Obituaries: Jon P. Borset

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday July 26, 2023
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Jon P. Borset
Jon P. Borset

May 1, 1929 — July 8, 2023

Richard Thomas Borset, born in Detroit, Michigan to Vernon and Gwendolyn Borset, legally changed his name to Jon as a young adult. His artistic flair served him well as a window designer for prestigious department stores in New York, and from 1952 until he retired in San Francisco. An early gay activist, he was arrested and found guilty of lewd and lascivious behavior for dancing with another man in California Hall when it was famously raided by police in 1965 (YouTube: "Lewd & Lascivious"). Upon turning 50, he decided to start taking care of himself with diet changes like drinking unsweetened black cherry Kool-Aid (perhaps a little red wine added), running, and racewalking. An early member of San Francisco FrontRunners, he racewalked numerous marathons and competed in the first eight Gay Games. Jon's passions were snow skiing (until his body said no more in his 80s), San Francisco Ballet, and public service.

Jon volunteered 38 years with Project Open Hand delivering (on foot) meals to homebound AIDS patients and did meal assembly, often seven days a week, into his early 90s. He was a stickler about proper presentation. If Jon (or Uncle Tom as he was known to his family) were here today, he would encourage remembrance donations to Project Open Hand.

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