary Bono graduated from Allen Park High School in 1959 and later worked as a cosmetology instructor.  From 1974 to 1979, along with her then-partner Donna Chartier and their friend June Reynolds, Bono operated the Casbah Lounge, the first lesbian-owned lesbian bar in Detroit.

No known obituary

Sarah Emma Edmonds

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December 1841 – September 5, 1898

Born in Nova Scotia, Sarah Emma Edmonds began presenting herself as Frank Thompson at age 15.  Thompson moved to Flint in the 1860s and was considered “quite a lady’s man.”  After serving as a male nurse in Second Michigan Volunteer Infantry the Civil War, Edmonds resumed living as a woman.  Her memoir Nurse and Spy in the Union Army became a best seller.

No known obituary

Cappisene Ford

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January 11, 1953 – December 26, 1995

Cappisene Ford, known to most in the gay community as Ms. L.T.D. (for La Twiggy Darling), began to entertain in the 1970s at the Escape, My Fair Lady, and other Detroit bars.  She later went on to perform in Paris and Hong Kong.  From 1979 to 1980 she served as Records Officer for the Michigan Organization for Human Rights.  She died from AIDS-related complications at age 42.

No known obituary

Atiba Cohen

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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